A Blackwork Elizabethan-Tudor Jacket

October Crown 2007

I was introduced to Iulitta.  She is a avid embroider and a Laurel in Gold Work.

On one of her travels to England, she went to the Manchester Museum and they gave her access to two Elizabethan articles of clothes

Gallery of Jacket's of the Period

Met Jacket

Filmer Chemise  
Blackwork Jacket Due to her agreement with the museum, I cannot give you a photo of the Jacket, however here is the link.
  She was able to take detailed photos of the jacket and chemise.
I fell in love with both of them. At the time I was working on making my Tudor Chemise.  With the inspiration from the Manchester smock, I won the first order of the Iron Hand from Margo Anderson's Group.
On to the JACKET The Goal:  Make a reproduction of the Manchester Jacket.
June Crown I met with Iulitta once again and took several hours to pour over the over 300 photos she has of just the jacket.

Linen (white)

Unlined (no evidence that it ever was)  This was a Summer Jacket.

No obvious front closure

curved front seams

wrist of sleeve has a small gore set in before the Turnback cuff

Black silk embroidery

Bobbin lace (black & white) and spangles

Using the Tudor Tailor pattern as a base.  Scale up the pattern pieces Took Iulitta's measurements
Make a Muslin from the pattern

Have ready by Purgatorio?


No time to make the pattern by Purg.  

Read a 2004 article on the jacket and a reproduction of the jacket made from the pattern notes of Janet Arnold!

Unfortunately, I don't have a complete copy of this article.  Found it!

Thread Count of jacket is 70 threads per inch.  Even Weave.
I cut out the pattern in blue velveteen 9_4_09

Simple pattern pieces

Reconstructing History Pattern and from the Tudor Taylor Book

Still lots to tweak on this muslin.  I have to work out the sleeve shaping and the fitting into the armscyth.  That's why it looks wonky...also I've not used an iron on the seams.  Stitched with a long stitch, so I can pick it apart easily.


Suggested Fabrics: linen; silk or linen for lining

Yardage Requirements:
Jacket " 2¼ yards at least 45" wide
Petticote " 3 yards at least 45" wide
hooks and eyes or silk ribbons for front closure

Today I ordered the silk:  4 hanks of Soie d'Alger in Noir

(On the advise of Catherine Lorraine of Stonegate Manor, my laurel)

6 weeks to get it in and another to mail to me. $75.00 + tax and shipping


The Linen is $96/yd looking to see if I can get it for half that.  So I'll wait till I get an answer on that.

50 count linen, a little lower as the Jacket.

Now to break down each element in the jacket  

I know what the embroidery looks like on the front, but realized that I don't have a clue to the back.

I wrote to the museum and They Answered. So I've got an idea of what the back looks like.

Am still working with the museum to finalize the back of the jacket.  Have written to a researcher as well today (6-22-10)

I wish I could get my hands on the notes that Janet Arnold did on this jacket.


Currently, I'm working on a Coif to hone my embroidery skills in blackwork.


Had a talk with a very informed woman and I have to start all over again with my Coif pattern.

Today could not be better, the woman who worked on the Jacket has sent me a photo of the inside of the jacket!  She has offered to send me more photos!!!  WOW, so excited about this bit of research. 7-5-10
Janet Arnold believes that these jackets were called Waistcoats in the inventories of the Queen. (QEWU)  

pg.24 of The art of dress, clothes and society 1500-1914

Jane Ashelford

The National Trust c 1996

"Two garments which are frequently mentioned in his letters (Husse to Lady Lisle) are nightgowns and waistcoats.  These were informal garments, the latter shaped like a jacket, worn by men and women in the privacy of their home, rather like dressing gowns today."


Will try to see if waistcoat of 1537 is the same as waistcoat of 1600.  If yes, it means that I can use my jacket with my Tudor Dresses as well, which would be fantastic.
Skirts were bell shaped due to an undergarment:  
Farthingale or Vertugado Documented as ordered by Elizabeth in 1545 and staid in fashion for 70 years
The Jacket would have been worn over the krytle and petticoats.  A smock or chemise would have been the undergarment.  
Pair of Bodies

I need to make a pair so that I can wear the jacket over it. Before I get the pattern worked out.  The undergarments must be done first.


Bobbin Lace  
bobbin lace

took a lace lesson from Ele at the Lace Museum and she was a great help to me.  I'm on the road to making the lace for my jacket.


When I get this pattern down, I'll make it smaller, then I'll made it out of metal threads.

I need to make myself a good lace pillow to work on, this one is not good for what I want to make.



The embroidery of the JACKET is what I think of as transitional and the Ann Houton agrees with me.  The embroidery is still very geometric and not the curly cue style of the Jacobean.

Even though the museum has changed the date of the jacket to 1600, they originally had it dated as 1585 and I think they were more correct with that.

Carnation (Pinks)