About this site

Based on the Painting by HolbeinLeather and Silk outfit with paned hose and peascod belly1530's Italian dressBrughel peasantsblue onered wool overdressBrughel manmushroom1

Please note: If you wish to reproduce this in any way please credit me. We all work very hard and share our knowledge freely in the SCA. It would be a shame to find my work in someone elses name. Thank you. 


This website is mainly about the exploration of mostly pre 1600’s Costuming with an emphasis on research and construction. It contains a few other ‘historical’ endeavors and helpful pages in other areas of exploration too.

These pages contain the different costumes I have made and the processes I have been through since 1999.

A bit about myself:

I have been making, sourcing and designing costumes for Theatre, Film, Historical Re-enactment and L.A.R.P. since 1999. I  hold a Spatial Design Degree from A.U.T University, Auckland, and I am a fully qualified Secondary Technology Teacher, teaching Design Technology.

I am self taught in sewing and patterning but can make what I see if given a painting or concept sketch.

I have been employed as a singer and actor, and I have spent time touring with different companies around New Zealand in these capacities. I therefore understand first hand about the importance of durability and material choice in costume production for stage and screen, as well as the role that comfort plays in a performers world without compromising on budget and aesthetics. I also understand that when making a historical costume it is often a different process when constructing for film and theatre.

I have been a part of the medieval Re-enactment community (metal weapon and S.C.A)  within New Zealand since 1999. I have self funded trips to Europe, the U.K. and America  to further my understanding and research into historical fashion.

The philosophy I have surrounding any research is to look into the before and after of the specific thing you are researching. Seeing where it has come from, and where it has gone (and with garb  – particularly into the cut and construction, i.e. – seams, the shapes, the fastenings etc) helps you understand the process more and make more informed guesses – as most historical costuming without extant garments is a lot like detective work.

I also give thought to and try to read up on all the general things surrounding the everyday use of an object.

For example:

  • Dancing (movement and ease, type of outfit influencing steps and vice versa)
  • Pregnancy (expanding belly and then breast feeding on demand etc…)
  • Farming/laboring (i.e. – a back lacing Kirtle? why if you are getting up at 4am to milk cows….)
  • trade routes (influencing avaliability of materials etc)
  • Food
  • Accessories
  • Materials (the old names for them, production, uses etc)
  • Foot wear
  • Transport
  • General movement (sitting in a farthingale….and toiletting in one etc)
  • General common sense – what would be a sensible, functional reason for the material choice/ construction
  • Fighting styles and armour
  • Camping / campaign living
  • Fixed dwelling living

For photos and information on my costumes other than this page please go to:


For photos and information on my travels please go to


I hope that you find something helpful in whatever capacity on these pages



5 Responses “About this site” →
  1. Thank, this rocks 🙂


  2. Keli-Rene Sparks

    January 25, 2015

    Chantelle, I found your site through the facebook page SCA Runway and I was wondering if I could get the patterns for the lovely blue/red/brown 1390’s French/Italian fitted gown as well as the pattern for the mushroom dress? I just love the fact that there is a dress type that will fit my short plump curvy self, Thank you soooooo much for doing all the work and research!

    • hello! the only problem with sending you the pattern is that usually i fit it to the people i give it to – it isn’t like a store bought one……so if i send it to you it will take a friend and a some adjustment…..?xx (and thanks for the kind words!)

      • I understand that! And I have several friends who would be willing to help fit it to me in return for me to fit it to them! I know of two off of the top of my head who are drolling over your designs and another three who will when they see them!


  3. Roger N. Kirkman

    June 24, 2016

    I’m still thinking about having you make a kilt. Roger


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...