Category Archives: Costuming

Project: Elizabethan Assembly – the white skirt

Beaded and embroidered white Elizabethan skirt (restart August 2020)

A long, long time ago, back in New Jersey / the Barony of Iron Bog before it became a barony, I started my Elizabethan Assembly project (the box I packed it in says 2010, which would be the date that box was packed, not the project started). It was to include a proper pair of bodies, underwear, chemise, two skirts, and two bodices for mixing and matching. Lucet cording I made was to hold the points together. The blue skirt & bodice were to be beaded and corded, and the white skirt & bodice were to be beaded and embroidered.

Picture 1: Lots of cloth involved in the skirt

It is a VERY big, ambitious project. The challenge is the beadwork and amount of cloth involved make transporting it around impossible. With the 2020 homebound (and finishing the beaded coif project), I thought now might be a good time to break it out again.

The fabric for the white gown was bought in Philadelphia, scraps at the end of an industrial bolt. As soon as I bought it, I knew I would be enhancing it with embroidery. Queen Elizabeth had several white outfits with pastel shades. I am using that as my inspiration.

Materials being used

  1. Fabric with white embroidery and backing. Unknown materials.
  2. Embroidery enhancements – Splendor Silk 12-ply Pink (S-884), Blue (S-867), Purple (S-811), Yellow (S818), and Green (S-830)
  3. Blue glass beads (The Bead Shoppe – 6/0).
Picture 2: The bottom of the fabric is untouched, but the starbursts have been worked on.

White Fabric restarted on August 1, 2020

Right now I am going to concentrate on finishing the fabric preparation for the skirt and the bodice. In picture 1, you can see all the fabric involved, some of what has already been done, and the hoop at the very top. Picture two shows what the bottom of the fabric looks like without enhancement, although the startbursts have been worked on. Picture three, you can see a mixed of untouched and enhanced stars.

Picture 3: Mix of adjusted and unadjusted stars

Next up and figuring out where all the materials are and getting this project set up for quick picking up and putting down.

I do plan to use a machine for assembly and likely will get find an Elizabeth outfit expert to help with assembly when the time comes – because – holy moley, I don’t want to screw this up when it comes to that point.


Project: Beaded Coif

Beaded Coif – From Atlantia University class (October 2019)

A friend and I took the Beaded Coif class by Lady Adair of Makyswell (MKA Catherine Yvonne King) during Atlantia University. I had to attend for exchequer classes in the morning. Free in the afternoon, I dropped by the beading class. It was preplanned, as the class required the coif to already be made. My friend picked out the fabric and helped me do the initial cutting out.

The fabric is a cotton print and I am following the design. Other materials being used included glass beads (bronze and “pearls”), polyester thread, and beading needles the teacher provided. I added DMC cotton embroidery thread, green and white beads, and other needles, scissors, and materials as needed.

I’m not attempting a competition piece, just a beautiful something when done.

Coif Started – First picture on October, 8, 2019

Coif completely sewn. First beads attached. Here you can see the extensive pattern I plan to cover someday.

Coif Continues – November 21, 2019

I decided doing everything in beads first was crazy, so to save time I would do some of the leaves in brown and some in blue.  I completed the brown leaves in November.

By the way, I did a quick count on the embroidery vs. bead time. It was NOT faster. (sigh)

Coif Continues – December 31, 2019

Last pictures before tax season slowdown. The blue leaves are complete.

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.


Coif Continues – May 10, 2020

All small pearls added to the blue leaves. I killed the first of the three beading needles which the teacher gave us for the project today. I’m running low on the copper beads she provided as well, which is not the standard size I use. Also beginning to run low on the green beads and will need to switch to a different group of green beads I do have that are close.

Knowing I would likely run out part-way of the various beads is one of the reasons I decided to work the areas in a somewhat random pattern – so that the differences will be mixed throughout the final project.

I’m getting a lot done during the video meetings during the stay-at-home orders. Next post will be when I have all the large pearls on the project.

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.

Coif Continues – July 13, 2020

I’ve lost the second of the three beading needles. It’s somewhere in the house I hope. The copper beads gave way to a red embroidery floss, and I’ve started a third group of green beads.

Now just to fill in the last bits of missing. Nearly done!

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.


Coif is DONE – July 30, 2020

I finished sewing in the inner lining today during an A&S zoom meeting.

Materials used

  1. Printed cotton fabric (which the design covers – treating it like an artist gave me a base to work form.
  2. Lining of coif also a cotton fabric. Sewn together with Coat all-purpose 100% polyester thread. Coif attached to coif when complete. Hand needle and everything hand assembled. No machine used to make the coif.
  3. Bead thread provided by teacher, likely 100% polyester. Beading needle provided by teacher. Pearl-like glass beads (2 sizes) and copper glass beads provided by teacher.
  4. Green glass beads were mine – three different sources, from my huge bead box, as well as the white glass beads of similar size, only one source for that.
  5. DMC cotton embroidery thread – blue (792), brown (3826), and red-copper replacement (814 and 815).

Lady Elspeth Mereberie (the friend who attended the class with me) gave me a Styrofoam head to display the project and encouraged me to cover it with pantyhose to look even better.

Now onto the final results!

First on the right, you can see how the lining looks. Covers the mess of beading stitches and will help protect the coif when it is worn.

Next the normal grouping of left, back, right. You should be able to click these for bigger pictures.


And one final closeup. Where you can see at least two tones of green beads, the copper beads and the red substitute, the different two different size pearl beads and the white beads in the blue leaves, etc. This is the middle back.