Agnes Nutter cosplay

This dress is part of the Dress Diaries series. This series documents how I create my most cherished personal projects, as they unfold. Explore and be inspired by the projects that have captured my heart. 

Somewhere during the hype up of Good Omens season 2, I got the idea for a historically accurate Agnes Nutter cosplay. I wrote it down in my ‘idea parking lot’ and moved on, or tried to.

Costume Illustration bye Sophie Fretwell for Claire Anderson; Costume Designer for Good Omens. Image copyright BBC/ Amazon.

This nagging idea to do it just wouldn’t leave my brain; I had so many exciting ideas about it. Agnes is a mature woman at 56 and while I’m a mere 42, I am starting to lose interest in cosplaying much younger women. Most importantly though, it was the 17th century, a new time period for me.

Luckily, we know exactly the years Agnes was alive. She was born in 1600, and in the novel she dies in 1656. To research I go! At research I got stuck! There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot available about the early to mid seventeenth century. So I hit up my good friend Constance MacKenzie who is much more knowledgeable about the Tudor through to The Restoration period. 

Constance had recommended ‘Patterns of Fashion 5’ by the School of Historical Dress, a book already on my wishlist, which is all about stays. She also suggested ‘Seventeenth Century Women’s Clothing’ (1 & 2) by Jenny Trimani and Susan North. There was also the possibility of ‘The Tudor Tailor’ by Ninya Mikhaila and Jane Malcolm – Davies being useful in some items, even though it is a bit earlier than what I am aiming for. Happily, I found it at my local library.

So, what do I need for my Agnes Nutter cosplay? 
  • A smock
  • A pair of stays
  • A petticoat
  • A skirt
  • A cap

This Dress Diary is slightly different from others as it will be split into a variety of different projects. I’ll be starting with the smock and stays, which each will covered in multiple posts. I don’t anticipate the skirts and petticoat being too complicated; in the 17th century they are just rectangles gathered down.

Dress Diaries: Agnes Nutter cosplay

Agnes Nutter cosplay: The smock – Part 1

About smocks Smocks are a utilitarian garment worn by women for many centuries. During the 16th and 17th century they functioned as chemise, night dress, and blouse. They were often made from linen both for its sweat wicking and hard wearing properties. They were long to help protect your clothing…

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