Mid Tudor Working Man’s Hose [1556 Kentwell]

I wrote this post originally in April 2012 after we had been accepted as participants for Kentwell in their summer recreation. I only bought the wool after this point and had completed the linens previously. Buying wool for the novice is a bit of a minefield. Kentwell have elves you can send snippets to. I bought mine and SB’s wool from 2 different elves, BB and DH from a friend. colours, textures and weaves are all important. Bernie the bolt is a reliable seller of suitable wool. we were advised that the colour had to be on the farrow and ball chart, but browns, ochres, hint of sludgy greens should be more evident than they are. I had planned to be sludgy green or brown/russet. it didn’t happen that way! Wool is expensive, I was happy to do linens without knowing if accepted but wanted to be accepted before buying wool.

I went to a Kentwell Costume weekend for help making DH hose so that we could get them right, as this is a serious comfort/strength thing, as you want to be able to move about without them ripping! we had great help from the ‘costume elves’ there. currently googling mid-tudor men kentwell btings up the costume notes

NB Anyone thinking of making clothes for re-enactment, please check with your group the ‘rules’ on materials, colours and look. different tudor years have different styles – particularly for men. following these notes does not guarentee acceptance of clothing by Kentwell or any other group, but may help a total novice such as myself. I had never made any clothes before these – a hint of my novicitude

The materials

wool from a friends stash in light beige/neutral which was overdyed with olive – the wool didn’t take the dye well, so is very light! blue linen as lining. there was a bit of stress about blue for the lining, as it is not a boy colour. i had no other with me, and persuaded that it wouldn’t be seen at all ever, but that if a prob, would prefer to make up and then dunk all made in an olive dye bath again. so we used blue – phew :)

measure and toile
we measured up and followed the kentwell costume notes for knee length hose making a paper pattern for the first time! the toile from an old bit of calico, making 2 of the legs from the paper pattern and joining so could see whether we had a good fit. we found that there was too much ease, so took in the pattern by 2 inches – if you follow the pattern, you may also find too much ease in the width.

DH hose

we then used our modified paper pattern to cut x 2 legs in linen and in wool. our wool was v stretchy, so didn’t need to be cut on bias – which was a relief as actually couldn’t fit in on bias. However, if your wool not stretchy, do cut it on the bias, it needs to be able to stretch to sit down. the J curve to the left there is the front, and the right hand side is the back. the seams are up the inside leg.



so having 2 legs in lining and 2 legs in wool both separate, we sewed the 2 lining legs and then the 2 wool legs up the inside leg seam, cut snips and ironed flat so that they would sit well.

then comes a bit of magic, and we sew the 2 wool legs together and then the 2 linen legs together. to do this we placed one wool leg inside the other with right side to right side. we sewed up all the back, but just to an inch infront of the inner leg seam [see the pinning], leaving the rest unsewed., pulled the legs out and snipped and ironed.



After that we put the linen and the wool together, this time wrong side to wrong side but with the linen rightside outermost. I turned over the top of the wool and stab stitched a canvas strip underneath it – this will make it firmer for eyelets.


I then folded in the linen and sewed that all around the top, and then pinned in the linen and wool around the front opening of the hose, and also sewed them together to finish around the top.



the hose were then turned around the right way, and at the legs [just below knee] i turned in the wool and linen and sewed those together to finish around the hose.


The codpiece

it doesn’t end there though. 1556 is a codpiece year – sigh! I used Magot who wrote the mediaeval tailors assistant’s helpful drawings on making a codpiece. the wool part is of 2 pieces cut together that have a triangle with then a bump on them. sew them together along middle and bump, turn right way round and stuff, then sew this onto a linen backing. sew around the base of the ‘member’ so that the stuffing [linen scraps] don’t fall out and see what it looks like.
toile for a codpiece?



It was a lot too small, more of a ‘mousepiece’ and DH thought he might get teased on the woodpile, so i made it bigger ;) and relegated the other one to use as a pincushion.



that’s better! Much more of a manly look to it – approved!


It is sewn on at the bottom and a small way up the sides to stabilise it, and then has points at the top corners to hold in place. it can be further stabilised by sewing all the way up one side [though not tudor]

better seen in codpiece made for a friend

I made 2 versions – mouse and man, he wore man ;)



Codpiece mark 2 for friend codpiece

eyelts for points were then added in pairs [6 in total] around the top of the hose to match with the pourpoint, which i now hemmed and eyeletted. also 2 pairs across the top so that the hose meet nicely – there is allowed to be a gap here.

He is a lumberjack :)

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