1500 Stitches: diverse arts of Margaret Wolseley

English Noblewoman's Dress in 1500

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As I craft my chosen persona, Lady Margaret Wolseley, I grapple with questions about how to clothe her accurately. For a long time I've felt pretty much alone in this quest (based on the web searches I've done and costume discussion lists I've joined) to recreate the time of Henry VII. I recently added a book to my shelf that really helps me with my research: The Queen's Servants: Gentlewomen's dress at the accession of Henry VIII by Caroline Johnson, edited by Jane Malcolm-Davies & Ninya Mikhaila, authors of The Tudor Tailor: reconstructing 16th century dress.

However, I still have many questions to answer, and although I love the work these women are doing, I don't always completely agree with their interpretations! Currently I am living in London due to a temporary job transfer at my husband's place of employment, which has been an unexpected but delightful change permitting me access to more sources than I can fully process. My current London-based research notes and files are here.

When I finally figure out my clothing, I will have:

an English hood (gabled hood, kennel, pedimental headdress, that funny looking hat that Elizabeth of York wore)

a gown (outer garment)

a kirtle (which a working woman might wear as outer clothes, but a lady would have under a gown)

body linen (smock, chemise, shift -- whatever you call it!)

accessories (stockings, shoes, belt, perhaps other items such as a rosary, pomander, and partlet)

As I find time to write, more of my thoughts on these items will migrate online.