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 …
There has been a great deal of number crunching at The Tudor Tailor since the Christmas break. Fabrics for 2015 costume projects can now be purchased with renewed confidence and less expense – especially if you are a man needing new hose. Not only is the colour range endorsed by new research but there is 10 per cent off all woollen fabric purchases until the end of January.
Seasons greetings to all our colleagues and customers! Thanks to everyone who has collaborated with us, supported our research, come to one of our events or bought from us this year. We wish you every success with your costume projects in 2015.
A successful foray into television has prompted an update to one of The Tudor Tailor’s best-loved patterns. Eager headdress researchers are already excited to see the information in a practical format. Ninya’s recent work with the BBC was an opportunity to put theory to the test and it passed with flying colours. The “gable hood” is now a “Tudor lady’s bonnet, frontlet, paste and edge” reflecting research published in The Queen’s Servants in 2011.