1500 Stitches: diverse arts of Margaret Wolseley

About Lady Margaret

Home - English 1500 - Venice 1500 - Children's Clothes - Arts with Children - Poetry - About Me

This is site was written and designed by Challe Hudson, a homeschooling mother of three and a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Although I hold two college degrees, neither has anything to do with my current passions: researching costuming at the turn of the sixteenth century, and hand sewing clothing. These interests keep me somewhat more sane and give my busy mind and fingers something to do so that they (more or less) stay out of trouble.

Within the Society I am known as Lady Margaret Wolseley, a resident of the Barony of Windmasters' Hill in the Kingdom of Atlantia. Margaret - the fictional persona developed for playing in the SCA - is a resident of England in the year 1500.

After choosing my persona, I discovered, to my initial frustration and then to my great delight, that very little has been published about the clothing of English women during the reign of Henry VII. As I delved deeper into the nearby University libraries in pursuit of clues about what Margaret should own, I found my personal standards for accuracy in clothing reproduction growing increasingly demanding. I rejected the sewing machine and turned to (almost) exclusive handwork, and found that commercial patterns, while often useful starting places, almost never satisfied my pursuit of "the proper look".

Because researching the clothing of my own persona was so exciting, I took on the additional challenge of bringing my husband's wardrobe up to my new standards. Again, I discovered that little was published about the clothing of men in the Italian Renaissance around the year 1500, especially with Venice as a specific locale. While my mental collections of ideas and my hard drive full of images grew, I knew that to get feedback on my work and to further refine my patterns and theories, I would have to publish. This website is an attempt to share my current understanding of how to accurately recreate clothing for a Venetian patrician in exactly the year 1500. I welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Special Thanks

I could not have compiled this research without the help of my husband. Who know how many hours of playing with the baby he put in, how many meals he cooked, or how many extra household chores he completed because I was too absorbed by this project to remember my day-to-day tasks. He also edited, critiqued, held still for fittings, suggested references, listened to me, wrote the Javascript because I didn't know how, and in all ways supported me through the process of getting my thoughts onto this website.

Additional thanks goes to my neighbor Robert, who trusted me enough to check out the really interesting (and expensive) art books that Duke Library wouldn't give me through Interlibrary Loan.

Photo of Margaret Wolseley and son Henry Weyland aged one year
taken February 19, 2011, by Baron Bardulf Rauen