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Over the last few months I have shown how to make the Tudor shirt (plus a couple of variants) from Simplicity’s #4059 Renaissance Man costume.  These variants have included a simple “arming” shirt, a ruffed collar and decorating with black-work embroidery. Today I would like to show the doublet I made to go with my first ruffed shirt, and the fabric buttons I waxed lyrical on a couple of weeks ago. This doublet (from Pattern A) forms part of my Black Knight’s banquet kit along with the red ruffed shirt and the capelet I adapted to use for LARP.

I hope you find this walk-through helpful.

For more tutorials/walk-throughs, go to Tutorials


Tudor-style doublet

Apologies for the slightly distorted picture. The cloth is a horizontal stripe of white on black, and I’ve struggled to get a decent picture of the doublet in it’s full glory with my camera. I’m sure there are a few tricks I could use in future, but for now I can only apologise for the wibbly lines.


Making the doublet

I did not photograph every stage of the doublet because I got so far through the project before I realised I’d not photographed everything, but I do have extra details photos of the finished doublet for your enjoyment.

I’ve made this pattern before for a red doublet (worn by another Knight) and liked the long sleeves and skirt, compared to the short sleeveless doublet included in the pattern. I wanted to avoid wearing skirts or dresses with this character as I wasn’t sure how wearing a sword belt and scabbard all the time would work with those sort of garments, and I thought the long skirt to the doublet would help soften the masculine look. That, and the styling of my hair with some ribbons and braids after the style of the Italian Renaissance Hair Taping, but that’s for another post.

I was lucky to receive a load of cloth from my Mum (with a donation then to charity) from her workplace which she retrieved for my stash. One of the best things she grabbed for me was a full roll (still in the wrappings) of some synthetic blend black cloth with white horizontal stripes. After making a few cushion covers for her, I decided it would be perfect cloth for a doublet for my knight. It would contain the main colours of the order when combined with my red shirt and add a small element of fun to the kit (though I still think I should make a black velvet doublet just because).

Cutting out the doublet

After cutting more cloth than required (as I was unsure of how much the cloth was going to shrink) I put it through the wash with a scrap of white cloth as part of the pre-treatment, then ironed it before folding the cloth in half. This was a huge amount of cloth, and I ended up rolling the folded end up so I could lay the working area flat on the floor. I then laid my paper pattern on the back side of the cloth and started cutting, keeping track of all the bits I needed to cut and used the horizontal lines (shown as small dots on the back of the cloth) to keep the grain lines parallel. This would help keep the horizontal lines going across my project. I was both suprised and pleased at how well I did when I got to sewing the back and shoulders together. Maybe I should trust myself a bit more …

Cutting out the back

Once I got all the outer bits cut I turned my attention to cutting the lining and interfacing. I’d already pre-washed the lining cloth (another new stash addition) with a bit of white cloth to check for dye bleed, and gave it a quick iron before folding a section to start on cutting out the lining. I had hoped the lining was black, but once it was washed I found it to be a dark navy. I considered changing the cloth, but was running out of time for the Tisa Valley banquet and decided the colour wouldn’t be too bad as it wouldn’t be seen much when worn with the shirt.

With all the bits cut out and folded into the different sections, I ironed all the interfacing (heavy weight rather than medium weight as the shop I went to didn’t have quite what I wanted and I decided that the heavy weight would do the job) to the front of the doublet, the sleeve cuffs, button tabs and the shoulders. I then marked up the back of the left hand side front piece for the button loops and sewed them by hand. This was covered in my previous fabric buttons and thread button loops post.

After getting all those sewn (all 21 of them!) I then followed the pattern instructions – sewing the doublet back pieces together along the back seam before attaching the front panels at the shoulders and doing the same with the lining. I sewed the extension piece together then added it to the right front panel as detailed in the instructions. I paired the interfaced shoulder uppers to their facings with right sides together, sewing down the sides and along the curved bottom before trimming the seams and turning the shoulder flange right ways out. After pressing the shoulder seams I then ran a straight stitch at 1/2″ from the edge to keep all the layers together. I then made the button tabs from the interfaced lining, following the instructions in the booklet. Rather than applying eyelets to these, I decided I was going to sew buttons to them, to then “hook” the sleeves on with button holes, so I sewed these tabs to the marked locations on the pattern.

