The elves have been active…

After several weeks of industry we’ve got some more garments finished; two child-sized cloaks, one with a hood, and the late Elizabethan dress is done and just needs accessorising with a ruff and headwear, and maybe some jewellery.

Our husband and wife team have produced an outfit for him – so we have a Tudor tailor! – next up is one for her.



Our resident embroidress has been busy too, one cuff of a glove is well underway. Still to go is the edging, the lace and the lining before attaching it to the hand part of the glove (and the other hand!)


The kirtle of the Breugel gown is in progress and is going to be in green wool with the outer layer in brown wool lined in creamy beige.

Our newest costume maker has finished her outfit, and has already worn it helping Tudor Father Christmas this month.


Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Experimental musings – new things for next year

After several weeks I’ve finished a pair of hose for a boy. They started off as two pairs but were ridiculously narrow so joined all the pieces together and it now looks quite good. One problem we discovered over the summer was that the trousers tend to fall down easily on little boys, and our pairs of braces weren’t really up to the job. So we’ve been thinking of solutions – possibly adding small lacing strip at the back of the doublet and waist of hose to tie the two together, which would be quite authentic, but may be time consuming. Alternatively, as with the hose just finished, we could put a cord though the waist band.

Also on the go at the moment is a jacket or doublet to go over a lady’s kirtle. We were having fun with shoulder rolls yesterday! and we’ve got a blackwork ruff and possibly a fancy pair of embroidered gloves underway as well. Another volunteer has just finished making metres and metres of handmade lace, which she did during the season. The next step is to make it into an appropriately fine ruff.

We’ve also been wondering about having a workshop for volunteers to do some Elizabethan embroidery and make something as a group project – something small, and not too tricky.


I’m having a go at making a pair of trunkhose for an adult, based on an old pair of trousers from my Dad and the pattern in Tudor Tailor. It sounded really complicated before I started, but slowly it’s becoming a lot clearer. (I’ve made a pair before but don’t think I stuck to the instructions properly then.) The legs have now got padding and I’m just about to finish securing the panes, so they are beginning to look something like it. A matching doublet is underway as well so hopefully will have a suit of clothes at the end and be able to find someone willing to try it on.

Padding added to the hose
A pair of legs
20121002-181106.jpg Something like the finished suit

What shall we make next?

We’ve been regrouping after the end of the summer costume days, trying to work out what is needed to supplement the wardrobe collection.

So far quite a lot of shirts and shifts have been cut out, using up all the linen in our store so will need a shopping trip soon to replenish stock. We’ve got a man’s jerkin being finished off, and just working out a doublet and hose to go with it. Also a girl’s gown to go over a pink kirtle that shares with another dress at the moment. At some point we’ll alter the brown ‘Gertrude Arundell’ gown, which was based on a Simplicity pattern, size 16, but the waist is actually a modern 10-12, so it will need panels inserted to make it fit better.

I’ve had a very brief go at making some yarn with a drop spindle and some wool I’ve been given. So far, so lumpy… will have to keep practising! I had great plans to use the newly spun wool to make braiding for a new jacket, but that might be put on hold for sometime!