Sunday, 13 August 2023 (2pm to 5:50pm BST)

The garment autopsy - a mystery 16th century underpinning revealed

tudor wall painting
tudor wall painting
tudor wall painting

Please note, this event has already occurred. However, you can still purchase a ticket to watch the video by clicking on the button below.

Join Jane and Ninya to relive the exciting revelation of a previously unpublished Tudor garment. A detailed examination of a recently discovered 16th century farthingale sleeve is the focus of the next Tudor Tailor online event.

Dr Susan North’s in-depth investigation of the garment was a huge hit at the launch conference for The Typical Tudor last year. Susan, who is curator of fashion before 1800 at the V&A Museum in London, revisits her examination of a previously unpublished 16th century garment she undertook in front of a live audience at the Missing Persons conference in Nottingham in October 2022.

Jane and Ninya will also discuss with Susan why such survivals are so rare and the reasons they sometimes come to light in good condition. Reconstructions of the farthingale sleeve and its silk satin oversleeve will demonstrate how the two were worn together. The team will also present convincing pictorial and documentary evidence for the fashion for farthingale sleeves being worn throughout society and not just by the elite in London.

Ticketholders who attended the Missing Persons conference in Nottingham or people who purchased a ticket for the online event can watch the recording free of charge. Please contact for more details.

Tickets to access the recording are available for £25 using the button below. Please note that a link is sent out by email after purchase. This can take up to 24 hours to process.



Welcome – Jane & Ninya


Who is Dr Susan North?
Jane and Ninya find out how Susan began studying historic dress, hear about her work as curator of fashion before 1800 at the V&A Museum in London, and some of the most interesting findings from her doctoral research into linen garments.


The garment autopsy: interrogating & identifying dress
The Tudor Tailor offers an opportunity to experience the excitement in the courtroom in Nottingham when the farthingale sleeve was revealed for the first time. Susan considers why new discoveries of extant early modern garments are so rare and speculates on the circumstances under which they are preserved. She also demonstrates her investigative process as she examines a 16th century garment she has never seen before.


Q&A with Susan North
There are plenty of matters arising from the discovery of the farthingale sleeve. Put a question in the chat on the Zoom screen to hear what Susan and the Tudor Tailor team can share about its material and construction.


Refreshment break


Evidence for farthingale sleeves
Jane and Ninya share details from their research for The Typical Tudor including pictorial and documentary evidence which demonstrates how quickly farthingale or trunk sleeves became fashionable and spread throughout society – they were not just for the elite in London.
They will also reveal the results of recent x-ray investigation of the farthingale sleeve and the silk satin oversleeve, which suggests how the hoops were constructed.


New Who do you think you were? video premiere
Gentlewoman Catherine Tollemache
After the video, see how the farthingale sleeve works as part of a late 16th century ensemble featuring a new reconstruction of the slashed and stamped silk satin oversleeve.


Final comments and questions


Thanks & close