February is a time for romance and who was more romantic than the young Henry VIII, when he had eyes only for Katherine of Aragon – before the five subsequent spouses! Katherine was Queen of England for more than 20 years as Henry’s wife (1509 to 1533), although things went sour long before the annulment which brought the marriage to an end.
The Queen’s Servants details the clothes worn by women at court during Katherine of Aragon’s heyday. The Tudor Tailor is now able to publish the exhaustive list of pictorial sources on which the illustrations and patterns in the book are based.
There have been many, many questions from readers about waist seams (or the lack of them), the shape of early headdresses and details about fabrics and furs. Thanks to Annabel Lewis’s meticulous fact checking, the list of sources is now comprehensive and accurate.
To celebrate the completion of the list, The Tudor Tailor is offering more than 10 per cent discount on the book The Queen’s Servants (usually £17, now £15) and the full-size patterns based on the research for the book (early gowns £31, early kirtles £18 and headdresses £18). These prices are for the whole month of February – but it is a short month, so don’t delay if you want your Valentine to buy you an early Tudor era gift for the 14th.
The illustration of Mistress Mabel Clifford, gentlewoman to Queen Katherine in 1511, wearing a gown made of 16 yards of crimson velvet and six yards of satin tinsel (page 32 of The Queen’s Servants) is by Michael Perry. The materials for her gown (and her yellow satin kirtle), which were provided at the king’s expense, were meticulously recorded in the royal wardrobe accounts. Her headdress is not described in such detail, although one for Anne Dubrell (also pictured) is described as a black velvet bonnet with a tawny satin frontlet in 1499.
Visit www.tudortailor.com to download the list and choose your patterns …
Get violent with your velvets under the expert eye of The Tudor Tailor using specially-designed, hand-made tools for the job. Ninya and Jane are working with Stephen Norris of Red Dog Forge (www.reddogforge.co.uk) to develop a brand new set of pinking tools, to be launched during their visit to Chicago’s Silver Linings Sewing Studio in October. The event features a hands-on workshop – Slash thy sleeves - with opportunities to try hot printing, ravelling and pinking using The Tudor Tailor’s newly-produced blades. The cast brass pinking tools are in production now (price to be confirmed) and will not be available to buy elsewhere until 1 December 2014. Participants who reserve places at the event in advance qualify for generous discounts on other products too but to whet everyone’s appetites, the team’s latest book The Tudor Child is on special offer at £18 for the month of July.
We are celebrating lace this month at The Tudor Tailor for two very good reasons. The first is that we have had a regular visitor to the shop over the past year who has made various purchases of lace and buttons. Little did we know that the customer was artist Sophie Ploeg and she was using the pieces in her latest works. The second cause for celebration is that we now have copies of a sumptuous new book of 17th century costume and textiles, including lace, from Glasgow Museums’ European costume collection for sale in the Tudor Tailor shop.
Once upon a time there were three little girls – who went to Kentwell Hall in Suffolk – where the perilous business of recreating the sixteenth century is a daily challenge …
And they were each assigned very hazardous duties – explaining Tudor food, teaching court dances, and fletching arrows …
But I took them away from all that … and now they work for me, my name is The Tudor Tailor.