Category Archives: English

Doublet & Slops

Over the summer, I made a doublet and slops set for “Charles Brandon” at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. This season was the first with a Tudor theme and I volunteered to do some costuming. The costuming director chose the fabrics and the design, and I used Margo Anderson’s men’s patterns to make a doublet and slops. It was tough getting so many heavy layers through my cheapy Singer sewing machine, but I pushed through and used a small amount of hand sewing in the really tough spots. The pattern went together with ease and looked good on the actor.

Posted in 16th Century, English, Wardrobe | Tagged ,

Homemade Glue Update

Last weekend I tested out a couple of the glue recipes I had found. Trial number one from with water, corn syrup, vinegar and cornstarch came out very thick and globby and ultimately not usable for this project..

Trial number two from consisted of water, flour and sugar. This also seemed too thick, but spread in a thin smooth layer. A test run made the silk spotty, so I dampened the silk and applied the glue to the cotton duck and the cotton duck to the silk while it was still damp. This solved the problem of “watermarks”, but required a long dry time. In the end, the silk stuck to the glued duck giving me a non-slippery, stiff piece of fabric to work with. I really liked not fighting with the slip-slidey fabric and will use this method in the future for silky fabrics. I intend on washing the corset one last time and I suspect the glue will wash away and leave only the stitching to hold everything together.

Rubber Cement and Glue

I came across an article yesterday regarding rubber cement and corsetry on I was intrigued by this idea and could immediately see the benefit of gluing your pieces together prior to stitching. This was a particularly nice idea while my fingers are in the healing stages after padstitching multiple layers for my unboned velvet stays a la Eleonora di Toledo. Another of my many projects in the works is a Tudor corset, which I am machine sewing (my fingers are happy). I had Simplicity 2621 from my (technically unfinished) farthinggale project and I made a size 12 mockup rather quickly. With some modifications for back AND front lacing and boned tabs, it fit pretty well right away. Instead of padstitching, I am going to try the above mentioned rubber cement method to layer my fabric, buckram, cotton duck interlining, and cotton lining.

However, rubber cement is not the most period option, which led to me googling potato starch glues. While I didn’t find a whole lot of renaissance glue recipes (I did not search anywhere near hard enough), I did find a good selection of food based glues that I now want to try, especially since I don’t have rubber cement handy.

Grate a peeled potato in a bowl and add three spoons of water. After a few minutes, you can press it with a spoon so the potato starch is on the spoon. Then heat four spoons of the potato starch with four spoons of water until the mass thickens – but don’t let it cook! The potato glue dries yellowish and is suitable for paper works.

3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water

Mix water, syrup and vinegar in small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil. In small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water. Add this mixture slowly to first mixture. Stir constantly. Let stand overnight before using.

Powdered milk – 2 tablespoons
Hot tap water – 1/4 cup
Vinegar – 1 tablespoons
Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon

Mix powdered milk and some of the hot tap water (depending on the quantity of powdered milk used) and stir it well.
Add vinegar to milk. Milk will separate into solid yogurt and liquid whey. Stir till all the milk has separated completely.

Strain away the whey. Secure a paper towel with rubber band over the mouth of a large cup. Put the yogurt in it. Place another piece of paper towel on the yogurt and press it firmly so that, almost all of whey drains out from the yogurt.

Put the yogurt in a separate cup and break it into smaller lumps.

Add 1 teaspoon of hot water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Some foaming may occur because the reaction of baking soda and vinegar releases carbon dioxide.

Stir the glue till it has an even consistency. Add water if it is too thick. If it is too lumpy add more baking soda.

Refrigerate it when not in use. Discard it when it starts smelling like spoiled milk.

1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons white flour
4 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Put boiling water in a pot.
2. Mix flour and cold water well. Use a whisk to get rid of any clumps.
3. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the hot water, mixing the whole time.
4. Turn on fire under the pot and heat until mixture thickens. Mix constantly. This should take only a minute or two.
5. Once thick, turn off fire and mix in sugar.
6. Transfer to a container for storage, and then put in the refrigerator.
7. Once cool, use as you would any other glue.