Monday, June 25, 2012

Elizabethan Possibilites

Well I finally found a gown from the 1590's I would like to attempt to make that is not a total encumbrance in making. I included a larger photo, so you can see all the detail in the gown. What I like about this gown is the possibilities of a simple design with elegant execution. We have a simple capped sleeve with stripes of colored silk embroidery, lace partlet framed by a standing ruff, some lace trim on the gown, a lovely teal open over gown, the notorious netted Whisk Collar, and jewels in the hair. I believe Elizabeth received the Fairy Queen title, because of the ethereal look the Whisk Collar gave and the wing effect it potentially creates. Though that is just a theory of mine, hard to say if its right.

I will still not be able to do much with wearing this gown but is worth making it for Ice Dragon to wear next year. Though, I would love to make this gown with shot silk taffeta with the intent to make it an entry. I don't think I could take the ripping apart I would receive from the judges for the way I make my costumes. Undecided at this point with all the other Elizabethan items I would be entering if this would be the perfect complement to the menagerie I already have. Oh decisions, decisions! Luckily there is lots of time to decide and make up this outfit.

Thinking of using some faux silk curtains for the heavyness this gown will require, I do have ruffs ready for this gown and thinking of repurosing my wedding veil trim with some silk organza for the Whisk Collar. I already have a pendant that is a dead ringer for the one in the painting So, I have ideas though there is lots more time to gather materials.

Have to finish the other gowns, working on beading now. Pictures soon coming I promise, in the mean time back to work.

Garb Daydreaming,

Noble Progress Indeed

Well I have been abundantly motivated to finish the gowns I have to decorate and take their pictures. I find that for some reason I get a second wind after working a 2nd shift and want to sew till midnight. Though its great to get things done, it is at the cost of some sleep. I have a few boxes around the house I want to make disappear and a few days ago rearranged my sewing room and put somethings away. If I get the sewing done, it will eliminate one of said boxes from cluttering up the room. The other is in the living room, have to finish putting the contents of that away too.

I was able to finish the collar on the black doublet gown, looks nice and the color brightens up the ensemble. Tryaing to see if I want to add some beading or more trim to the edges before I say its done. Undecided right now though compare and play with some of my trim and see what looks the nicest out of my stash at home. Last night I worked on the black silk gown with billowy sleeves, was able to make them look like spanish sleeves and sewin down trim in all the right places. I am adding an inner sleeve that is pink to match the trim and will add trim to the cuff of it. So still lot more to do before its done. Though on the right track am suprised how well it is working out so far.

Hopfully get some time to work on my embroidery would be a real plus, but one project at a time. Heres to more quality and speedy sewing ventures.

On a book note, I have recieved my Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd. Just one word, Wow. I can see why so many costumer make a fuss over this expensive book. Though it doesn't have all the topics I look into for the period, I do find alot of very useful information. I also have been enjoying my Elizabethan Compendium of Knowledge, great read for doing laundry. Can pick it up and put it down without missing too much details. Though I have so many more books to read and enjoy, going to take me a while to get through them all. Should not be able to say that I am bored for a while.

Family is doing well and have things caught up at home which is amazing with all the time I have been pulling at work. Did some major spring cleaning, though I have a feeling there will be much more to do soon. For now better I should return to my sewing progress lest I fall behind.

Busy Sewing,


Thursday, June 21, 2012

16th Century Chatelaines Exhist

After being inspired by my online hand embroidery group on Facebook, I noticed a lovely piece posted yesterday that I needed to make post here. A Chatelaine, what is this you may ask? A Chatelaine is a French Term for "Keeper of the Keys". It refers to the Mistress of the household who has all the daily items at the ready to do her duties. In the early 1840's these came back into use, and contained various filigree chains joined to one pin with a clip on the back and dangled from the waist of a skirt. Eventually a necklace and brooch version was made when fashions changed. A Chatelaine displayed the fine sewing implements and other useful tools of a proper household Mistress. Items included but not limited to: an awl, scissors, thimble, perfume bottle, watch, compass, pin cushion, needle case, bodkin, small coin purse, and of course keys. These decorative but functional items could be made from precious gold, most popularly silver in the Victorian age, brass, copper, silk ribbon or needlework. All depending on your station in life depended on how fancy of one you received, these were normally given as a gift to a young lady. This was a common gift from a groom to his bride on their wedding day, now that she was to take her proper place as head of the household domestics, she would need one of these to help with tasks.

I found a 16th century reference to this online but am looking for more concrete evidence of this in a book, though I have gone through my library and have not found a reference to a tool such as this.  The following is what I found:

"An early form of bag or wallet was the drawstring leather pouch which carried coins, and which was looped through men's girdles or belts for safety. It was a simple development of a circle of fabric drawn up together with two lines of stitching going round the edge in parallel lines in different directions and knotted to make the drawstrings. This was seen from the 12th to the 16th centuries, often worn with a dagger or knife. Such pouches could in fact be stolen by determined thieves who would cut them loose. This suspension of a functional object from the belt has parallels with the medieval 'chatelaine', a chain with keys attached about the waist, which was necessary for housekeepers even when simply moving from wing to wing within the larger houses of England. The chatelaine was revived in the 1840s as a device for suspending needlework and domestic tools, such as a pair of scissors, a tape measure, a thimble case, button hook, penknife, and needle-case from a device hooked onto the waist-belt." From Brief History of Bags and Purses from Hantsweb.  

I am thinking this would be a good topic for my local embroidery guild, but want to find better references before attempting it.  For now I have my lovely silk one with an ornate peacock brooch, so I am contented. Eventually I want to make my own crewel embroidered version of a chatelaine, but not until the research backs it up.

