Today was the last Monday costume day and is rumoured to have been the busiest day of the year so far at Trerice, with possibly over 700 visitors. It was definitely one of the wettest! It felt like we dressed most of them! Several of the volunteer helpers collapsed in a heap in the staff kitchen afterwards in need of a cup of tea.
Roll on our last costume day on the Heritage Open Day, Saturday 8 September.
One of the volunteers at Trerice, who is nifty with woodwork, has made us a couple of wooden wig or hat stands. After some recent research, we thought it would be interesting for visitors to see how women in the sixteenth century wore their hair and what they covered it with – coif or hood. We only really realised quite recently how important the hair done up and pinned to the head was as the foundation for most headwear, and secured it in place.
For the hair arrangement we copied the examples in Tudor Tailor and found online.
The French hood is an experiment with the different pieces done separately – coif, paste, lower billament and veil.
The coif follows the style in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns and Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion, with the linen being one piece and the long tapes wrapped round the head, held in place by the hair braids underneath.
The Costume Days continue to be very busy and we’ve had some great feedback.
Visitors usually prefer to wear the posher clothes based on the Arundell family brasses rather than the work day clothes of their household, so I made a couple of rag dolls up to show the various layers worn by the common sort. Hopefully it might inspire some of them to wear that sort of clothes too.
At Trerice we get a lot of enjoyment seeing the visitors dressed in our replica clothes – all our hard work rewarded. As a sewing group we support experimentation and research in all the various areas of historical clothing and when you get reading you get ideas you want to try out for yourself. I became interested in babies, swaddled that is! Apparently they believed that limbs would not grow straight unless bound for the first months. After about 2 or so weeks the baby could have it’s arms out but as the baby I obtained is quite young it is bound head to toe. As you can see I have made appropriate undergarments. She made her first appearance on our summer costume day (30th July) and we got several comment cards mentioning her. I know her limbs aren’t straightened out but I fell for her attractive face and it was only when she arrived in the post I realised she wasn’t too pliable!