I sewed the skirt together at the back seam, similarly with the lining, before pressing the seams and piecing the skirt outer and lining right sides together with lots of pins. I then sewed down the sides and bottom of the skirt with a 5/8″ seam, turned it inside out, pressed the edges before sewing a quick straight stitch at about 1/2″ just to keep the whole skirt together, similar to the shoulders.

garment without side seams

Once I had all these sections prepared, I started getting the doublet sewn together. I sewed the shoulders with the tabs in place onto the doublet outer before adding the lining so that I had less cloth to man-handle, then sewed the outer to its lining along the front and collar seams, trimming them to reduce the bulk at the seams. Before sewing the seam I checked my button loops were safely tucked inside the fabric and not likely to get mangled. I double checked the shoulders were tucked inside the cloth and pinned and sewed the seam before turning the whole garment right ways out through the shoulders.


Now I turned up the lining bottom seam with the seam allowance and pressed it to give me a neat edge to hand sew when sewing the lining in place later. I then sewed the sides of the doublet together in the strange way where you sew the outer to the outer and the inner to the inner in a “straight” line across the side of the item. Because the bottom’s still open at this point it works (honest!) and the side seams are sewn up nice and neat, but if I wasn’t told to do it in the instructions I’m not sure how it works.

doublet with skirt

Now comes to adding the skirt. The skirt is machine sewn to the outer of the doublet before the seam is pressed upwards towards the shoulders. The lining is then hand sewn with slip stitches and the doublet is nearly finished. Now all it needs are the sleeves and buttons.

After sewing on all the fabric buttons (made using scrap cut from cutting the outer cloth and detailed here) I turned my attention to the sleeves. I sewed the upper and lower outer pieces (one has a hump for the shoulder and the other has a cup to go under the armpit) together along the back seam, doing the same for the lining. After prepping the sleeve cuffs in a similar manner to the shoulders (sewing the interfaced piece to the facing) and sewing to the outer piece, I pressed the lining seam allowance at the cuff and started sewing the outer to the lining. After turning the sleeve the right ways out, I sewed the lining in place at the cuff, leaving me with a rather large flat sleeve and a floppy cuff that looked quite unusual. The shape comes from the buttons that are sewn in place to give the slashed sleeve look that was once the height of fashion. I chose to buy some silver buttons to use as accent pieces rather than use my home made buttons.

First of all I added button holes to the upper shoulder of the sleeves using my button hole settings on my sewing machine. Then I folded the cuffs up against the sleeve and added a few small stitches to keep the cuff in place. I added a small set of stitches on the sleeve center seam to hold the cuff up before beginning to sew the silver buttons onto the sleeve. With this finished, and buttons sewn onto each of the tabs under the sleeve flange, the garment was finished.

Here are some photos of the garment details:

Silver buttons

One of the silver accent buttons at the sleeve cuff

Sleeve details

The “slashed” sleeve effect

shoulder buttons

The buttons on the tabs under the sleeve flange (without sleeves)

sleeves on buttons

Fastening the sleeves onto the doublet – see how they “hook” into the button holes?

Buttons and loops

Homemade buttons and thread loops up the front of the doublet

I also tested the doublet with the capelet before I started sewing on the buttons to see how the whole garment was going to look (and whether staying up late to finish it was a good idea or if I should start looking at adapting something else as a temporary fix …). It looks much better on a person than just hanging from a hanger, but you get the idea.

Tudor doublet and cape

Total sewing time – about a week, of working in the evenings and spending all the weekend cutting and prepping. Approx 15 – 20 hours.

Also, you may have noticed the white shirt shown in some of the photographs? This is the finished Tudor-style black-work shirt I have been working on, with a bonus collection of “detail shots” to share with you.

The elizabethan shirt

The Tudor-style black-work shirt in full glory

collar with eyelets

Cartridge ruff collar with hand sewn eyelets, black-work embroidery and braided crochet wool cord

cuff with blackwork and lace

Lace cuff with black-work embroidery

Tudor-style doublet

The shirt and doublet in all their collective glory