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cl-Elzabethan-msg - 5/25/13


Clothing of Elizabethan England. Pattern sources.


NOTE: See also the files: Elzabethn-Gwn-art, codpieces-msg, clothing-books-msg, cl-Anglo-Saxn-msg, corsets-msg, hoops-msg, hose-msg, ruffs-msg, underwear-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: ewright at convex.com (Edward V. Wright)

Date: 16 Oct 91 23:17:37 GMT

Organization: CONVEX Computer Corporation, Richardson, Tx., USA


Well, there are indeed people interested in sources

to confirm the period use of pockets, so...


The best source on this subject is Janet Arnold's

Patterns of Fashion, Vol. III: The Cut and Construction

of Clothes for Men and Women c. 1560-1620.  Arnold shows

photographs and detailed pattern reconstructions for

nearly all the surviving garments from this period.

There are examples of pre-1600 trunk hose and pluderhosen

with pockets.  There is also a pair of venetian hose, or

venetian breeches, which have pockets in the seems at the

side. These date from 1615-1620; however, I see no reason

to doubt that earlier Venetians would have had pockets also,

since other types of hosen clearly did.  There is also a

*doublet* with a pocket: It is the leather doublet worn by

Nils Sture when he was murdered in Upsula Castle in 1567.

The doublet has a short skirt that covers the lacing strip

for the points that attached the pluderhosen, with a pocket

set into the front of the skirt on the righthand side.  The

pocket is covered by a flap that is closed by three small

buttons which match the buttons that close the front of this

doublet. There is a matching flap on the opposite side, but

no pocket underneath it.  (I am currently making a copy of this



Arnold also quotes a story from John Bulwer's "Anthropometamorphosis:

Man Transform'd or the Artificial Changling" (1653) referring to

an earlier time whne "the Law was in force against wearing Bayes

stuffed in their Breeches."  A man with "breeches very full" was

arrested and brought before a judge, where he "drew out of his

breeches a paire of Sheets, two Table Cloaths, ten Napkings, foure

Shirts, a Brush, a Glass, and a Combe, Night-caps, and other things...

saying... your Highnesse may understand... I have no safer a store-house,

these pockets do serve me for a roome."


A similar story is told by a period song, a recording of which was

brought to dance class some weeks ago.  The song, whose title I

unfortunately do not know, tells the humorous story of a man who

believed his breeches were full of devils: it turned out that the

breeches, in which the man stored cheese, had become infested with

rats. :-)  The breeches in both these stories were probably trunk

hose, a highly padded style popular in the second half of the 1500's.


In "A Yorkshire Tragedy," an Elizabethan play of uncertain authorship

sometimes attributed to William Shakespeare, the character Sam enters

in scene 1 with "an almanack in my pocket, and three ballads in my

codpiece." This by itself would not be very strong evidence, however,

since the Oxford English Dictionary says the word pocket first meant a

bag or sack.  The example usage given for 1570, however -- "He bare always

about hym, in hys bosom or pocket, a little booke contayning the Psalmes of

Dauid." -- might be taken to indicate a doublet with a breast pocket.


A pair of wide breeches, called galligascons after their origin in Gascony,

made in England for the Court fool in 1575, were recorded in Egerton

Manuscript #2806 as having "pocketts, poyntes & a peire of netherstockes

to them."  It seems unlikely that pouches would have been recorded as

part of the breeches.


There is also strong negative evidence that comes from examining

Elizabethan-era portraits: pouches are seldom, if ever visible. It

seems reasonable to assume, then, that the men who wore these costumes

had some hidden means of carrying small personal articles.  Interestingly

enough, the only leg wear in Janet Arnold's book that does not have

pockets is the pair of pluderhosen worn by Nils Sture, who had a pocket

in his doublet.  Based on this evidence, it seems that, from about 1560,

a man's suit that did not have a pocket somewhere would be the

exception rather than the rule.



From: ewright at convex.com (Edward V. Wright)

Date: 18 Oct 91 20:13:59 GMT

Organization: CONVEX Computer Corporation, Richardson, Tx., USA


After posting the requested information on pockets in Elizabethan men's

clothing, the question occured to me, "Did women have pockets also?"

