Saturday, 30 July 2016

Updates on the Tudor Kirtle

A few weeks ago I made some updates to my Tudor kirtle before heading to Newark Castle in Port Glasgow, a sixteenth-century manor house which has survived and been partially restored inside.

The main update consisted of beginning the process of lining the skirt with fur. I'm using cheap old thrift coats for this, and I've only gotten my hands on one so far, so only the back part of the skirt is lined. However, it already creates a nice effect!

The image on the left is from the Book of Hours of Henry VIII (c. 1500), f. 182v. 

I had a bunch of fun wandering around the castle, and had a chance to sing Henry VIII's 'Pastime With Good Company' in the restored main hall. Here's a video:

I plan to line the skirt all the way up the back, and at least half of the front, because at the moment the heavy weight just at the bottom of the skirt is putting a lot of stress on the point where it attaches to the bodice. I think that having the fur rolled into the pleats will help distribute the weight.

I'm a little torn between keeping the fur in the kirtle, now that I've put it in, and saving it for a future gown skirt and re-lining the kirtle with some wool or linen. I might do the latter, simply because the fur is precious. Or I could have both the gown and kirtle lined with fur... The main idea with lining the kirtle in fur was that it will protect the train as it drags on the ground, since fur is easier to wipe down than nice wool and velvet.

But anyway, here are some photos. =)

In the restored hall.

This is in the older, 15th century part of the castle.

My straps started to fall down, and I left them because I was getting a headache. Alas.

The castle, in the midst of modern construction around it.


  1. I always love your singing!

  2. Great gown, interesting ideas, and beautiful photos of beautiful interiors. I'm wondering how it felt to wear modern spectacles while wearing that amazing kurtle!

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  4. Very nice work
    I invite you on my blog of old magazines and old french sewing patterns

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