First costume day of 2016

We were lucky that Storm Katie had blown through our area by this morning, and we were only hindered by some showers rather than gale force winds. It brought the crowds in though and lived up to being a usual, busy Easter Monday. 

Several new outfits got a run out today for the first time and looked fabulous. 122 visitors were dressed in four hours and I’m not sure how many more we could’ve dressed in that time and still have been smiling at the end! As it was we took the first opportunity to collapse in a heap when we finished.  

Our new Hayloft collection

The DIY costume collection for the Hayloft is coming on a treat. These are the simplified, easy to put on dresses and doublets which can be worn without having help to dress (compared to those for costume days). All the outfits have been started and some even completed. Thoughts have now turned to cloaks and headwear. 


Happy New Year! 

A new year and new projects. 

(The resolution to post more often has almost been scuppered before getting started!)

Before Christmas we finally finished the set of school boy and school girl outfits for 5-7yrs. (yay!) 

 We’ve now started on some new quick-try-on outfits for the Hayloft for children. We’ve adapted the usual patterns to be open all the way down the back and secured with ties. There’ll be a couple of things for adults too, but it’ll be mostly for kids. (I wonder how long it’ll be before a grown man is wearing a 4yr old’s dress as a coat?! Maybe visitors will be too sensible this year.) 

There’ll also be some new items for costume days, dates of which are being sorted out, but the first this year is on Easter Monday. 

Some of the Costume Group at Christmas

After Christmas dancing

Last 2015 costume day approaches

After a busy summer the last costume day of the season is nearly here. Come along next Monday (August Bank Holiday), if you can, to find out how the Arundell family and their household dressed in the sixteenth century. 

Tomorrow (Wednesday 26 August) is also our last dancing day of the summer if you fancy a bit of a Tudor workout. 

Both run from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm.

Tripping the light fantastic…

…or tripping up! 

We’ve been learning new steps for Tudor dancing on Wednesdays, the Scottish Branle, which is much quicker than other dances we’ve done so far and involves kicks and jumps. I think we’ve almost got it, although keeping balance and remembering lefts and rights has been tricky – nearly toppled once or twice. 

Hardly less energetic, the costume days have been going down well this summer. Only three left to go.

If anyone fancies a Tudor-themed workout volunteering at Trerice is the place! 

Getting ready for summer 2015

We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog over the last few weeks but we’ve been rather loud and busy in the sewing room!

We’re looking forward to our next costume day for visitors on Monday 27 July.  

We’ve been making new and adapting old clothes for volunteers and staff to wear during our ‘Tudor-tastic’ August (which actually starts in the last week of July!). We have house, garden and shop people eager to join in.


The hobby horse jousting is back again this summer, and have been revamped – ably modelled by our Tudor assistant in the photo.

Some of us have also been learning Tudor dances because we’re having dancing workshops on Wednesdays during August. It’s quite gentle and basic so far, but we haven’t tried it out in Tudor dress yet. We’re not quite ready for galliards and voltas…

We’ve also made a start on a set of outfits for younger school children, about 6 yrs old. The girls are finished, next step is to complete the boys’ schoolboy outfits. 

Hats, gloves and photos

One of the last hats to make for the schools’ project is a straw hat for a farm labourer. We picked up a bundle of plaited straw at the reenactment fair last year, but it’s taken a while to work out what to do as it didn’t come with instructions, leading to quite a lot of guess work. 

The straw was soaked in water first for a short while, before the end was curled around and sewn together. The straw was sewn in a spiral, flattening along the way, occasionally pausing to shape it over a mould – a bowl of a suitable size and shape. The brim was a continuation of the crown. Stones were used as weights to flatten it while it dried. 


Over 20 metres of linen thread was used to sew it together and there’s still enough straw left to make probably another two hats.     

Our skilled embroiderer and lace maker have been at it again. They have, barring a few sequins, finished the embroidered gloves using the pattern in Seventeenth Century Women’s dress patterns book 1. They look amazing! 


Another volunteer is making a headdress which includes a hair net with gold thread. After several trials of different types the final net is based on instructions for a parrot net. Still need to get a photo of it, but it looks very impressive.

Our next costume day is on Monday 25 May – it’s not just for kids, and has proved very popular with adults. Photos from the last event, on 4 May, have just gone on to the photo gallery.  


Easter Monday

We had an enjoyable first costume day of 2015, busy but not too manic, allowing us to get back in to the swing of things. The new outfits looked great on the various people who tried them. Lots of photos were taken – just finished sorting through them and posted some here on the drop down list under the photo gallery tab.

We even had a mention in a national newspaper! A columnist in the Daily Telegraph at the end of March wrote about how visits to National Trust properties have changed over time, and there is more jollity now with activities such as chocolate Easter trails and Tudor dressing up at Trerice. We were even mentioned in the same paragraph as Poldark, which will be the closest we ever get to Aidan Turner! 

(Trerice was Winston Graham’s inspiration for Trenwith, one of the Poldark family’s houses)

Our next costume day is Monday 4 May.