So, last night I opened up Janet Arnold's book and started looking

at the female costumes.  Sure enough, there is a skirt or petticoat

in the Nationalmussel in Copenhagen that has a slit in the side for

a pocket (although the pocket bag is now missing).  This particular

skirt dates from c. 1615; however, women's fashions changed slowly

during the early 17th Century, so it seems reasonable to think they

might have been used before 1600.  


Another possibility is pockets in women's doublets.  These were virtually

indistinguishable from male doublets not only to modern eyes (the

one example Arnold shows was originally misidentified as a boy's

doublet) but to Elizabethans as well:  There are numerous period

writings commenting on this fact, one of the most famous being

Stubbes's "Anatomie of Abuses."  Since a small minority of men's

doublets did have pockets (as proved by the surviving specimen

which belong to Nils Sture), some women's doublets may have had

them as well.



From: j_mohler at wmc34c.wmc.edu (Jason)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How do I make a ruff?

Date: 8 Jun 1996 03:48:55 GMT

Organization: Western Montana College, Dillon MT


My wife suggests you check out the book "Elizabethan Costuming for the Years

1550-1580" by Janet Winter & Carolyn Savoy published by Othertimes Publications

in Orlando, California.  It has a whole section on different kinds of ruffs.


Erik Blackwood



From: urthmomma at aol.com (UrthMomma)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 09 Aug 2001 03:53:49 GMT

Subject: Re: Elizabethan on the Cheap




The health of your finances depends on what class of an Elizabethan persona you

wish to portray. A courtier's outfitting can break the budget, but if you wish

to portray a man at arms or tradesman, the dress is much more modest : linen

and wool and leather shoes. Sumptary laws were in effect at the time, although

it was a mark of status to afford to pay the tax.


Linen shirt, woolen hose, woolen breeches or slops, a leather jerkin a woolen

cap and leather shoes is the basic ensemble.  Do a Google search for "

Kentwell" "Tudor" and you will get a number of hits for  a Tudor reenactment

with over 200 in costume at an English country house. All clothing is handsewn

and period fabrics. Lots of school groups go through and take lots of pictures

which end up on the Web.  Not  a primary source, but great for getting a

general idea of what the non gentry class wore in the 16th century.


Ellin Richardson



From: "james rich" <7152 at cableone.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan on the Cheap

Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 16:14:30 -0500


Inexpensive Elizabethan *can* be done.  A few years ago, at one of our

events, we had a competition category "Elizabethan Garb: under $20.00".  It

had to be documented not only as to style, but as to cost. ( Reciepts,

etc. )  We had several beautiful entries.  I can tell you that most found

their fabric at Thrift Stores or bargain tables, or cannibilized other

clothing. Ingenuity is everything.



"Learn from the mistakes of others.  You won't live long enough to make them

all yourself."


Robert A. Uhl <ruhl at 4dv.net> wrote in message

news:slrn9n3ulk.8so.ruhl at latakia.dyndns.org...

> Well, I've been playing a Saxon for awhile now.  Mundane

> considerations have lead me to shave my beard, leaving naught but a

> goatee and mustache.  Since this is more appropriate to an Elizabethan

> than to a Saxon, I've been thinking of putting together the

> appropriate garb therefor.

> The problem is that every instance of Elizabethen garb I have seen has

> been extraordinarily complex and expensive.  Granted, that is the

> nature of the beast.  OTOH, it would be unpleasant were I not able to

> have at least _some_ of the leeway I have when cutting tunics &

> trousers.

> So my questions are these:

> 1) what's a good site for basic Elizabethan patterns?

> 2) how cheaply cna one put together such garb?

> 3) what hints/tips/advice can one give towards this end?

> I want to do the style as right as possible.  I also want to be able

> to buy food, and have time for other things.  So I am in something of

> a quandry.

