The Gallant Tailor



Emma Droste


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photo Creds to Sarah Wienecke

Outline the story …

I found solace in the costuming community once quarantine began. I personally fell down the rabbit hole of the historical costuming through Costube videos. However, I had never made a historical costume, and I didn’t know where to begin for this competition until I opened Grimm’s Fairy Tales and read the tale of "The Gallant Tailor". He is a braggadocious little man who gains himself a kingdom and a reputation as a fearsome warrior on the words “Seven at one blow. ” This costume is an homage to the real people who inspired me to become a gallant little tailor and move from merely watching to creating things myself. Whenever imposter syndrome sinks in, I like to think of the confidence of the tailor to help me fake his can-do spirit. The tailor didn't need brute strength to conquer giants; he just needed the ability to think his way around the problem (and maybe a couple of rocks). Beyond that, he just trusted in his bravado to give him the rest. I think a lot of us can feel like we are "faking" our way through our endeavors. Just as the tailor defeats seven flies and goes on to become a king, I wanted to start with small wins that motivate greater feats. I was very intimidated by making a historical costume, but then I thought of the gallant tailor and knew I could figure it out somehow like he did.

Outline the construction…

I used the same scrappy attitude as the Gallant Tailor to work on this costume which was my first ever. In some cases, I actually used what little scraps I had left over from my mother's sewing supplies and my own craft projects and even green curtains a la Scarlet O'Hara to compile this costume. The components of the costume that were made by myself have a Renaissance design which was chosen to pay tribute to the German folk tale origins of the story and are as follows: shift, petticoat, kirtle, belt, and a rock-pocket. The shift was created using the pattern from Festive Attyre and assembled according to the advice I received from a theatrical costuming workshop put on by my university's theatre company. The petticoat was assembled using some leftover cotton poplin according to the American Duchess petticoat pattern instructions. The kirtle was drafted using the "Elizabethan Costume stays calculator" and the cartridge pleating tutorial from the same website. The kirtle trim was added with 2 different stitching methods to practice my hand stitching (this took forEVER but I felt myself improving with every stitch which was satisfying). The belt is painted with the infinitely important phrase “Seven at one Blow" that gained the tailor his fame through the mistaken assumptions of those around him. Finally, the rock-pocket is 2 circles of scrap fabric sewn together, turned, punctured and then laced up with a leather cord to hold the rocks the Tailor throws at the giants to defeat them.




  1. Avatar Lizzie Foulon on March 11, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    love this, and the ethos you’ve chosen to make it. Great story choice, and the colour of the dress is really pretty.

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 13, 2021 at 12:11 am

      thank you so much!

  2. Avatar Laura Boyles on March 11, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    I love it. The dress and the attitude. I’d wear it in a heartbeat. Best of luck x

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 13, 2021 at 12:14 am

      thank you that means a lot!

  3. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    I really like your use of cartridge pleating. It’s very effective.

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 13, 2021 at 12:18 am

      thank you! the pleating took quite a while to do

  4. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 12, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    You are rocking it, story and garment.

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 15, 2021 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much!

  5. Avatar Teri Plemel on March 12, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    The cartridge pleats look great and I love all of the details. One of my favorite stories from childhood and you captured it well!

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 15, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you! Those pleats took the longest and I had to rip out the handsewing once because it didn’t look right, but I’m proud of how they turned out.

  6. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Lovely and heartwarming story <3 You definitely pulled out all stops on this project and I hope it helped you overcome some of the imposter syndrome symptoms. I love the detials like the eyelets, cartridge pleats and ribbon detail on the skirt. Congratulations on entering!

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 15, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Yeah imposter syndrome is a fact of life being a woman in STEM, but the support is really appreciated so thank you so much!

  7. Avatar Camille on March 14, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I really like the whole silhouette (and bonus ++ for the skirt’s pleats)

    • Avatar Emma Droste on March 15, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      The silhouette is my favorite part of historical costuming being plus-sized because everyone gets to look equally beautiful! Thank you so much!

  8. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 15, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Beautiful! The whole outfit just works. 🙂 You did a fantastic job. Your pleats are spot on, and be proud of what you accomplished “falling down a rabbit hole”.

  9. Avatar Marie on March 16, 2021 at 9:31 am

    It’s one of my favourite fairytale. I love the dress and the details.

  10. Avatar Valerie on March 17, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I’ve always loved that tale, and this is such a fitting tribute. Those cartridge pleats! *chef kiss*

  11. Avatar Laura Ingalls Gunn on March 21, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    An inspiring tale brought to life beautifully. I adore the belt and other gorgeous details.

  12. Avatar Stephanie Tietze on March 22, 2021 at 5:31 am

    This is a great take on the classic tale. I’d say this end result is a wonderful example of the attitude you embraced as well as your own skills. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  13. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 23, 2021 at 3:16 am

    This is so nice. I really like the whole outfit. Thank you!

  14. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 23, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    I love the personal connection you have with the story, and the message you have taken from it! The pleats are gorgeous and well done for all the hand sewing, it looks very neat!

  15. Avatar Elowen Blackthorn on March 26, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Those pleats! Well done!

  16. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Wow, this was an amazing way to start your journey! This is a clean, well-thought-out outfit, and I just love looking at it!

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