Halloween Costume – Tudor/Elizabethan

I put my Halloween costume on Quora, as did so many others (there’s a lot of good costumes there: https://www.quora.com/Can-I-see-a-photo-of-your-Halloween-costume-2017)

Anyway, someone from there asked to see more of my handmade costume so I thought I’d put some snapshots here…20141031_190929.jpg


Organza partlet (used to be a table runner. LOL) There’s over 200 pearls sewn on this bugger.
French Hood
Front view of the French Hood. Made with mulliner’s wire, cotton backing, damask, crystals and pearls. I don’t want to know how many pearls are on this thing (and I didn’t count them either!)
Hand stitched from bleached muslin and white cotton thread. Blackwork done with cotton thread. The lacing was made on a lucet fork. I made the lace around the neck and end of the sleeves.



Closeup of the girdle (found 2 long necklaces at a thrift shop, took them apart and put them together the way I wanted it) and the pomander I made out of a tea ball and some metal embellishments. Can you say cheap frugal?

Sleeve "Puff"
Close-up of the sleeve “puff”. These were made with scrap fabric from other projects. I cheated and used mulliners wire to make the puffs stay puffed out. You can see how the sleeves are detachable. It was common back then to use different sleeves to make it seem as though you had more clothes than you really did. Yes, clothing was VERY expensive back then. A full outfit cost the equivalent of buying a car nowadays.

Here are some other items either not shown in the picture or that you can’t see in the picture.

My hooded cape to stay warm on cool October evenings. Green twill cotton on the outside, black cotton on the inside. This is fake fur. It was a MESS to sew. I couldn’t tell you how long I kept finding flyaway hair all over the house. Next time I sew fake fur I’m doing it OUTSIDE!

I don’t have any pictures of the feather fan being made. Believe it or not, the base is a round piece of wood attached to a wooden stick. I found it at a craft store. I believe one was supposed to paint it to look like a Christmas lollipop or something.

The stick was wrapped in damp leather with the ends stapled down. A ribbon was threaded through the leather wrapping so I could attach it to the girdle. The round part was also wrapped in damp leather and stapled down. Then the feathers were attached, a row at a time, with a thin strip of leather (to hold down the quills) that was, you guessed it, stapled down. The small outer feathers are hot glued to the leather strips. In hindsight, that wasn’t the best way to do it as they like to come off. If I tried it again I think I’d use felt instead of leather on the round part – it would probably grip the hot glue better than what the leather has done.

I then attached a metal pin, I found at a garage sale, to the outside and VOILA, an expensive looking fan.

This is my “Petal Purse”. It isn’t very big but it was fun to make. It’s called a petal purse because the outside parts, when unbuttoned, make the purse look like a flower. Each petal has a pocket. The pullstrings close the center bag and have homemade “self-stuffing” cloth buttons on the ends.


And, last but not least, my zibellini…aka a flea fur. These were worn back then because people thought if you had one the fleas would jump off of you and onto the fur. Made this using real fur from an old parka. The head is made from a cardboard egg carton cup, wet with watered down white glue and shaped. When dry I painted it in antique gold. Then I sewed on the imbellishments. The wiring around the eyes, ears and tail are a malleable gold wiring – I forget the gauge, but easy to make the shapes I wanted. A fun project that only took a weekend to make.

Lest you think I’m kidding about this, I’m providing you with the following picture to show you it’s all real.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Tizian_055.jpg/818px-Tizian_055.jpg

1536 “Portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga della Rovere” by Titian

Here’s 2 websites with more info on zibellini:





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