> The poss. of having an immense codpiece, of course, doesn't enter into

> the equation at all:-)

> --

> Robert Uhl <ruhl at 4dv.net>



From: "Tanya Guptill (Mira)" <tguptill at teleport.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan on the Cheap

Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 22:32:18 -0700


> "Robert A. Uhl" wrote:

> 1) what's a good site for basic Elizabethan patterns?


Try http://www.vertetsable.com/ --- it just keeps expanding and getting

better and better.


Mira Silverlock

An Tir



From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan on the Cheap

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 17:50:55 -0400


Margospatterns.com just released one heck of an elizabethan

pattern set - 3 different ones covering different portions of

garb. Well worth the money and impeccably researched.




From: Mary Temple [mtemple at primemedical.com]

Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 1:08 PM

To: bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: [Bryn-gwlad] Elizabethan Persona


>I am looking at merchant class.  I have champagne tastes, so I tend to like

>some richer fabrics.  LOL  I also have questions about the heat here.

>Luckily, in Germany, we were able to wear heavy (heavenly) fabrics because

>it was cold (sometimes extremely so), so I'm going to have to rethink some

>of my outfits.

>Lady Grace


You might try the Elizabethan Costuming page as well -



Drea's done an amazing job with it.





From: Lord Phelippe Descors [descors at sbcglobal.net]

Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 12:44 AM

To: Ansteorra

Subject: [Ansteorra] Fw: Elizabethan Gentleman's Wardrobe Pattern:


I haven't seen this on the list so this is forwarded from the Rialto.


        Phelippe Descors


"Margo Anderson" <margo at margospatterns.com> wrote:

> We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting advance orders

> for the Elizabethan Gentleman's Wardrobe Pattern. Featuring the same

> quality, content, and support as the already reknowned Elizabethan

> Lady's Ensemble, this pattern will include patterns for doublets,

> jerkins, slops, Venetian breeches, canions, and shirts.  A 100+ page

> instruction manual will also be included. Expected to ship in

> November.

> To see technical drawings and to order, go to

> http://www.margospatterns.com



Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 15:38:37 -0400

From: Devra <devra at aol.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Janet Arnold #4 is now ready! - commercial plug

To: ICG-D at yahoogroups.com, jeanine at woollycat.net, cloak at ziplink.net,

        md at mdwordsmith.com, ecmami at hotmail.com, sca-cooks at ansteorra.org,

        ostgardr at panix.com


The new Janet Arnold (#4 - Cut & construction of linen shirts, smocks,

neckwear, headwear and accessories for men and women c. 1540 - 1660) is

now available!


Cost is $49.95 plus $3 postage.


128 pp, 14"x10", 433 color photos, 178 b/w photos & line drawings; 86

b/w patterns and detail.


Available (as soon as I get my shipment) from:


Poison Pen Press

627 E 8th St

Bklyn NY 11218


or you can call me at 718-853-8121


Devra (and they told me December! Of course, it would make a lovely

Yule gift...)



Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 10:59:33 -0400

From: Marie Stewart <maricelt at gmail.com>

To: AEthelmearc List <discussion at aethelmearc.org>,      Atlantia -

        MerryRose <atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: [MR] Research Resource: the wardrobe warrants of Queen

        Elizabeth I


Drea Leed has finished her republishing of the inventories of Queen

Elizabeth. She just released her work on the wardrobe warrants of Queen

Elizabeth I, and has published them in their entirety, in a searchable





From the MEDTC Discussion list --

"The Warrants: MS Egerton 2806 (1568-1588)


Few monarchs of the past are as iconographically powerful as Queen Elizabeth

I. Gloriana. The Virgin Queen. With her halo of red hair, ropes of jewelry

and parade of fabulous gowns, she is defined by her clothing and accessories

to a greater extent than almost any other English ruler.

A fascination with her costume, and the dress of her era, has remained

through the 18th century, Victorian times, and to this very day. Many books

have been written about it, including the comprehensive and detailed

masterwork by Janet Arnold, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.


This book was based, in part, upon the extensive analysis of Queen

Elizabeth's wardrobe accounts, specifically upon the manuscript MS Egerton

2806 held by the British Library. Unfortunately, though Arnold had

transcribed the manuscript for her own use, it has never been

published...until now.


Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Uploaded holds the transcribed contents of MS

Egerton 2806: The complete record of what Queen Elizabeth's tailors made,

altered and bought between the years 1568 and 1588. I have spent the last

several years transcribing the manuscript from microfilm, proofing it, and

building a web database application that I have loaded it into, to

facilitate searching and browsing.


After much consideration, I have decided to make the manuscript freely

available online to other researchers, rather than publishing it in

hardbound form. My hope is to encourage and help others, across a wide range

of disciplines, who are doing research on the dress and material culture of

this area by making the text of these warrants available in easily

searchable and browsable form.


Areas of the site are still being improved. The glossary is being expanded

and fleshed out. Synonym searching, which makes it easier to search the

whimsically spelled accounts of 400 years ago, is being improved. In

addition I am currently working on transcribing additional wardrobe accounts

from 1588-1603, which I plan to add as they are finished."




Happy Hunting.




Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 17:16:27 -0400

To: "Atlantia"  <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>, "Atlantia?AnS"

        <Atlantia_AnS at yahoogroups.com>

From: Liz Clark <freya46 at gmail.com>

Subject: [EK] Fwd: [Ealdormere] Drea Leed publishes Elizabethan

        costume book online


Snagged this from SCAtoday via the Ealdormere list.




Costume historian Drea Leed has recently published the wardrobe inventories

of Queen Elizabeth I. Her work is available online in a searchable format.


Leed writes:

A fascination with her costume, and the dress of her era, has remained

through the 18th century, Victorian times, and to this very day. Many books have

been written about it, including the comprehensive and detailed masterwork by

Janet Arnold, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.


This book was based, in part, upon the extensive analysis of Queen

Elizabeth's wardrobe accounts, specifically upon the manuscript MS Egerton

2806 held by the British Library. Unfortunately, though Arnold had transcribed the manuscript for her own use, it has never been published...until now.

Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Uploaded holds the transcribed contents of MS

Egerton 2806: The complete record of what Queen Elizabeth's tailors made,

Altered and bought between the years 1568 and 1588. I have spent the last several years transcribing the manuscript from microfilm, proofing it, and building a web database application that I have loaded it into, to facilitate searching and browsing.





Date: Fri, 06 May 2011 16:12:55 +1000

From: "Tig" <tig at fastmail.com.au>

Subject: [Lochac] Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Uploaded

To: "Shambles" <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


New free search function for the wardrobe warrants of Queen Elizabeth I,

by Drea Leed, from Janet Arnold's transcription of the Egerton





and it works beautifully!  Try typing 'coif' for example...


~ Tig



From: countessdulcia at gmail.com

Subject: Re: {TheTriskeleTavern} Tudor Patterns

Date: December 14, 2011 7:35:22 AM CST

To: the-triskele-tavern at googlegroups.com


<<< And I just got Norris's "Tudor Costume and Fashion" which is a Dover Book. I'm reading up on Tudor myself--Anyone know how good a resource this is? >>>

You need to be very careful with all of Herbert Norris' costume books.  In spite of the modern publication dates in the front of the books and listed on websites like Amazon.com, Herbert Norris was a late 19th and early 20th century costume designer who died in 1950. He designed historically inspired theater costumes and stage sets for plays, films, and pageants.  He worked in an era when archaeologists simply were not interested in clothing remains and deposits.  


Unless the clothing remains were both expensive and mostly preserved, textiles found in archaeological digs were boxed up for looking at later (which rarely happened) or simply disposed of.  The 1959 excavation of the so called "Queen Arnegunde" grave by archaeologists Michel Fleury and Albert France-Lanord marked and important turning point in the treatment of textile remains because it was one of the first excavations where the archaeologists did make some attempts to study the textiles and draw some conclusions from them.  Of course, since this kind of study was in its infancy and they weren't really focusing on the textiles, a lot of the conclusions they drew (and published) have later been found to be partially (and sometimes fully) incorrect.  They also boxed up the textiles "for further study".  The cardboard boxes full of completely decayed and destroyed textile samples were found in a pile in Michel Fleury's non-climate controlled office after his death in 2002.  The boxes hadn't been opened since they were stacked 40+ years before.  New textile experts have been trying to glean more information from the scraps, but that's a different discussion.  =)


Back to Norris... His work was for the theatre and movies and his goal was to produce outfits that people of the time visually identified with the period in mind, but also found attractive in to their modern sensibilities.  If you think about what that means, the most obvious thing is that all figures are redrawn to the ideal figures of the time.  Think about Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra, or any other actress then or now.  They are more interested in being attractive and "sexy" than they are in really looking like they live in whatever period of history, and it shows in the costuming.  


