Henry the Eight – Don’t be such a baby

2 (or 3 months) ago, when deciding on projects for Halloween (Elizabeth I for me) I realizes that this would be the first (of many?) costumes I would make for my baby, and that I really wanted it to be special.

So what would I dress my chubby redheaded infant as for his first Halloween…?

The answer came to me pretty fast:
Hernry VIII – of course

workshop_of_hans_holbein_the_younger_-_portrait_of_henry_viii_-_google_art_projectPortrait by Holbein d.y. and the one I used as reference for my baby costume.

I started by taking a close look at the inspiration/reference pic, and flipping through the pages of “The Tudor Tailor” I found what I needed.
img_1287Male Tudor outfit.

Then I hit the fabric store in search for some suitable fabrics.15451386_10211259297419846_1297395615_nLeft to right: Brown fake fur (stash), burgundy/red singel Jersey, grey/silver printed Jersey, white knitted leggings and golden trim.

Since this was to be a costume worn (once) by an infant I decided to make it as easy and wearable (read soft/comfy) as possible, using Jersey fabrics and omitting anything complicated (like slashes) or small/sharp (like beading and pearls).
I also decided it was totally acceptabel to cheat as much as possible ūüôā

My first move vas to get a pair of white leggings/tights from a well known clothing store. img_1271

Then it was time for the actual sewing.

I started with the body using a baby pattern I used previous and knew and liked. img_1266I stitched it up using my serger and a double needle on the edges.

The finished Body:img_2180I like that it is usable as a modern/regular piece on its own.

Next piece was the “skirt”, which was made from a lenght of fabric which I hemed and pleated to a elastic waistband.img_1291

The finished skirt:img_2171

Then it was time for the main piece – the cape

I cut a rektangel from the red fabric, folded it over cut it open at the front and pleated it at the shoulders. Then I stitched on some decoration.img_1261

The sleeves was made from rectangles stitched together, decorated and gathered at top and bottom. img_1264Ignore the wonkyness РI stitched this with my baby sleeping in the carrier on my belly, so not the best attention to detail.

Then I cut the fur collar from a piece of stash fabric.img_1269

img_1284Pining and stitching the fake fur to the cape.

The finished Cape:img_2182


Lastly I made a small hat/beret from a circle and a strip of black jersey. img_1310

The finished hat:img_2179

This was such a fun project and I really love how the little coat/cape came out.

and finaly

Here’s some photos of my own prince wearing the outfit:img_1718

img_1721“Eat all the things…”

And some pics with the two of us together (Elizabeth I and Henry VIII)img_1762



img_1827Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Elizabeth I – Photoshoot (Historic)

Before the first snow fell last week I manage to get some nice autumn photos of my new “Elizabeth I” Dress.

I’m wearing the Tudor/Elizabethian dress, on top of several layers of petticoats, bumpad and shift, and accessorized with ¬†the new partlet, ¬†french hood, an old neckruff and the amazing jewelry from “Evil and og“(link to blogpost). (Excuse the modern hair but its just impossible to get a nice center part with a short side bangs.)














img_1676 Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter

Elizabeth I – Construction part 3 – French Hood

The next thing that I needed to make to complete the Elizabethan look was some kick as headwear.
And what is more associated with this time period then the french hood.

Bildresultat f√∂r elizabeth french hoodElizabeth I in “power suit” and crazy perm – and some kind of french(isch) hood.

I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”, and “A Damsel in this Dress” great tutorial¬†for the construction.

Starting by cutting the fabric from the (by now VERY limited) scraps of the golden brocade I used for the dress, cotton sheet for lining and buckram.
img_0996 I used the version with the pointed font edge, to make it a it later in style then the regular ones you often see.

Then I stitched the millinery wire to the buckram and the brocade to the now even stiffer pieces. 14215737_10210265177447468_1049756619_oAttaching the outer fabric by stitching over the piece again and again.

Then I added the lining.img_1004

And steamed the pieces into shape. img_1025Side piece/headband seen form the side.

Despite careful measuring and testing of the pattern it ended up a bit to small, causing me to eliminate the seam allowance and stitching the the back seam edge to edge. img_1026Which I then covered with another scrap piece of fabric.

Then it was time to make the billiment, using plastic and golden pearls. img_1085

img_1087Attaching the string of pearls to the edge of the cresent.

Another piece of billiment was pleated using satin ribbon and attached o the front edge of the hood.img_1303

Then I added the cresent to the baseimg_1305

and stitched the lining/bag to the back.img_1309 Here you can also see covering of the piecing at the back.

img_1306The hood from the inside

img_1300From the side.

