Another busy costume day and luckily the forecast rain stayed away. We had a lovely lot of visitors in, of all ages. We found an outfit for everyone, including someone with their arm in a sling, and even a teddy bear got the Tudor treatment (which was a first!) Unfortunately there were a couple of people who came late, when we were packing up, but hopefully they'll come back next week, as the wardrobe doors will be open again next Monday 11-1 and 2-4. For now, it's time to put our feet up!
Yesterday was an enjoyable costume day, relatively busy with steady numbers, and not too crazy. It was great to gave some new volunteers giving a hand and to be able to show them what we do. It's certainly true – the more the merrier – it's nice to be have time for a cuppa and keep up with demand from visitors. Hopefully we haven't scared them off!
Again, we had some lovely comments from visitors:
'Amazing. A real laugh and made me stand up taller…'
'Wonderful – great work to create the collection. Great fun had by all, many thanks!'
'I liked feeling like I'm really important.'
'…Thank you for volunteering your time for families to have a lovely experience making memories.'
We also used the occasion to showcase some of the work we've been doing in recent weeks, including the wall hanging inspired by the knot garden and Tudor-dressed rag dolls made from scraps, or cabbage, left over from making our full-sized outfits.
The doll in the blue and red uses up scraps from a similar outfit made for school groups, which is loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, step-daughter of Mary Arundell of Lanherne.
The pattern for this doll comes from The Tudor Child, and the clothes are enlarged versions of patterns in the book. Each layer of clothing can be removed. The outfit is made up of a smock, petticoat, kirtle, gown, fore-sleeves, partlet, French hood and girdle.
The other two dolls were more informally made, more guess work than with a pattern. Each has various layers, which are also removable. The Elizabethan gent wears doublet and trunkhose, with a jerkin, ruff, cloak, shoes and a tall hat. Underneath he has hose and a shirt.
The Elizabethan lady wears a smock, stays, bum roll and farthingale, with a kirtle and partlet with a ruff over the top. On top of this is a gown with hanging sleeves. She has black velvet cap decorated with gold and pearl beads, and also has black velvet shoes over stockings tied up with ribbon garters. (She's gained facial features since this photo was taken)
We’re looking forward to seeing the new wall hanging in Reception. Hopefully it will be on the wall soon.
Today we had another Costume Day, which turned out to be a record breaker for us – 165 visitors dressed in 4 hours. Time to put our feet up for a bit!
A few of the visitors’ comments:
“A fantastic experience that was entertaining and informative. A huge thank you to all involved”.
“Great idea! My 2 yr old didn’t want to take it off!”
“Amazing costumes. Came back twice! A great experience. Thank you”.
“A lovely, fun and informative activity. We all enjoyed dressing up in the beautiful costumes. Thank you!”
Today was a lot quieter than Easter Monday, which was just as well, since I wasn’t the only one suffering from a cold among the volunteers. It was also raining for most of the day, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We had some lovely visitors stop by. Some even left a photo or two on the NT and NT Trerice Facebook sites which were lovely to see.
Hopefully the costume day at the end of the month will be a little less wet.
Now off to dig out the dancing shoes and hire a minstrel to practise for a school visit next week.
Today was the first costume day of 2017. It lived up to our expectations of a busy day, with over 500 visitors, a 120 of whom dressed up. Apparently this was actually relatively quiet because since Thursday there’s been (possibly) a record 700+ visitors each day, with more than 980 (!) on Good Friday, which is probably a record for Trerice.
Anyway, we had some lovely visitors today who were willing to dress up, and we even managed to persuade some less so, but everyone appeared to have a good time. New outfits got tried out, and proved mostly successful; I think there might even be one still untested, which will have to wait for next time, in a fortnight on Monday 1 May.
Now back to the workroom for repairs and alterations, and to see what we can come up with next.
The first Costume Day of 2017 is on Easter Monday, 17 April.
The other dates for this year’s costume days are:
- 1 May, Bank Holiday Monday
- 29 May, Bank Holiday Monday
- Monday 29 July
- Manday 7 August
- Monday 14 August
- Monday 21 August
- Monday 28 August
We have a few new items already for this year, with some more in the pipeline, including dresses for 3 year old and 5 year old girls.
The Murder Mystery last month was well received and the actors looked just the part in their 18th century outfits.
Outfits for the stable boy, the clergyman and Lord Wentworth joined those for Lady W and the chamber maid. They consisted of shirt, breeches, waistcoat, coat, neck tie, tricorn hats and wigs. Lord W’s suit was made from curtains bought originally for a bridesmaid’s dress along with left over curtain material from Lady W’s petticoat for his waistcoat.
There were a lot more buttons involved than I expected and seemed to be forever covering buttons!
We were very pleased that the clergyman’s outfit fit so well because we were given relatively few measurements and it was first tried on the day before the performance.
We took a few shortcuts: Two of the tricorn hats were adapted from floppy black felt hats from Primark. Buckles for shoes made from card wrapped in foil with a black piece of material behind. Football socks were a short notice substitute for stockings.
We found that the wigs needed a fair bit of attention to make them look reasonable as they didn’t look much like the pictures on the packets. Luckily we have a hairdresser in our midst to put it right.
Yards of gathered fabric trim was also added to Lady W’s dress to finish it off.
The first costume day of the summer holidays is fast approaching – only a few hours. We’re looking forward to helping visitors step back in history and tread in the footsteps of the 16th century Arundell family of Trerice by trying on something from our range of Tudor clothes. Fun for all the family and hopefully the weather will hold out nice.
We had glorious weather for today’s costume day but not everyone went to the beach and, after a slowish start, we were quite busy. We had some lovely people in today, and some equally delightful comments about their experience.
‘Thank you so much for all the work you put into making it an amazing experience … to see what we would have looked like as Tudors’
‘Amazing costumes, we’ve all had so much fun’
‘How beautifully well done. Stepping into time as I’ve never seen it done anywhere else’.
Thanks to everyone!
We had another Costume Day with some more lovely visitors on Monday. We were very kindly sent this photo by one family.
Some new outfits, mostly men’s jackets, had their first trip out and we even combined costumes with replica armour which went down a treat with boys aspiring to be knights. There were also a few guys up for a challenge and tried on the two paned trunkhose, one of which comes with a proper codpiece.
The smallest outfits also got an airing and looked very fetching and sweet on real toddlers rather than the model.
We’re already looking forward to the next Costume Day at the end of May, and hope to see many more willing victims, sorry, visitors!