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Elizabethan Smock: Less procrastinating than I thought.

I finished my Elizabethan smock! I even hand sewed the entire thing using run and fell seams. I’m particularly proud of the underarm gussets.

I had a hard time getting around to starting this project. Usually I would just make a simple raglan sleeve peasant style smock with a drawstring for Renaissance Faire garb but the costuming  guidelines for Much Ado about Sebastopol have this caveat “Drawstring or elasticized necklines and sleeve cuffs are not acceptable”.

Just reading the guidelines made me anxious, not that I had any of my costuming saved except my corset, peasant bodice, and middle class bodice. It’s a whole different look, a more historically accurate one, but zounds, it’s scary to start all over doing things differently. All good costumes start from the inside out, so hence this smock.

Elizabethan shift on mannequin

The Challenge: Procrastination

Material: Linen cotton blend

Pattern:   Self drafted using the directions on the Tudor Costume Page guide 

Year: 1560’s approximately

Notions: all purpose thread, 100 % cotton embroidery floss (pearl cotton)

How historically accurate is it? 95% because I sewed the shift by hand using period techniques but the fabric and threads are too modern. I embroidered the eyelets for the cuffs. I also crocheted the strings for the cuffs, I don’t think crochet is period either.

Hours to complete: If I had to guess 24  hours. I started by using my stopwatch but a couple of times I forgot to start the watch and once I forgot to stop it, so I gave up.

First worn: I have no where to wear it but plan to use it for Much Ado about Sebastopol 2016 or maybe NorCal Ren Faire. 

Total cost: The embroidery floss was in my stash but I think about $15.00 mxn. I bought 3 meters of the linen/cotton at $89.00 a meter about 1.5 = $133.50 mxn. The sewing thread came off a big spool so I’ll say $.25mxn.

Total $148.75 mxn at an average exchange rate of $16.21 that’s $9.18 usd. At today’s rate of $18.23 it’s only $8.16 usd.


About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Congrats. Trying something new and having it be so successful is so gratifying.

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