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27 Feb 2012 - 12:2979783
Blackadder cos help
Im at planning and ref stage for this next cos. I am having trouble though figuring what the original costume is made out of...

1. Main body looks shiney, is it black leather?
2. Sleeves look matt, so black cotton? is there a special heavy cotton for jackets?
3. Slits look shiney so dark red satin?

I would your opinions on materials. And any other helpfull stuff eg links to making ruff or Elizabehtan type costumes.

link to my ref pics in Blackadder cos - http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/costume/view/58476

27 Feb 2012 - 13:3379798
Aha, I'm a big fan of this costume so I know a bit about it.

The main body is indeed black leather. The sleeves are, I believe, black velvet and the red parts are a deep red silk or satin.

There's a lot of historical costuming websites out there with tips for people trying to make them, try searching for Ren Faire costumes!

27 Feb 2012 - 22:3379860
Thanks Odangochan,

Black velvet wooooh sounds realy nice. Yes that fits with the rest of the costume - very lavish. I like it.
As for the black leather, I do agree with you..it must be leather. But the puzzling thing is it appears to have a regular pattern of raised spots on it - thats what threw me. They are aparrent in some pics more than others, I have some very large pics in my growing ref file.. Is there some leather craft which puts marks onto leather perhaps? Or could it be the costume maker just sewed seed beads onto the leather?? that would be in keeping with the rest of the costume - very decorative. I could easily sew seed beads on it..

Any ideas for the makeup of his cape? Thinking of looking for a heavy wool coat and chop it down..

27 Feb 2012 - 23:3379866
new close up pics
I just compiled a new ref pic showing the spot detail on the leather - zoomed right in. So you can see what I am talking about. How is the pattern made on the leather, what are we looking at - something sewed on or some sort of embossing technique?

link -

28 Feb 2012 - 10:3879882
Quote Ranma1-2:
I just compiled a new ref pic showing the spot detail on the leather - zoomed right in. So you can see what I am talking about. How is the pattern made on the leather, what are we looking at - something sewed on or some sort of embossing technique?

link -

Aha, now I see what you mean! That looks to me to be ostrich-skin leather. If it is, the "dots" are actually small holes where the feathers have been removed. Thankfully it's been in fashion fairly recently so it is available, and I've seen fake leathers with the same texture as well.

The cape would probably be either heavy wool or more velvet. I like the idea of wool though, I love costumes with loads of different textures.

28 Feb 2012 - 14:2879896
Thanks for the help Odangochan. ^_^

eeeeew Ostrich feather holes!! 8I I never heard of that before. Who would guess Ostrich skin is used like leather!?!

*goes to look up Ostrich leather on eBay*
..YOURE RIGHT!..just seen Ostrich leather bags on eBay. That is exactly the pattern.

Hmmm have to say Im not a fan of this look now that I know what it is..like a plucked chicken :/ Sooooooo I think I will stick with normal leather and then add the dots pattern using either tiny cap rivets or tiny iron on studs.
And I agree with wool for the cape - it does look thick and matt in the pics.

Btw I did loads of research yesterday and I understand how the costume goes together now, Ive written a glossary of terms involved too. Did you know a Baldrick is the ornate belt which goes diagonally across the body and holds the sword...

06 Mar 2012 - 21:1380317
Judging from the photos the main bodice looks to be black leather, the pattern on the leather would have probably been imprinted on though could be done maybe with dots of embellishment paint. The sleeves which to me appear to be black cotton or linen judging from the picture of the original costume on it's own and a few of the screen-shots. The red in the slashes in the front seem to be a red silk dupion as satin would be a lot shinier there also appears to be some slight beading between the folds of the red. His cloak seems to be made with black velvet.

I can see if I can find some patterns for you at my college if you want.

Last edited by Osanpo (06 Mar 2012 - 21:14)
07 Mar 2012 - 00:4680331
Thanks for your comments Osanpo.
..Were fairly certain now the marks on the leather jerkin are becuase it is made of Ostrich leather! But I wont personally be using Ostrich leather. I just bought a second hand full length coat off ebay. Hopefully there will be enough in it to re-use to make the jerkin and the pumpkin breeches ..and thigh boots.

