A Tudor Costume – AS project

One of the careers I have considered going into is costume making. One way this came about was during my AS project where I absolutely loved the costume project I’d set myself.  In the first few months of that year, I was so upset with my work and my textiles teacher that I was sure I’d drop the subject at the end of the year. Thankfully my teacher changed after Christmas and I started working a lot more and feeling more confident in what I was making.


As I’ve mentioned before, I am a huge history fan, so I decided to go with a theme where I could learn something new as well as designing and making a great final piece. When choosing a theme, something always nerve-racking for GCSE and Alevel art students I think, you really have to make sure it is something you can constantly develop, and that you will enjoy working on for the rest of the year. There is nothing worse than working on a subject that doesn’t inspire you and that can’t progress anywhere. Usually, I would come up with my theme from something I have always wanted to make, here for example, I’d always admired and dreamed of making a historic costumes. That’s why I decided to choose the theme of the Tudor Queens.





To avoid copying the traditional design of a tudor dress, I decided to add a modern twist to it, with the short skirt and the puffed skirt. However I did made sure to keep the key traditional parts with the corset and also with the design idea that everything is made separately. Back in the Tudor era, sleeves, skirts, and corsets were all separate so that they could be changed around. My design  follows this idea and i have made it so that the puffed layer onto of the base skirt can be removed, either to be left with a classic modern office skirt or in the principal that it can be added on any different patterned dress.

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This was my first attempt at making a corset so I used a pattern as a base which I then had to adapt and make longer to fit my design. Another important part of this dress was the embroidery and decoration, a Tudor queen’s dress was very ornamented to show her wealth and so it was key that I do the same. I used various recycled items to do this, parts from my grandmothers old chandeliers, some old french coins that are no longer valuable, and some decorative lace that I found in a boot sale.

In the end of the year, I couldn’t even believe that I was thinking of dropping textiles back in Christmas. This is definitely one of my favourite projects, I should consider attempting a second costume soon!

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Big thank you to my sister, who after great persistence, beautifully modelled the dress for me in the middle of winter!


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