Tudor Boy…

I’m having the nicest day, not entirely sure why.  I think as for many, January has been proving a bit of a challenge but I just went downstairs to make a coffee and for a brief moment the sun came out, suddenly I remembered why we have so much glass in this house as it streamed through, highlighting my dirty windows but making me smile.  I’m also listening to Simon & Garfunkel whilst I sew, I really feel in the mood for harmonies and as there’s no-one here but me I can sing along to my heart’s content.

And so, we had a letter from school a while ago telling us that to accompany the children’s learning could we please dress them in Tudor costume for a day, oh and if we like we can buy them an outfit from a recommended site for £30 (oddly, the same company that are coming in to teach the kids more about living in that period).  I then moaned on twitter about providing a costume to be worn for one day and about the expectation from some that because I used to be a Costume Designer that it’s easy for me to whip one up in a moment.  It doesn’t really work like that, I find it quite difficult not to over think these things and make full on mini period costumes that take me hours and along with the cost of fabrics this just doesn’t scale.  Then I stopped moaning and decided to get on with it and in the end rather enjoyed myself!

I even made an outfit for a friend’s daughter (I do think these things are especially hard on parents who can’t sew or have more than 1 child in the age group).

For F, I made an outfit that will also double as a Pirate costume afterwards.  I did cut the doublet pattern correctly for the period but obviously stitched it on the machine and used fabrics from my stash.  F is most concerned that I’ve chased a pheasant around the garden and stolen some feathers for the hat, he’s not convinced they are ones we’ve picked up on our walks.

He also took the posing for camera this morning quite seriously, this is his, “Oh, look!  The Vikings are coming” pose.  I have no idea why Vikings are involved, he’s 5.

I’m thinking the shirt is very New Romantic, I hear ‘Stand and Deliver’ in my head each time I look at it.  I may have gone a little overboard in the fullness of the sleeves.

Obviously, I could have cobbled something together quickly, or bought on-line but I decided it would be good to practice my skills plus I did buy his last costume from Tesco’s (a Shepherd’s outfit for £8 and you even got a sheep!) and I did really enjoy myself, more importantly he was very happy so that makes it worth it.

Back to S & G and sewing I think, make the most of my one full day at home child free, much as I love my boys it’s so nice to get a little time to myself 🙂

53 thoughts on “Tudor Boy…

    • It didn’t last, we are back to gloomy skies and sleet at the moment but it was a lovely brief moment that reminds me Winter will pass. Glad you like the costume. Bx

  1. Brilliant Beth, you would never know you were a costume designer!!! 😉
    It is a big ask of the school though isn’t it, what about the parents who can’t make a costume and can’t afford £30 for one day!
    He does look great though and obviously takes the role very seriously. 🙂
    Thanks for the two blasts from the past, S & G and Adam Ant!!!
    Vivienne x

    • Thanks Vivienne and yes, I think it’s a big ask when it’s something you can’t easily get hold of. We get asked all the time to send the kids in ‘fancy dress’ for charity events etc, which is fine but I agree it’s a big ask to provide a specific costume for just 1 day for those who can’t afford to buy or who find it hard to cobble something together. Glad you liked the music memories 🙂

  2. Hey Beth, the costumes are great! F looks like he’s taking the role very seriously!

    Adam Ant – that was a blast from the past and a reminder I’m off to see them in concert later this year!!!! A friend of a friend is promoting their tour!!!!

  3. I am so with you Beth…we used to get the same note home asking for characters in costume on a pretty regular basis..I think the Tudor Co could see you all coming! Aside from my moans I do think you have made the most brilliant outfit for your son (and what a lucky friend too) and your attention to detail is fab! F is certainly a more handsome Prince Charming than Adam Ant ever was! Glad you enjoyed the process in the end.
    Jane x

  4. Wow – impressive! He looks the business – I love his poses! Mind you, getting a free sheep with the Tesco outfit sounded a good deal;)

    • The sheep rocks, it goes to bed with my youngest each night so I’m getting my monies worth. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Your tudor boy looks fab Beth, he could walk straight into a part in a costume drama! I have to confess I played my Prince Charming LP (showing my age here at the mention of LPs) until it warped. I LOVED Adam and the Ants but Stand and Deliver has a special place in my heart, thanks for the reminder! x

    • I’m with you Jane that Stand and Deliver was THE song. Saying that I always think of Diana Dors when I think of Prince Charming, what was all that about? 😉

      • She was, all dressed in pink and looking quite plump I seem to remember. Think it was her last ‘on film’ performance (if arm crossing counts as performance). She was a star. Going to have to youtube the video now just for the memory 🙂

  6. Those are certainly great outfits. I’m just glad we haven’t had that particular surprise sprung on us.( yet. )On another note have been meaning to contact you to says thanks for the extra freebies I received as part of the giveaway last month. Fab!

  7. I’ve been anticipating sunshine with a mix of delight and dread……I just know my windows are going to show me up!
    So pleased you are having a good day.
    The costume is wonderful. I’m quite sure full sleeves has to be a good thing – definitely for a menacing pirate.
    I made bat and jaguar costumes for Angus when he was in nursery to wear on the Festival float. I think the bat was for a night-time theme and the jaguar for a zoo theme. They still get worn lots by both him and Islay.