The one you see was made at midnight on an after-work sugar binge, and stayed up till 1:40am completing the final touches this morning. Its best to do things when inspiration strikes you. On that note, I did finish the peacocks on the left hand Elizabethan glove, all I have to do is the floral border, though its easier said then done.

Likes a Good Challenge,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Comparison Gallery

 Well here are the gowns that I had bought on eBay, and pictures showing what they look like now. Showing off the changes I made some more than others to the original designs of the gowns. The details added more life to these I think than the original counterparts. I am eager to hear what you my readers think.

There are the 4 that are finished there are three others yet to do, but wanted to show the progress so far. I am working on the Elizabethan Gown video for YouTube, I have decided on a template I designed and now all I have to do is add photos at I get gowns done. It will look very spiffy when done.

Well if I want to get these gowns done they won't sew themselves. Post more as things get done.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Custom Gown Orders Open for the Summer

I have no custom orders open right now and am available to make gowns and costumes. If you have interest in having a one of a kind creation and wasn't sure how to go about it. Feel free to contact me, we can discuss options, prices and timing with a custom creation.

Contact me via email at

I also have an etsy add for Custom Tudor Gowns if you want to take a look at pictures, sizing and time to make a gown. Here is a link

Also my Etsy link on my blog will take you to my online shop.

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, June 7, 2012

So Many Gowns, so Little Time

Well after completing the decoration on some of my silk Elizabethan gowns, I have taken some photos of each. Which have turned out very nice, very excited to make comparisons with the decorated gowns and the original garments. Which I will post photos for all of you to look at and compare. I have to get more photos of soon to be made gowns when they are completed. Right now I have pictures of 4 gowns. I have 4 more to do; that I have 2 to modify and 2 to create. So it’s going to be a few more months yet before I can make my Elizabethan Gowns Video. Though there is progress and that makes me happy.

Right now I am still trying to come up with a themed story for my costume scrapbook. I want it to be a story about my SCA persona and her journey to court; making her many courtly gowns, learning the intricacies of court life, and new interests gained at court. Thinking it could be the ladies in waiting training book is a possibility I am thinking about. I am interested in telling this story in the prose of a poem, which has proved to be challenging. This way the words can be calligraphed on each page of the scrapbook. When the pictures are completed the book will be done, I have a feeling this may be a while to be completed.

So in the light of the Queens Jubilee, here are some very Elizabethan gowns ;-) Though I must say they could be very strong run for late Venetian gowns too. I didn’t do too much with hats, but did do two hairstyles this time but not wanting to over accessorize them. Well with no further ado, here is the photo gallery, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wedding Video

Well after gather pictures of my most recent completed gowns, I have also compiled all my wedding photos into a 15 minute picture slideshow set to music, all posted on YouTube.

In the near future I hope to comple the pictures and produce the highly anticipated Mairin O Cadhla Elizabethan Gown Video for Youtube. Though this is still in the works though I will post more about this later.

For now please follow the link to my YouTube page or click the tab at the top of my blog to get to my YouTube Channel.

Justin and Maureens Wedding Video

 As always thanks for reading and Enjoy,




Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

A mashed combination of the words Tudor and Curiosity to create the word Tudorosity. Tudorosities is the plural form and the deffinition is as follows.

Tudorosity- an desire to learn or know anything about the Tudor dynasty assocated with years 1405 through 1603.

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

I find the clothing of this era not only beautiful but also challenging to sew. There is much more care and purpose put into making garments and wearing garments in the Tudor Era. I love the look of Tudor so much I wanted to explore the way clothes were made back then and the subtle changes in fashion and styles of time.

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

I started with art first, I love to draw, paint, and sculpt all the traditional fine arts. So being able to draw helps me visualize the looks I want to create in my garb. History has always been a huge interest of mine and I've had a knack for sewing since I was 6 years old. It all started with doll clothes and I learned cross stitch embroidery from my grandmother when I was little. I am self taught sewer, crochet, knitting, embroidery and tatting. My methods are learned from books mainly and there is still so much more to learn.

What is my favorite outfit and why?

It would be like picking a favorite out of one of my future children, its impossible. I love all my gown creations and really like the distinct differences in all the styles clothing I make for the Tudor Era.

Do you make the whole outfit including hat, shoes, and undergarments?

I do have a goal of making a complete Tudor from the skin out. As of right now I make 80% of my gowns and accessories. The shoes, corset, stockings, and petticoats are bought online and the petticoats are a close reproduction but not made by me. Though someday I plan on making a reed corset and petticoat to wear under my gowns, as well as other accessories.

How long does it take to make a gown?

It all depends on the type of gown I plan on making and the time period and class of the design. Generally if I work on it 8 hours a day on a sewing machine it will take 3 days to get the basics and another 5 days to do finish hand-sewing details and beading. So a week to a week and a half if working on it steady for that amount of time. I work a full-time job so it does take longer than a week to complete. I put over 40-100 hours per outfit depending on its complexity, its like its own full time job of sorts.

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

No, due to new employment and changes in my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have no time to support sewing for others. Though I recommend sewing lessons for those adventurous few. There are many fine folks who make and sell historical clothing. I suggest guidance with sew from many fine historical enthusiastic costumers out on the internet.

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

I have been in the Society of Creative Anachronism coming up on my 10th year. Active since 2004 working at demonstrations and volunteering when I could between working and other life's distractions. I really concentrated on Tudor sewing in 2007 and worked with patterns to learn proper fabrics, techniques, fit, and silhouette. I really enjoy the eras transition from a medieval form fitting layered cotterdie to the boned Tudor kirtle and then to structured Elizabethan clothing.

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

O’Kealy Heraldry

O’Kealy Heraldry