The last thing to do was to make and attach the veil.
I used some nice black velvet cut almost in the shape of a sleeve, and attached to the back of the hood. img_1273In case you wonder, <= This is how I made almost the whole hood (carrying my baby on my body)

The Finished Hood:







(Worn with Elizabethan dress, partlet, jewelry and neck ruff)






What: A 1550s French Hood

Pattern:¬†French Hood from “The Tudor Tailor”.

Fabric & Notions: Scraps of golden brocade, cotton lining, and buckram, 1 m satin ivory ribbon, thread, 0,5 m black velvet, 2 m millinery wire, ivory and golden pearls.

Time & Cost: About 5 hours (its almost completely made by hand) and about 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final Thoughts: I LOOOVE it! ūüôā
I think this is one of my best millinery work so far. It look so nice and authentic and I had so much fun making it.

Elizabeth I – Construction Part 1

As mentioned in my previous post (Elizabeth I – costume analysis) I’ve wanted to make this dress for years, and now I finally have.

As usual I started the project looking at pictures trying to decide in which direction to go for the different elements of this costume. I already had the fabric (a golden/brown polyester furniture brocade) I got for a steal quite some time ago.14182251_10210265184327640_270599663_nInspiration and fabric

img_0440A quick conceptual drawing.

I used the pattern for the “Dorothea Body” from “The Tudor Tailor” for the bodice and cut a mock-up from a plain cotton sheet.img_0303

I added some bones and a plastic ruler down the front, and put it on.
The it was really good (ignore the bad lacing at center back), and I felt it would give me the flat, conical shape I wanted.img_0329

Then I cut the fabric carefully placing the motifs in the perfect spots for each piece. img_0333 Cutting the sleeves, making sure the pattern placement matches on both left to right sleeve.

14247550_10210265180327540_1516791240_o All fabric cut and ready to go

As usual I started with the skirt, pinning and sewing the three widths of fabric together to a giant tube. Carefully matching the motifs at the seams.

img_1411Not perfect, but close enough.

Then I pleated and pinned the upper edge to my waist measurement, leaving an opening at center back.  img_0437

I then stitched a piece of cotton ribbon to the top as a waistband, sewed on a hook and eye and put the whole thing on my dress-form (over bumpad and several petticoats, of course) to pin the hem. img_0987 I cut and stitched the hem using 15 cm wide pieces of cotton fabric to the inside.

Then it was time for the bodice.
I started by marking and stitching the boning channels to the interlining and lining, after basting hem together.img_0400

img_0401Lots of channels to give the right shape to the bodice.

 I added the bones made from plastic zip ties. img_1024

Then I stitched the shoulder-straps together and pinned the wrong sided of the fashion fabric to the interning, and stitched the neckline together. img_1029

After turning and pressing the neckline, it was time to stitch the sides together.  img_1052 As you can see I did a small miscalculation and had to let it out a tad to get it to fit.

I continued by adding lacing grommets to the back. img_1054I choose the golden ones to match the fabric.

Once the bodice was “ready” I started on the sleeves.
After some experimenting with cover buttons I decided to skip the detail of placate and buttons on the sleeves and just stitched them together as they where.img_1057The sleeves stitched and ready (one is turned inside out).

Then it was once more time to try it on.
img_1061 img_1069
I’m so pleased with the fit and shape, and I love the placement of the big motif on he front.img_1062The sleeve looks pretty good to even though it’s just pinned on.

To get he full view¬†of the dress I put the whole thing on the dressform.img_1049Starting to look like something ūüôā

I finished the bodice by hand-stitching the lover edge, adding the sleeves and making a modesty placket to go behind the lacing.img_1336Last few stitches…

And lastly I want to acknowledge the different definition of Heroes I think of when making (and wearing) this costume:

* The first and foremost Hero must of course be the late queen Elizabeth I, who made a such big impression in history, and showing that women are just as capable as men at whatever they try their hands on. I love powerful and inspirational females.

* Then I want to thank the amazing people who dedicate their life and work at researching historical fashions and styles and who make their finds available to everyone who’s interested in re-creating these fabulous garments (of course I’m thinking of Waugh, Arnold, Friendship, Bradfield, Mikhaila/Malcolm-Davies¬†and many many more).

* I also want to celebrate all the amazing teachers who inspire us all to learn and grow in what we do. For me I count my college sewing teacher Lillian (who I still refer to when life gets hard), my mentors and co-workers at the theater atelier who taught me¬†to have fun sewing and don’t be so afraid¬†of doing it wrong. I also thinking of all off you great seamstresses and bloggers out there who constantly inspires me to push myself skill-wise and to try new things. I

* An lastly I want to give a cheer to all the “new to this” sewists and costume enthusiasts, and to say that you don’t have to make everything perfect (or historical) cause sometimes you just want a pretty dress ūüôā
It might take a few years, but someday you will make that dress you fantasied about for so long.

