Magpiecostumer's Blog

The 1544 Princess Mary gown, part 1

Mary02 My current costuming project is a gown based on this 1544 portrait of Princess Mary, in blue and gold, the colours of my college (The College of St Aldhelm). Construction is mainly based on The Tudor Tailor but as I have less than a month to complete this outfit (My deadline is the second week in July) I am taking a couple of machine shortcuts instead of following the instructions exactly.

The Kirtle bodice so far

So far the kirtle bodice is about halfway finished. The main structure is essentially finished but the armholes need binding and I need to sew eyelets, (I know from experience that eyelets will be the most time consuming part of the process) after that will come the kirtle skirt before I can move on to the gown.

I decided to base my gown on this portrait because it shows sleeves lined with velvet rather than fur, using velvet means I can continue the gown’s blue and gold theme throughout the whole gown, which would have been broken up if I used the more typical Tudor option of fur (as I don’t know of any animal whose fur is naturally either blue or yellow).

The photos to the right show the kirtle bodice, the main fabric is a delustred satin and it is lined with a red canvas for added support. I will sew the eyelets before I start on the skirt as its much easier to sew eyelets when you don’t have an extra 3 or 4 metres of fabric to fight every time you turn the bodice.

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