About Elizabeth: I reside in The Shire of Canale, Cynagua, The West. I have been in the sca for almost a year now! I picked up sewing to create garb and have taken some college classes on sewing and design. I love researching French/English court dress of the early 1560s, and am researching women’s education in the third quarter of the 16th century. This project is not for me, but will be made for my sister.
Her Project: I will be creating an outfit suitable for a Florentine lady of means around 1565-1575. The items required are, a Camica, a small farthingale, a supportive kirtle, a doublet dress, an over gown, and finally a set of jewels. The outfit is primarily based on, Follower of Francesco Salviati del Rossi, called Il Salviati Portrait of a lady, half-length, in a richly embroidered, high-necked white dress with pink trim, a jeweled headdress and pearl necklace, seated holding gloves in her left hand.
This is a 1560s Florentine kirtle, and partlet. The pattern was drafted using the modern maker, and adjusted to fit the visual sources I referenced. It is made of cotton canvas, linen blend, and cotton velvet. The bodice is stiffened with layers of wool and buckram, pad stitched together to stay rigid. The partlet is made of fine white linen, and trimmed with gold picot braid. This layer took longer that anticipated, but I am happy with the results.
About Gianna: I’ve been active in the SCA for 4 years. I’ve sewn for a long time but over the past 3 years I have started focusing on learning how to construct my clothing using historical methods and fabrics versus modern methods. My primary focus is 1450-1580 Florence. However, I have a strong interest in Tudor England and Venice. When not sewing I dabble in tablet weaving and other fiber arts. I find Florentine clothing to be challenging and deceptive. All of the structure of Florentine clothing is created within the clothing itself, meaning, they did not have corsets or farthingales to create the overall shape and support. Creating the veste will require a few new skills so this should be interesting.
Her Project: I’m drawn to the elegance of the portrait of Isabella de Medici by Alessandro Allori from around 1560, Florence. I will recreate the ensemble seen in that painting. Isabella was part of the Medici family who was ruling Florence, Italy at the time. An outfit of velvet and numerous pearls would’ve been worn by upper nobility as I imagine the cost would’ve been prohibitive for anyone else. This is an outfit that I’ve been wanting to make for a while and have completed some of the pieces that will not be entered into this competition.
I will be making the camicia, sottana, and her veste (or overgown). The sottana is the supportive middle layer dress that will help create the overall shape. The sottana will be made it so that it can be worn as stand alone dress. For my 4th, non-sewing item I will be making a pair of chopines. These are elevated platform shoes meant for outdoor wear to keep dresses and shoes out of the muck and show off wealth.
Her final thoughts on the C3 experience:
This was really fun but if there’s a next time I hope that it doesn’t line up with the IRCC challenge because completing both was a lot. Overall I now have some new clothes that I really like and can’t wait to wear them to an event.
I’m submitting a linen camicia which is the underlayer that was worn by everyone. Since my entry is later period I added cotton lace around the neckline and wrists. The construction seams are machine sewn but all finishing is done by hand (hem, felled seams, and lace). Once I can try it on with the sottana I may wish that the neckline was a bit lower but we’ll see.
I’ve made a upper class women’s sottana (dress) that would’ve been worn between 1540-1560+. It’s difficult to know exactly when Florentine women stopped wearing these because they went from being the outer layer to being the middle layer throughout the 16th century. I went ahead and made this dress so that it could be worn as it’s own dress or as a supportive layer. Bodies, stays, or farthingales weren’t found in Florence during period so all support and structure are created within the sottana.
The outer layer is a shot silk dupioni that’s either an icy blue or periwinkle, depending on the light. It’s trimmed in a dark blue velvet in a pattern that is fairly common for the era. The sleeves are also trimmed in the same velvet and feature a spiral design. The bodice and sleeves are lined in linen. The support and structure of the bodice was created by layering duck cloth and melton wool per the method found in The Modern Maker vol. 2. The skirt is stiffened with wool felt that I stiffened with 3 rows of zig zag stitching creating a faux pad stitch.
The bodice is side laced through metal lacing rings. I wove 2 cords on the lucet with pearle cotton which I then waxed (wax, melt into the fibers, repeat) to strengthen the cords and hopefully help prevent wear from the lacing rings.
I made a veste/over dress based on the gown worn by Isabella de’Medici in a portrait by Alessandro Allori.
I began by modifying a bodice pattern that I had from previous projects. The bodice is velveteen, inner-lined with pad stitched wool in the bust and back area to help define and stiffen the upper chest while the entire bodice is inner-lined with canvas. The bodice is closed with hooks and eyes that I made then lined with silk charmeuse. I created tabs with velveteen edged with white silk and sewed them around the bottom of the bodice.
The skirt is cartridge pleated beginning near the hip and around the back. This provides fullness and mimics a the shape that a bum roll would create. Bum rolls weren’t worn in Florence during this time. There’s 3 layers of wool stitched together and sewn into the hem to help stiffen the hem and create a bell shape. (farthingales weren’t in Florence yet)
The baragoni (shoulders) were broken into 5 segments. A row of tabs, followed by vertical panes, another row of tabs, a cuff, and another row of tabs. I backed the panes with buckram to help stiffen them and support the pearl cluster. I should’ve made the buckram pieces longer. The cuff is lined with canvas to help support the weight of the pearls. The baragoni were then sewn onto the armscye.