Pattern - I'm gonna draw up my own pattern as I think it will be easier than adapting a different pattern. I agree with you there appears to be reflections at the edges of the slashes..and also all around the edges of the leather jerkin. It doesnt show well in photos but when you watch the series on TV they keep catching the light. So I'm thinking small Jet diamantes. Fabrics - Oh dear, fabrics already bought. I got some wool for the cape and for the red in the slashes I got some two tone red/black Taffeta. I'll look into Dupion tho.

07 Mar 2012 - 11:1080342
Taffeta makes a good substitute for Dupion silk. Both a very textured but taffeta doesn't cost £13 a metre (ish) lol.

I can't wait to see this ^___^ But I'm pretty certain I have actually seen a medieval pattern piece which fits this to a T.... Not sure though...

Ayacon Plans
07 Mar 2012 - 21:2680378
Ruff - Lace question ?
My next problem - The Ruff appears to have some sort of fine black or grey border running along its outer edge and the shirt cuffs seem to match.
see close up ref pic

Can I get lace like this - what will it be called? or could I embroider some sort of pattern using a setting on my sewing machine?? Help! Really stuck over this one.

08 Mar 2012 - 10:1180404
Ah. found the answers online last night.. so the ruff is made from linen or lace and the embroidery is called Blackwork - on account Black silk thread was used to hand embroider complex patterns using double running stitch.
Umm I'm going to cheat a bit and use the sewing machine.

Also found a great write up how to make an authentic ruff. Loads more Elizabethan costume making on this website if anyone needs info

08 Mar 2012 - 20:1280434
Quote Ranma1-2:
hand embroider complex patterns using double running stitch.
Umm I'm going to cheat a bit and use the sewing machine.

*gasp* HEATHEN!!


Ayacon Plans
09 Mar 2012 - 00:0580460
^^ There just isnt the time, otherwise I would hand embroider it all..lovingly..

09 Mar 2012 - 09:4880469
Oh this is excellent! I've recently watched the 2nd series in full so I'd been eyeing this one up, but decided I wasn't fond of the hose

If you want any advice from me on this feel free to ask, I'd done a bit of research into it and worked some of it out, though I'd been staring longingly at the cape embroidery...

For the neck ruff you may want to just do a long line of black satin stitch (a close knit zig zag) on a piece of linen about an inch from the edge, then trim it away to get a clean black line. Trying to zig zag over the raw edge of something like linen will just pull the threads and be messy, so you need the extra edging to keep it stable.

09 Mar 2012 - 10:5580472
Taaaaab! Thanks, yes I will most definitly ask your adv then.
Um hose? - I know the screen costume pics have the proper looking short breeches..I just cant imagine Rowan going for the hose with them though. Easier to imagine he got away with plain trousers underneath - conveniently, we dont see Blackadders hose because the thigh boots cover them completely. btw those riding boots, the more I see of them it seems like they are not boots but shoes with like seperate thigh boot toppings. - I can see what looks like spats overlapping at the shoe part. What is going on there? Is this just practicalities of the screen wardrobe dept, or based on actual real things? I have not come across seperate boot toppings before..but then I discovered that the sleeves of doublets were often removable and held on with ties at the shoulder.

There is loads I am just guessing atm I would appreciate your help on, ..would you preferr stick my questions here or pm or email? Sooo pleased you are willing to help me with this.

Last edited by Ranma1-2 (09 Mar 2012 - 10:57) Reason: baaaaad spg
07 May 2012 - 18:3983625
Email is best! (You can see why, I don't come on CI that often!)

08 May 2012 - 10:3983652
hahahahahaha. errrrm yes I see that now. ^^ ok email in future..

Black adder is taking a break atm whilst Im working on May Expo costumes. I'll email you when I get back on Blackadder cos.

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