    • Oh I’d love to see the bat and jaguar costumes, especially the jaguar. I must admit, I quite fancy a big sleeved shirt myself for flouncing around in, might actually make one but no idea when I’d wear it! Bethx

    • Thank you Regina, but you can knit, despite my Gran trying to teach me when I was younger I never got beyond a basic square so I’m always equally impressed by the beautiful things you make 🙂

  8. Vikings…I just love the little boy! And what a wonderful work – I am sure yours will be the most handsome little Tudors (or whatever is the right word!) for that day! They’re so lucky to have such a skilled mom!

    Happy sewing!


    • Kids are bonkers aren’t they? We had to pretend we were rowing the car to school like a ‘Viking Ship’ I still can’t see what this has to do with British Tudor Kings and Queens??! Bethx

  9. What an excellent outfit-well done! I’m keeping my head down for the approach of World Book Day. It always strikes fear (and the complete loss of memory of any of our favourite books) into me! I shall keep a close eye here for top tips!

    • I was really impressed how much effort everyone made, I assume that this must happen each year and lots of parents have second and third children at the school so can re-use the outfits. I know we have Victorian day in a couple of years but I can pull out my Vintage clothing for that one!

  10. wow he looks great! We had a similar thing this year but ours were meant to be Victorian. I just borrowed an outfit from another school, ha.

    I’m in awe that you can make outfits that do look like what they’re meant to look like. I’m a big fan of things like ‘project runway’ and it never ceases to amaze me how people can just buy normal flat material and then create wearable items in no time at all. I know I sound daft, but I just couldn’t do it.

    You are right though, I’m sure that shirt would have gone down very well in the 80’s pop world,
    c x

    • Thanks 🙂 I was taught well in pattern cutting and construction so I guess I have a pretty decent start but it was also fun, it’s ages since I made a ‘proper’ period costume. I’m hoping to cobble something for Victorian day (which will be in a couple of years) as I have quite a lot of period clothing from that time, sadly mostly girls clothing but there are a few men’s bits in there as well. Bethx

  11. Beth, your sewing is just beautiful! And I am always in awe of your organised approach to making – I love seeing the pics of birds in a row 🙂 Very cool costumes too.

    • Thanks 🙂 I am surrounded by mess right now so not feeling all that organised – lol! Best make some tidy piles, then I’ll feel better 😉 Thanks for dropping by.

  12. Hello – I have just discovered your blog as I desperately search for a Elizabethan doublet pattern for a costume my boy (aged 10) is after for school! He’s going to be Francis Drake! I want to make one just like the one you made! Did you draw up your own pattern here – looks like you’re very clever! – or did you buy one? If so, can you let me where you got it?

    • Hi Miranda, I’m afraid I drew up my own pattern and sadly didn’t keep a copy! Really sorry, I’m not even sure of any links/recommendations to help you as I trained as a costume designer so didn’t search for patterns, just cut one as I’m already trained to do that. Good luck with your search and sorry to be of so little help. Beth

  13. Hi Beth – yes, I trained to do that too (as a costume maker) but it was so many moons ago that I’m not sure I could do it now. I’ll give it a go though! Many thanks all the same Miranda

    • Hi Miranda, for me it was also many moons ago and I haven’t worked in costume for nearly 15 years but really enjoyed having a go and dragging out all my old notes. I did just check my bookshelf and I have a book called ‘The Tudor Tailor’ which is by Nina Mikhaila and Jane Malcolm-Davis (who was at college at the same time as me, partly why I bought the book) it has all the info you need to cut for that period and would be a great ‘reminder’ of how to pattert cut if you feel like parting with your pennies. I didn’t own it at the time I made my tudor boy costume but it would have been a great help. Beth 🙂

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  15. Wow, just wow.
    My kids school have also arranged a Tudor day. I have two children in he same class and (stupidly) offered to help my friend with her two!
    This so inspiring, the instruction sheet sent home was very boring!!! But as I too tend to over think things and then get in a massive muddle, your ideas shold rein me in enough to get done by the end of month…. Fingers crossed.

    • Hi Vicky, I’m so glad you’ve found this useful, I realise on re-reading the post (it is the most popular one on my blog!) that I didn’t actually incude many tips. My top ones are (for girls) to make the skirts and apron as long as possible and to use button elastic (with a button sewn on, hope that makes sense but reply if you need more detail) on the waists of the skirts so you can easily make them larger – I figure most schools have a Victorian day down the line and this way the skirt and apron can be used again for that. The boys costume has been worn over and over, most recently for world book day for my youngest boy (who went as Tom from Beast Quest) and also for the youngest’s Tudor day at school. I’ve just today finished a Viking costume for the oldest for Viking day next week – I figured that would also be worn over and over so was worth making! (I confess I normally buy something as making can be expensive and time consuming). Good luck, Beth.

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    • I no longer have the costume (my son is now 14!!! – how did that happen!) so I gave it away some years ago but from looking at the photos it’s a curve, cut on the bias. I imagine I used Janet Arnold as my research and then cut a pattern to fit my son – if you google her name and Tudor mens’ costume you will probably come up with quite a few hits and (hopefully) a pattern you can use for copying – her patterns are drawn on a grid so you can re-size them. I’m sorry I can’t help more – I always wish I’d posted a photo of the pattern as this post gets a lot of interest but I’m afraid back then I made lots of things for the boys and I was always too busy.

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