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.
Ever since Ninya, Jane and Caroline met at Kentwell Hall in 1520 (aka 1987), they have taken inspiration from the experience and are now pleased to announce a special offer for May that celebrates those early days (see below for photos showing how far they have come).
Kentwell Hall is still home to a fantastically ambitious visitor experience lasting three weeks each year. Hundreds of volunteers apply for the opportunity to live as a Tudor. The successful ones must clothe themselves appropriately and prepare to interpret daily life to visitors – schoolchildren on weekdays and the general public at weekend.
This year, Kentwell will be recreating the year 1578 and to help participants with the arduous business of making their Tudor costumes, The Tudor Tailor is offering a pattern for an Elizabethan fitted gown (in both smaller and larger sizes) at a 25% discount for the month of May.
Rosemary Muntus, costume director at Kentwell since 1520 recommends the “Pattern for several styles of Elizabethan English fitted gown (with variations on bodice, skirt and sleeve styles) which I think is largely spot on for this year”. She also approves the “patterns for Tudor-era ladies’ petticoats and kirtles with or without sleeves.”
The fitted gown pattern is usually £20.50. This month’s discount brings the price down to £15, and, as an additional aid to Tudor costume making in general, anyone who buys the pattern, can purchase The Tudor Tailor for £12 too (cheaper than Amazon)! For anyone needing to clothe their whole family, The Tudor Tailor also offers patterns for boys’ and girls’ clothing – both lower class (at £18) and aristocratic (£30). And don’t forget The Tudor Child is available to provide further detail about making Tudor costumes for children as well as fascinating social history about growing up in Tudor times.
If you’re not signed up for Kentwell this year but participate in or plan to be part of an Elizabethan costume project, take a look at the fitted gown, which is based on weepers on the monument to Sir George Vernon at All Saints Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire, a brass of a lady at St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury, Wiltshire, a watercolour circa 1570 by Lucas de Heere (British Museum) plus Janet Arnold’s archaeological notes on a woman’s loose gown dated 1570 to 1580 at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg.
Information about opening times and ticket prices for Kentwell 1578 is available here.
Happy shopping and happy sewing!
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.