I believe the jewels were sewn on...perhaps from a loop incorporated in the jewel's setting?
I always wondered this too, Joan. I always figured it must have been sewn on somehow, so it must have had some hole or loop or clasp or something to get a thread through.
What actually gave me this answer was watching the "Catherine of Aragon" portion of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII". During the meeting where Hal 8 springs the beans on Cathy One that they aren't married, she has been sewing pearls back onto a coat which Henry was wearing.
I know that jewels fell of frequently. Janet Arnold's work 'Lost from her Majesty's back' pretty much documents how the jewels would fall off and how they were accounted for. When in doubt, Arnold is the one to go to - especially for Elizabethan costume questions.
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