From Dust Ruffle to King’s Robe – Henry V

The design team for Such Stuff Players, Henry V had decided on a colour scheme of red, golds and brown for the English, and silver, blue and grey for the French. As our budget is less than a couple of hundred dollars, finding rich looking fabric for royalty is a definite challenge.

I stumbled upon a box-pleated dust ruffle at the Goodwill in the exact colours we had decided on for the English, and the richness of the satin fabric was perfect for a Kingly robe. The challenge became trying to creat a design that didn’t use any fabric that was wider that 12″.

The resulting robe looked both rich and functional! The long running trim at the centre front and back were pieced together to achieve the desired length. The sleeve material was pulled from my fabric stash which itself is mostly sourced from second-hand stores.

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The back vertical piece was necessary as there was no single piece wide enough to cover the back.

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The addition of the belt and chain of office complete the look.

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The Chain of Office needed top be secured, but a quick change into battle-wear required that it be removal. I used some lovely matching ribbon and see-through snaps at the shoulder line.

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For the battle, we wanted Henry to wear a traditional battle tunic. The set and prop designer gave me the leftover velvet she had used for the set hangings and I built this tunic, using some gold fabric scraps I had for the appliqué.

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My propman built the chainlink hood and coif.

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The tunic slipped right over the dust-ruffle robe assisting in the necessary quick changes.

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In addition to other limitations, our costume needed to fit two different actors – one female and one male. Here’s the final product on the actors.

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