Kirleatham Costumes












This is Liz, education officer from my local museum, Kirkleatham, in the early saxon outfit I made her last year.

The museum is launching a new permanent exhibition “Saxon Princess” based around the finds from Loftus, and it was all looking very impressive at the preview night last Wednesday.

I didn’t get any photos of the male members of staff in costume, nor of the sixty or so children’s dressing up costumes that I also made, but I did get these few of the ladies.

These were all handsewn. The shifts are beautiful twill linen, with my linen tablet weave, and I ended up having to make the sleeve-clasps as well because I couldn’t find any on sale for a reasonable price. The overdresses are wool diamond twill from Cloth hall, again with my tablet weave. John did the leatherwork (and took these photos – I forgot my camera.

 And this is Ally in the other female staff outfit. The red diamond twill was originally going to be my new hangarock, but Liz wanted the two to be different colours as Ally is considerably taller than Liz, so it’s easier to tell the two apart that way.

I also made the dress for the sitting display dummy – sorry it’s a bit blurry, she’s behind glass.

Some of the jewellery found on the dig is lovely, and I’m definitely thinking of having a go at a go at a few replicas when I get workshop time. I’ve already nagged the Tillermans about making me one of the glass cabachons that was among the finds.

I did feel a bit sorry for Liz though, as members of a certain other group had told her that she was wearing her brooches upside down (she wasn’t, in fact as far as I can tell there is no right or wrong way up) and that her beads were wrong(they weren’t) so I’ve emailed her chapter and verse with some grave finds she can quote to prove her point should they try again.

Then again, during filming for the gallery movie, the same people openly tutted over a bed reconstructed from the finds cos apparently that wasn’t authentic either!

I’m already making my own and John’s new early saxon kit, although I have to say that I think it grossly unfair that John’s going to get the bulk of the tablet woven bling.

and I have my step-dad on task finding me some horsehair so I can have a go at brocading that into tablet weave like some of the early finds.










~ by opusanglicanum on May 28, 2011.

2 Responses to “Kirleatham Costumes”

  1. I’m trying to make the over-gown. What width is the gown? Say I have a 40 inch bust, 43 hips. Are they very loose?

    • I Have similiar measurement to you and mine is 80 inches round – you have to have enough to allow it to be pinched up by the brooches on your shoulders, which for most people is roughly twice the bust measurement, but you might get away with slightly less if you have very narrow shoulders (Mine are exceptionally wide for a female, most women have shoulders between 17 1nd 19, mine are 21)

      also remember the length will be taken up quite a bit by the brooches, and the hem wont come out even because of them

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