Location: Axed Root, Calontir
Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate
About Zaneta: I have been in the SCA for about nine years now. I normally play as a 15th century Venetian woman. Other days, I play at being a 10th century Norwegian. While I have been making garb since I started, I almost never manage to get extra details done – embroidery, shoes, hair coverings, etc – especially for my Venetian outfits. I am hoping to be able to create a complete outfit from head to toe. Making pants will be especially challenging for me. While I can make Thorsberg trousers for my husband without much problem, I have never been able to successfully create pants for myself. I attempted a pair of venetian under drawers (shorts) one time and almost stopped sewing – it was that bad. So this challenge should help me overcome some of my mental blocks about garb making.
Her Project: I will be making an outfit that would have been worn by a man in 1490’s Venice. It will be based off of figures in Vittore Carpaccio’s paintings – The Miracle of the Cross at the Ponte di Rialto (also known as “The Healing of the Madman”), and The Departure of the Pilgrims (from the St. Ursula cycle). I have been wearing Norse and generic 14th century clothing for a while and I would like to get back to being Italian. My outfit will consist of the following: Layer 1 – Camisa or undershirt Layer 2 – Zupon, sleeves, and hose Layer 3 – Mantello or caxacha, like a coat Layer 4 – Possibly shoes, hat, or hat pendant
This is a linen undershirt for a man in 1490’s Venice. I read through a number of blogs and looked at a number of images for this layer. Unfortunately, most of what I looked at had the same message – we aren’t entirely sure…. So I followed the general lines of a shirt from the Medieval Tailor’s Assistant book and added more to the sleeves for future puffiness. The shirt has machine sewn seams and is hand finished. Rather than angle out the body panels, they are straight rectangles. The neck was left large and I gathered it up into a small neck band. There are ties at the neck to close it when it is under the doublet.
This is the first time I have made this type of shirt so next time I will probably make the body panels a bit bigger. I must have done my math wrong because it’s a little more close fitting on the hips than I had planned. I didn’t want the shirt to be too baggy, though, because I tend to get overheated in my normal poofy camicia’s. As the part that is close fitting will be the part under my hose, I think it will be okay and will give me all the poofs that I need at the right spots.
Layer three was the main focus of this project. I created a open front over coat based on paintings of 1490’s Venice. I embroidered the left sleeve with an impresa representing my kingdom. In period, the sleeve would have been decorated with a personal or family impresa for those older men. For younger men, it might have been the impresa/logo for one of the Compagnia della Calze. In period, the garment would have been made of wool or velvet. The sleeves would have been laced onto the body and would have had openings to allow the large sleeves of the undershirt to floof out.
I chose to use a cotton flannel because I had it on hand. The lining is a yellow linen. Because this will be a winter coat for me, and I don’t plan on taking off the sleeves, I hand sewed the sleeves to the body to give the impression that they were tied in – the top of the sleeve is actually about a centimeter under the body so there is a bit of yellow lining to flash at the arm. I didn’t sew the sleeve all the way onto the body and I left a section of upper arm open as well so that the undershirt can poof if I want it to.
The body seams were sewn by machine. Once it was turned right side out, I sewed the neck, arm holes, and hem by hand. I also edged the front and neck line with a running stitch to keep the edges neat.
The sleeves were entirely sewn by machine. The flannel and lining were sewn together, turned, and then sewn into a tube shape. I didn’t like the look of the gap the first run through, so I sewed more of the upper arm. There is only about a six inch gap. I might go ahead and sew that completely together later on.
The embroidery on the sleeve is done in chain stitch with hand dyed silk. The purple details and letters were hand dyed by Lady Agnes von Heidelberg. I helped Agnes dye the two yellows.