He was also working for theatre construction techniques - how to replicate a look quickly and easily, NOT how it was actually done in period.  In general his diagrams are not only wasteful of fabric, they rarely really work to create a truly comfortable, long wearing, and properly fitting garment.  He also doesn't give enough pattern diagrams to help most beginners, and non-beginners should be beyond what he provides. Many times I have found his observations and suppositions about things to be not just incomplete but just plain wrong.  Then again, he wasn't worried about getting it "right", just how to make it look close enough.


He doesn't provide any photographs of original works of art - everything is redrawn  (which makes it secondary and tertiary sources at best), and if you put his re-drawings next to the originals you'll find that he not only changed the proportions of the figures (so that all the women look like they are wearing a Victorian or early 20th century corset and all the men are thin with broad shoulders and narrow waists!), but he changes many elements of the costumes and accessories as well.  He claims to base everything he says on period evidence, but he rarely provides the sources for that evidence.  He is also notorious for taking a few pieces of evidence that support his pet theories, ignoring other evidence, and drawing elaborate conclusions.  He is not clear about when and where his evidence stops and his suppositions begin though, so you have be careful.  I've heard it said that you just have to know where he is correct and then avoid using all the parts where he's not.  In my opinion, if you already know enough to know when he's correct and when he's not, you don't need his books, and if you don't know that much, you sure aren't gonna' figure it out by reading Norris.


On the other hand, Norris does have his uses.  I own the three books that apply to the SCA timeline (Ancient, Medieval, and Tudor).  I find that they are most useful when used as a tool for narrowing down when a particular fashion appeared, or for helping new people choose a period, by flipping through all the pictures.  On the other hand, I have a number of other books that are also really only useful for that as well (Racinet, Holkeboer, Hill & Bucknell, Braun & Schneider, etc... there are a lot of them!). What makes Norris more useful in that sense is that he spends time on the transitions from one fashion high point to the next, whereas most of the gloss sources only hit the fashion high points.  You can find the general period of something (as long as it's English, French or occasionally German or Spanish) and then know which of the better sources to look in, or the timeline of art you need to look at.


So... glean what you can from it, but check EVERYTHING against good sources.


Just my opinions based on my experience,





Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 05:10:30 +1000

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] 16thC book of costumes

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>







" illustrations in ink and watercolour of historical and contemporary

dress including a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England (b. 1533,

d. 1603) (f. 4r), with her royal arms (f. 1r).The subjects of the

drawings are:f. 1r: The royal arms of England, Scotland and Ireland at

the time of Elizabeth I.f. 4r: Portrait of Elizabeth I of England.f.

8v: Two Ancient Britons.f. 28r: Three men: an aristocrat, a knight and

a baron in dress of the 15th century. f. 29r: Two barons in dress of

the 16th century. f. 30r: Three men in robes of the Elizabethan era: a

Lord Mayor, an Alderman and a liveryman.f. 31r: Three man in robes of

the Elizabethan era: a member of the Parliament, a knight of the Order

of the Garter and a guardsman.f. 32r: Three Englishwomen in dress of

the 15th century: a rich burgher?s wife, a devout burgher?s wife, a

noblewoman. f. 33r: Four Englishwomen in dress of the Elizabethan era:

a wife of a citizen of London, a wife of a wealthy citizen of London,

a daughter of the London's citizen wife, and a country-woman.f. 34r:

Four inhabitants of Ireland in dress of the 16th century: a

noblewoman, a burgher's wife, and two wild Irishmen.f. 36r:



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org