So last night I was sketching a friend who is in a Tudor (1500s) re-enactment group talking about her costume, herbs (her character is a herbalist and she;s very knowledgeable about them). She talked about dyes used and fabrics - I didn't know there was no knitting then,
Sleeves were separate and laced to the bodice with laces much like trainers have now. The bodice was laced straight - the origin of the phrase Straight Laced, stilll used today. It was respectable and didn't gape, Crossed laces gaped and were loose - and only loose women tied their bodices that way, They used a lot of laces as pockets were separate and tied round the waist with them etc.
Then she talked a little about herbs and a lot about the origins of nursery rhymes. Who knew Humpty Dumpty was actually a cannon? - and prototype repeater cannon at that, which fell off the city walls when the attacking troops damaged the city wall below. The horses and men were unable to pull it back up into the town. The story is claimed by 2 cities. A history of loose women, plague, instruments of torture (silver bells and cockle shells you really don't want to know about!) dissolution of the monasteries, treason, the Armada - all wrapped up in well known rhymes with a wealth of information once you have it explained in context. A lovely night of sketching and writing down the stuff she said in very
scruffy note form, holding the sketchbook in my hand