A onepiece tudor linen coif [Kentwell 1559]

Having successfully clothed the 4 of us for Kentwell in 2012/1556 I have returned to make some improvements for next year! [or maybe even Michaelmas if we do that] . On my list is to try a few coif designs until I am happy with one. There are lot of different coifs about and I wasn’t altogether happy with any I made. they were all OK, they all passed muster, but there was something different not quite as I wanted with each one :) . Also, having read the extreme costuming blog, I thought i would try making a onepiece one. however, I didn’t feel quite brave enough to do all that blackwork, so thought would start with adapting the simple coif pattern.

Initially I thought since Kentwell may go later Elizabethan I would try a v curvey fronted coif, so prepared a template that was allegedly measured from forehead to jaw, and cut out that on material folded over 4 times so that I would have 2 cut out pieces finally [as the template to a fold giving a mirrored other side]. The measurement from forrehead to back with an addition of 4 inches for hair allowance, and curved the bag outwards at the side.

i thought i would try designing a coif

I then backstitched carefully around the whole coif so that the 2 cut out pieces were joined together, leaving 2 inches at the back open. I took some bias binding of 2.5cm and folded it in half and sewed together to make tapes. These were of a length that would go from nape of neck, across top of head and back to nape of neck with 8cm play added for tying. These were then sewn onto the inside of one side only [ie not through both pieces of material, but one on each side of the midline]. they were positioned facing backwards from the farthest back from front portion of the face frame where it meets what would be the bag portion along the bottom.


I then turned the coif right side out, so the tapes came out through that open 2 inches. I hemmed that hole so that it could stay open without fraying


At this point i realised i definitely needed a channel for the tape if I wanted it to sit well, so I did small running stitches 1.5cm in from the edge to delineate the channel, making sure that i didn’t accidentally sew the tape.



SO that worked :) now I tried it on. I realised I didn’t like it much. I didn’t like the curves I had given it, and it was too long around the face :( . Also wasn’t sure about the bag bit.



Hmm, so I put it aside and did other things – like go to the olympics :) . finally this evening I have tacked the front into different places and think I am now overall happier with the shape of it. Still not sure about the bag bit. Fairly certain it would ‘pass’ but it is too baggy at the sides for the look I was after achieving :) so will have a go at that another time. Anyway, here is the passable coif before I try fiddling with the bag.




As you can see though, it does hold onto the head well – I have put my hair up with side plaits so that the ties tie in front of them. It does feel v secure.

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4 Responses to A onepiece tudor linen coif [Kentwell 1559]

  1. TBird Anni says:

    I do like that coif :-D

  2. Pingback: Sneaky combined coif and forehead cloth | T-Bird Anni Rides Again

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