A couple of fashionable ladies or so

Among the things being worked on at the moment are two outfits for noble ladies.

One is a mid Tudor noble lady, loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, countess of Arundel, mixed with the Tudor Child‘s pattern for Princess Elizabeth’s gown.

Each layer has been made by a different person in the Costume Group. The outfit is made up of a padded petticoat, a kirtle and fore-sleeves, and a gown.

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The padded petticoat

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The kirtle

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After doing about 40 eyelet holes, on various outfits I didn’t fancy doing more, especially in velvet, so resorted to brass rings, which should be easier for children to thread up. There will be a placard over the top of the lacing.

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To finish it off we decided to add a partlet as well. Just waiting for the fore sleeves before getting a final photo.

The other is a late Tudor noble lady’s gown with hanging sleeve, complete with French farthingale and stays underneath. The next step is to make a suitable ruff and supporter.

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The foundation garments.

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With the petticoat over the top.

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The gown on top.

Also just completed, a mid-late gentlewoman’s gown and kirtle in red and black.

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Things to do when you have a cold…

After the recent costume day I finally succumbed to a cold that’s been threatening for weeks. I decided to take the opportunity to make a pair of bodies. As you do. Obviously! It was half term, the printer at work was broken and the weather was rubbish, so with things conspiring against any proper work I decided to put my feet up with a series of The West Wing and sew.

For my first attempt I decided to use the pattern generator on http://www.elizabethancostume.net. The front is about 12 inches long, not too extreme, and hopefully in keeping with the 1560s and 1570s. I used a remnant of blue material with some tailor’s canvas as an interlining and an old sheet for the lining, in case it went wrong. The boning came from clothing found in a cupboard at Trerice (not anything historically important though!) After a few attempts to get the bones in the right order – the diagrams were proving too much for my cold-addled brain – it finally came together.

Sunday evening I ran out of black thread for the first pair, so to fill in time I decided to have a go at another pair of bodies, this time from ‘The Tudor Tailor’. I used pelmet buckram for stiffening, which I read somewhere was the sort of thing used before boning was used. I think I might have caught more than a cold bug, as I’m thinking of doing some more, maybe back lacing, or with a longer front in the later Elizabethan style, or with other boning materials like bents, or maybe even cable ties, so that visitors can see the difference.