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.
Here’s some close-ups of the lace ruff in the Musicians’ Gallery made by some of our volunteers.
This one is from the sample piece showing how a ruff is made, the lace is based on some depicted in a portrait of an Elizabethan boy in the Great Hall.
The embroidered nightcap and lace ruff are now on display in the Musicians’ Gallery at Trerice! The display boxes arrived at the end of last week and some display stands were ingenuously created from a large cardboard tube, some hardboard and black material – very Blue Peter! – but looks really professional. Big thank you to the volunteers who made them in no time at all. (We’ll forget about the minor hiccough of one being a fraction too big and having to adjust it…)
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.