The finished dress:img_1397



















Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 10/2015 РHeroes

How does it fit into the challenge: This dress is a dedication to lots and lots of strong and capable women, and men, but most to the one and only Queen Elizabeth I.

What:¬†a 1550s dress inspired by¬†the movie “Elizabeth” (1998)

Pattern:¬†Bodice pattern remade from “The Dorothea bodice” from “The Tudor Tailor”, the sleeves was copied from my¬†previous mentor at the theater atelje, the skirt is basically just 3 pieces of fabric sewn together.

Fabric: 4,5 m of golden polyester furniture brocade/damast, 1 m white cotton for lining and interning the bodice.

Notions: Thread, grommets, 3 m of cotton cord for lacing, 20-30 zip-ties heavy for boning, hook and eye and 1 m cotton ribbon for the skirts waist.

How Historical Accurate: Not at all I’m afraid. The fabric is modern both in content and looks, the bodice pattern are okey for the period but the back lacing (bot back placement and the use of metal grommets) is all wrong and I think the sleeves are wrong to. And the fact that I stitched it all up by machine and using¬†modern techniques don’t make it any better. I would say 2/10.

Time: About 15 hours (spread into countless short sessions over 2,5 months)

Cost: About 500 Sek (55 usd)

First worn: Late October for photos

Final Thoughts: I love this dress, even though its far from historical accurate I think it does look really good (especially with a more historical styling) and I liked wearing it. My only concern is that I need to make something about the way the bodice point wrinkles. and I definitely need to anchor the bodice and skirt together, with hooks and eyes, for my next wearing.

Jewelry fit for a Queen

Earlier this year, when planing one of the major costumes (If you follow me on Instagram you already know of which costume I speak) I wanted to attempt this year, I stumbled upon the perfect accessories in an Etsy shop:

Namely this set of Tudor jewelry.
14191863_10210265175087409_1931442235_oPhoto from “Evil-Ogis-GarbRecycled-Rockstah”

Not only did it include all the pieces I ever dreamed of (ok, minus a ginormous tiara ;-)), but you was also to chose the color of the pearls, metal and chokade pieces. Yay!

14215307_10210265175567421_107739505_oPhoto from “Evil-Ogis-GarbRecycled-Rockstah”

There was Sooo many colors I wanted (imagine Ruby red, Smaragd green or beautiful Amathyst), but I finally settled for a ivory pearl, gold metal with a auburn chockade.

In my hurry to order I accidentally hit the “Buy” button twice. Ops!
But before I had time to send an email explaining my mistake, I got a message asking if I indeed meant to buy two sets or if they should cancel one of the orders. Talk about costumer service ūüôā

Then all there was to wait…

14203439_10210265181327565_285637099_o¬†…for the package.

It arrived in a lovely box14233846_10210265177007457_1855676599_o

with all my Tudor goodies insideimg_0734


Lets take a closer look:

Bust piece:img_0722This was the piece that I coveted most of them all. And it looks exactly as I imaged.

img_0725Lovely pendant at the center.

img_0727It have a chain in back for size adjustments which is really smart. My only wish is for the hanging front piece to be a little bit longer, like you see in portraits of the time, but I get that that would give it another price.





The complete set:
img_0707You could never wear to much jewelry, right?

I’m so pleased with the set and love the color and quality of all the pieces. And think hey look great and really authentic for the period.
And just the other day I took them for a real test drive…

*I don’t get any financial (or other) gain for promoting this site or its products, but are simply a happy customer, who like to show things I like on my blog ūüôā

A Yellow 16th century Doublet

I’ve been trying to slow things down a bit lately.
The intense stress level at work (planing 3 big theater premiers in 3 weeks), combined with the pressure to whip something new up every fortnight are beginning to take its toll. I’m always tired and have lost some of the joy I’ve used to find in sewing. I realize I need to slow down and let some of the self imposed pressure of my back.

So for the first time I’m actually proud to admit I’m late finishing the HSF nr 17 – Yellow. (and probably will be late with a couple more upcoming challenges this fall).

Anyhow here is the write-up on the challenge.

I had several alternative ideas for this challenge (regency spencer, open robe or pelise just to mention a few), but the moment I found this lovely yellow wool at the medieval fair, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

A 16th century Doublet.IMG_6562Pattern and design idea from “The Tudor Tailor”.

So I put my Elizabethan corset and bum-roll on my dress-form and started to work on the pattern.
IMG_2307 IMG_2306

And made the mock-up.
IMG_2313 IMG_2321
I needed to take it in a bit at the center back and make some smaller alteration to the collar.

