Nightcap and ruff on display at last!

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…)



Creepy crawlies




We’ve been continuing with the embroidered nightcap and have started embellishing panels with stumpwork insects. So far there’s a bee, a ladybird, a butterfly, a spider, two caterpillars and a snail. There’s also a snail and a hedgehog on part of the headband (not shown). So it’s coming on…

The lace ruff project is finally complete and looks fabulous! 5 metres of lace took one volunteer about 200 hours to make, and another made it into the ruff which took a further 12 hours. Thanks to both for their hard work!


The embroidered nightcap continues

The embroidered nightcap is coming along nicely, mostly thanks to the volunteer who is patiently instructing us and I think making it appear easier than it actually is! Just reading the instructions gets me confused but being shown the techniques makes it a bit simpler. There will be six side panels and a headband around the bottom.




The photos show the aquilegia panel, part of the headband with strawberries, the primrose panel and the foxglove panel.

Also, newly finished is a black worked ruff with a repeated clover design


Hat wars…

The embroidered night cap is coming along, I think. (I missed the last session) I’ve done or started a panel with primroses. I thought it was going to be a lot lot trickier than it actually was (still a bit tricky though!) Maybe I had easy stitches to master though as each panel is different.

I haven’t really done any embroidery since school, but the panel so far includes stem stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch and needle lace.

The real reason for the title of this entry is not because of the nightcap, but trying to replicate a hat worn in one of the Arundell brasses. Probably an over-exaggeration really.

It’s just being a bit fiddly and I’m making it up as I go along because there’s no instructions to follow, just various pictures from portraits that look vaguely similar. I think I’ve sussed the style, not a French hood, but a cap type thing probably originally shaped by the wearer’s hair underneath, but because there’s no way of telling how visitors will have their hair, I’ve used a roll of fabric stuffed with wool fibre to give it the required height. My attempt so far is ok, it’s just getting the lining in that’s now proving tricky – staring at it for hours doesn’t help!

Happy New Year!

We may have been quiet on the blog over Christmas and New Year but everyone’s been busy. So far we’ve got 2 new doublets finished, one for a boy in green with tabs on the shoulders that looked like a stegosaurus initially.


Another is to go with a kirtle which has shoulder rolls that were sewn and unpicked about 5 times to get them right. Turned out well in the end though!


There’s also a blackwork embroidered ruff under way and one volunteer spent last season making handmade lace, which another volunteer is now turning into a ruff for people to try on – will need something special for it to be worn with.

Our first costume day of 2013 is on Easter Monday, 1 April – also April Fool’s Day so thought it might be quite good to have a jester’s costume for people to try on and currently putting something together based on various pictures of late medieval and sixteenth century jesters I’ve found.


Several volunteers have made a start on an embroidered night cap, using various Tudor embroidery techniques, which hopefully will be on display at Trerice during the coming season. Can’t wait to see how it’s going, as I was unable to get in because of unexpected snow (there was enough to sledge on!).