I took a sleeve pattern and broke it into 3 sections. The two outer sections I then divided into smaller pieces to get the angled pieces. Each piece is trimmed with silk ribbon and sewn together at the corners with pearl clusters. The sleeve pieces were lined and closed up. They attach to the veste shoulders with lacing rings and lucet cord.
It pretty much went together as planned but this gown has been swimming in my head for about a year now. Overall it was a great learning experience and I like it a lot better than the first veste that I made. There’s not much that I’d change other than making the sleeves a bit smaller because they seem a bit big.
I made a pair of pianelle which is an overshoe. These could be worn either with just stockings for indoor wear or over slippers for outdoors. The style that I went with can be worn either way because they lace up and can be adjusted.
The research that I found stated that pianelles (under 3″ tall) and chopines (over 3″ tall) were made of wood. We started out with that plan but couldn’t find a ban saw big enough to cut the massive block of wood. I ran across a pair of sandals with a cork base and plan B was developed. I took the vinyl straps off of the shoes for my base.
I patterned the vamps from paintings, extant examples, and other recreations. The vamps are velveteen to match the veste, inner-lined in canvas, and lined in some cotton that I had laying around. I worked 6 eyelets into each piece to be able and lace them closed.
I had some suede and thought that it would make for a nice insole, sturdy enough to stand up to being worn with slippers but nice enough to wear with stockings alone. I used more velveteen scraps to make long strips that would be drawn over the sides of the shoe and glued down. Since my sewing machine wasn’t capable of sewing through all of the layers I ended up sewing it together using waxed linen thread and a saddle stitch. Once the covers were done I glued them to the shoe. Once the glue dried I added some gimp around the bottom of the shoes and laced them up.
They’re surprisingly comfy and fairly easy to walk in.
About Tellina: I’m known as Tellina di Guiseppe da Fiesole. I live in the Barony of Rivenoak in the Principality of Cynagua in the Kingdom of the West. I’ve only been playing for about three years. I currently serve as baronial exchequer and prima consortia (baronial head of court). I do a small amount of costuming, but generally I’m generally known as a cook. In cooking I also prefer to focus on the Italian peninsula.
Her Project: My area of interest is 1450-1470 Florence. I’m particularly inspired by the paintings of Piero della Francesca, so I intend to create an outfit based on his paintings. Clothing depicted in his paintings generally consists of a camicia (shift), gamurra (kirtle type dress) and giornea (sleeveless overdress) or cioppa (sleeved overdress). I’m not exactly certain what the accessory will be, but I’ve been eyeing belts.
Update: I’ve updated my plan and inspiration since the website profile was created, so I’ll no longer be taking as much inspiration solely from the paintings of Piero della Francesca, but will focus on aspects of dress appropriate for travel in inclimate weather including hallmarks of pilgrim dress still appropriate to somewhere between 1450-1480 Tuscany.
Her Final Thoughts on the Challenge:
I was very pleased having everything on, although if I plan to wear it in the snow again, I’m gonna need to make a hood. The surprising win for me was the totally unplanned bag made from my leftover sleeve material, it’s incredibly convenient.
I’m working on an outfit appropriate to my later half of the 15th century Florentine persona had she gone on pilgrimage. Under pinnings are not widely depicted in my little window of time/place (okay, not for women anyways). It’s reasonably clear that women wore both camicia and calze, as they can be glimpsed at the neckline and hem. In the particular period I’m looking at ~1450-1480 it does not appear that shifts are yet gathered at the neck nor particularly voluminous at the sleeves, and there is some earlier and later evidence of gored construction, so that’s what I opted for. My shift was 100% hand sewn in linen cloth. The calze (stockings), again lacking extant garments or tremendous detail, I looked slightly further and based my seam placement in a german stocking depiction. The stockings had machine structural seams and hand finishing. They are made of wool.
My outfit is appropriate to a mid-15th century pilgrim from Florence. My main inspiration was a fresco from the 1480s, so I chose some specifically 1450s-1470s features for the gamurra (kirtle). The dress is made of wool and features a puffed sleeve shape common to women is the mid-15th in the Italian peninsula (this shape remained in fashion for men much longer). I had wanted matching sleeves, but made an error in calculating yardage, so I went with a contrasting sleeve. Contrasting plain sleeves seem to be more common outside of Florence in this time period, but pilgrims are by nature travelers. The dress is hand sewn, and between the front and side lacing has 98 eyelets. The other thing that went wrong was that it was initially too long waisted, so I detached the skirt and moved it up an inch and half.
This is a short mantel similar to the one featured in the inspiration fresco. Over Zoom I played around and we realized the proportions of my skirts were very similar, so this is essentially a skirt on a band. It’s is made of slightly heavier wool and hand sewn. In the fresco it’s hard to tell if there is a front opening, but I rather liked it without.
Pilgrims need hats! While the inspiration had a shorter brimmed hat, I’ve opted for a bycocket because it will keep rain off my glasses. There are bycockets in my 1460s inspiration frescos. The hat was made by wet felting roving, I then dyed it using acid dyes, shaped it and added pewter cast badges. The badges were sand cast, however in period they would likely have used soapstone moulds. The designs are based on extant badges to scale. The purse is admittedly not a pilgrim badge (possibly a professional badge), but it’s so cute.
Pilgrims also need bags! From the scraps of the sleeve material, I fashioned a bag on the commonly depicted trapezoidal shape, it’s also adorned with pewter cast badges.