Late Elizabethan dress

During the summer there were several slightly disappointed girls because they were too small to fit the blue farthingale dress which (usually) fits 10 year olds. To rectify this work has begun on a late Elizabethan dress with farthingale and pair of bodies which should hopefully fit someone aged 6-8 years old. A later Elizabethan design was chosen to add variety and show how fashion changed during Elizabeth I’s reign. However it hasn’t been straight forward (is it ever?!) because it was necessary to adapt patterns for an adult and a 2 year old from the Tudor Tailor books which took a bit of thought and working out. Hopefully it will work ok! (The bodies and the farthingale can be seen in a previous post.)

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The gown started with a mock up made from old sheets. The bodice seems to be ok, working from the bodies underneath and copying the patterns in Tudor Tailor, but the skirt started to cause a bit of grief! It took ages to work out how much was needed in width to get it looking right and not too tight around the farthingale. After that it took time again to work out the length, with and without a flounce, for the gown and petticoat. Got there in the end!

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For the petticoat extra width was added, compared to the purple attempt above, and a much better result was achieved when the instructions were followed properly and the waist was cartridge pleated and not knife pleated to the waistband. The petticoat, although not an authentic Tudor material being made from an old bed vallance, is a really good colour contrast with the top skirt and will be much easier to wash than the skirt.

The skirt is longer than the petticoat so it can be taken up a bit into a flounce at the top, and will end up shorter than the petticoat so it doesn’t drag on the floor. (The photo below on the right shows the flounce just tucked in place, it will be eventually held in place with a few stitches.) The opening is at the back compared to the petticoat’s side openings so it shouldn’t be possible to see all the way through to the farthingale or smock.

Time to start on the top half of the outfit.

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Next year’s Costume Days: come and try on Tudor clothes

Fancy being a Elizabethan lady or gentleman? Or servant or farmer?

The dates for the Costume Days for next year have been confirmed. They will be on the following Mondays in 2014:
21 April (Easter Monday)
5 May & 27 May (bank holidays)
Summer holidays: 28 July, 4, 11, 18 & 25 August

Come and try on the types of clothes the Arundell family and their household would have worn during the 16th century. We hope to see lots of people there!

PS Trying on the clothes is a free activity, but normal admission fees to Trerice will apply (NT members free).