Then I cut the pieces in cotton (for lining) and the yellow wool.IMG_2325

The piece for the peplum was basically a semi circle. IMG_2360

Then I cut and pad stitched wadding to the front pieces.IMG_2426Unfortanly the minimal stitches shows through as small dots on the outside.IMG_2428Close-up of the stitches.

I also put the padding in the sleeves, following the instructions from “The Tudor Tailor”.¬†IMG_2500

Then I started on the interlining for the bodice front.IMG_2430Using white cotton twill, and heavy linen to give it shape.

And did the same for the collar.IMG_2431

I stitched the shoulder rolls, and stuffed them with leftover padding.IMG_2433

Then I basted all the pieces together, and put it on my dress form to get an idea of how it would look.IMG_2471Pretty nice, right.

Time to try it on.
I didn’t like it at all.
Even though it fit pretty good, I felt really boxy and didn’t get the tapered look I was after.

So I decided to get rid of the padding.IMG_2499That meant taking the interlining of and unpicking all the pad-stitching on both bodice and sleeves. I also needed to redo the boning chanels in the interlining.

After that was done everything went pretty smooth.
I stitched the bodice together, added the collar, the boning, put the sleeves in and attached the lining.IMG_2800Pinning the sleeve lining to the arm hole.

Finally I unpicked all the basting thread and stitched on the hook and eyes close to the front edge.IMG_2802
















Just the facts:

Challenge: 17 Yellow.

What: a 16th century women doublet.

Pattern: I draped my own, using “Elizabethan Doublet pattern” from “the Tudor Tailor” as a guide.

Fabric: 1, 4 m of yellow wool, 1,4 m of white cotton for lining, 1,4 of twill and 0,5 m of heavy linen for interlining.

Notions: Thread, 3 m of plastic whalebone, 13 pairs of hooks and eyes.

How historical accurate: So so, the look and material are kind of okey (cotton wasn’t used until later, but I didn’t had any linen to use for the lining), but the wool are pretty accurate. The entire garment ate hand sewn but I’m not sure about the historic techniques so I just winged it.

Time: About 30 hours

Cost: I would say 200 Sek (32 Usd).

First worn: End of September for photos.

Book Review – the Tudor Tailor

As this was one of my first costuming books, I must admit I’m a bit biased to this book.

I bought it about¬†6 years ago when I first started to get interested in historical costumes. And since I had fallen in love with the beautiful costumes in the movie “The Other Boleyn Girl”, and later “The Tudors” i had decided I needed to make myself one of the dresses.

The attempt was a futile one (which you can read more about here), but it did spark my intress in historical costumes, so I wouldn’t say it was a total waist.

But on to the book:

The Tudor Tailor by Ninya Mikhaila And Jane Malcolm-Davies.



The book includes lots of interesting information about the actual fashions and clothing construction of the 16th century.
The firs 50 pages describes the styles, fabrics and methods used during the 16th hundreds, and gives you a great over view of the different garments and accessories needed to complete the costume.


It also contains lots of patterns for both men (9)¬†and women (12), and have a nice spread of “pore peoples” dress and court dress alike, besides underwear (9), outerwear (6) and headwear (14).



I love the wide range of patterns in the book. which give you an opportunity to design and combine your own costume from the different styles, with the help of the informative research pages. IMG_6558

And every pattern can be altered to several different styles and variations.
Like the the “Henrican Kirtle” who can be made and worn in lots of different ways.IMG_6560

sidan-sol I used the pattern for a front laced kirtle, with straight back, and no sleeves.


As far as I can tell (and I’m in no way an expert) the patterns are good, and represent the Tudor and Elizabethan era in a nice and accurate way.¬†IMG_65672013-02-09 15.46.02My corset‘s made from the “Dorthean bodice” pattern.

The patterns are easy to scale – using either¬†the scanning/printer system, or drawing it up on paper. (I’ve tried both)

IMG_6562This one is my latest project – which I draped insted of scaled.

I also find the instructions, which follows with each pattern, a good way to get help with the accurate way to assemble the clothing.IMG_1912


Although good, the¬†instructions may be a bit to hard to follow, if you’re not used to historic (16th century) clothing constructions.

I had a pretty hard time doing my first “French hood”.IMG_6569I¬†didn’t understand what a lots of the words ment, or how the pieces was supposed to¬†go together.

The second was much easier, even though it ended up a bit to small.CIMG3175

Would I recommend it?


I think this book is wonderful, and should be in ever theater seamstress or historical re-enactors bookshelf.

I personally have had lots of use of it and hopes to someday make all the patterns in the book.