A Tudor Tyrant

I think I’m being exploited.  Perhaps it’s happening to you too.  Are you a sewist?  Do you have a daughter?!  Does the daughter imagine a garment then ask that you produce it in time for her to wear it to an occasion in her busy social calendar?  And so you do, working a right medieval slog till your eyes go googly in the midnight hour and you’re so cold that it’s become futile to even think about going to sleep: you’d only lie there shivering, your toes snapped with cold!

Oh, I exaggerate!  I had weeks to prepare, but strongly resisted the pressure from daughter to make a beautifully detailed, historically accurate costume for her school’s “Dressing up as a Tudor day”.  (A day!).  “Couldn’t you go as a peasant girl and we could just put some rags together?” I suggested to withering looks.  In the end, we compromised by using an old Disney pattern, Simplicity 5832, to quickly make a simplified version of Cinderella’s dress with added Juliet sleeves.  If you’re thinking of using this pattern, beware that it’s cut very low!  I added 3cm to the top of the bodice and the bias strip in the centre front.  It’s sized quite big and the skirt takes a lot of fabric.  I narrowed mine to keep costs down!!

The location of the photoshoot wasn’t, alas, our peasant home but the ancestral home of the Sidney family.  If it looks familiar, maybe you’ve seen it as a location in films such as The Other Boleyn Girl.

I recommend this pattern very much as the satin you’re likely to buy is going to be of better quality and lovelier in colour than that of the over-egged dresses you find in Disney stores and, hence, the result truer to the dresses of the original cartoons.  Beware that the collar for Snowhite - which presses on with studs and may be removed for informal occasions! - needs a lot of stiffening to stand up.  Here’s a picture of daughter some 5 years ago when she wanted to dress up as her favourite princess for World Book Day (and I really did sew through the night to get it finished).  I wondered at the time if the reason why she loved Snowhite above all other princesses was because her dark hair reminded her of mummy’s!  Or is it simply that Showhite has the loveliest dress!?