Tudor Fortnight at Trerice

Our summer costume days are underway, we’ve had a lot of interest from visitors and some good weather has meant we’ve been a little less manic than usual, which is nice.

We’ve finished two more outfits for the schools’ project – an Elizabethan sailor and a mid Tudor loose gown and loose kirtle.


The sailor’s outfit is based (roughly) on one I saw in the Queen’s Gallery in London last year, with a loose tunic top and baggy knee-length hose in linen.


Also completed is an English gable hood to go with one of the early Tudor dresses.


A couple of the schools’ outfits have had a trial run in the last two costume days, which was great. We might be able to test some more in the next few weeks.

The last remaining wooden farthingale has bitten the dust 😦 The hoops had become more gaffer tape than willow, after one-too-many 10 year old sat or stood on it before we could intervene. It is now being remodelled with curtain wire which has proved to be a lot more durable with rough handling so far in our other farthingales. The skirt itself is being altered too; it was based on the Alcega/Janet Arnold pattern with hoops put into tucks of material, so there is now far too much fabric, which will distort the shape with the new wire or be ridiculously huge and awkward to sew.

We’re in the middle of Tudor Fortnight at Trerice at the moment, and the Wardour Garrison are down for the weekend. They’ve set up their tents and have been showing camp life including musket demonstrations and target practise. Hope they haven’t got blown away by the tail end of hurricane Bertha! There’s also two Tudor themed banquets being held this week in the evenings on Wednesday and Saturday. Plus a costume day tomorrow and on Wednesday, hobby horse jousting and various craft activities.

Summer preparations

Still trying to make more clothes in time for the summer costume days. The loose gown with loose kirtle and tied-in puffy sleeves is finished after fighting the hems into submission – they looked fine initially but turned out to be about a foot longer at the sides than necessary!


A yeoman farmer’s coat has just been finished, copied from a picture in Herbert Norris’s book about Tudor costume and fashions. We’ve tried bashing an old felt cowboy hat out of shape to get a similar felt hat to the one in the book, it almost looks right…


There are two dresses for girls aged about 12 coming along too, so we should have a variety of new things for visitors to wear in a couple of weeks.

Summer is coming!

Juliana EriseyThis week we’ve been carrying on making clothes ready for the summer holiday costume days. We’ve been having a go at some items for older girls. We’ve got a green front-lacing kirtle that’s coming along, which might need something else with it to make it more interesting to wear – it must be possible to get visitors to wear more than just the posh clothes?! Having said that, slightly giving into the posh factor, we’ve also started on a red dress that will have a decorated forepart on its petticoat and fancy sleeves. We appear to have a never ending supply of old red velvet curtains, and though the donations are very much appreciated, it does sometimes seem as if we have an awful lot of red! I really fancy making a grey dress…just for a change!

We’ve also been working on the outfit inspired the Juliana Erisey brass, which is similar to the Mary Bevill costume but taller. The headwear is done, the loose kirtle is nearly done, and the gown is coming along, and now trying to work out how to make some some long puffy sleeves that can be worn by people of various arm sizes (it seems to be one of those things that would be easier to make for a specific person). One arm down, one to go.