|Trevelyan's Miscellany, 1602.|
I should point out that I have never made children's clothing or men's clothing before; I've only altered men's and children's clothing. I also didn't have an Elizabethan boy's costume pattern! Luckily, my nephew's birthday was in June and Faire didn't begin until September, so I had all summer for research and sewing. I knew I wanted to make his costume as historically accurate as possible -- not that my nephew would care, but I care because I'm a historian and my "name" is on it -- without breaking the bank or making my nephew die in layers of heavy wool. I found some nice linen and cotton-linen blend fabric at JoAnn's that I thought would make him a good shirt, doublet and breeches, without being too hot. The pattern was harder to come by; all the patterns I was seeing in the store had a different look than I wanted: I was going for simple country boy in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, not knight-in-shining-armor or mini-henry-the-8th. A friend of mine who was in the Society for Creative Anachronism has a copy of the book _The Tudor Tailor_ and offered to lend it to me for taking notes and making copies of the scaled patterns in the back. I jumped at the chance and I'm glad I did!
|My nephew in his costume|
I didn't have space to set up my sewing machine at home, so I ended up sewing the whole thing by hand, with French seams on the shirt, and overcast seams on the doublet and breeches because of all the extra fabric in the seams. He wore the costume with tall black socks and plain black sneakers (from the women's section at Target ... shhh!) and looked really good, if I do say so myself!
I didn't end up being able to make him a hat (which his costume really needs), and because I had to let his breeches out at the last minute, they need a few extra buttons and buttonholes, instead of the safety pins that held them on him all day, but basically, my nephew has a pretty good Elizabethan costume! I'm especially proud of the fit of the doublet, which I was nervous about. My nephew grew so that I couldn't put buttons and buttonholes on it (not enough overlap at the center front), so I sewed ties on to keep the front closed, and it was fine. He likes the costume, wanted to enter the costume contest with it (unfortunately we missed the entry time and only got to see the end), and got a lot of good comments from other people at Faire. I consider it a success! Now ... to make a costume for his brother and sister ...