About Constanzia : My name is Duquessa Constanzia and I’m a laurel from Lochac. I joined the SCA in the early 90s. I’m one of the patrons of the Iberian clothing prize. My persona is Spanish and I love capsule wardrobes so I could not resist this challenge! It’s so lovely to participate from the antipodes! I hope that by showing some of the interesting clothing from Spain, that others may find it interesting too.
Her Project: I’m still deciding which Iberian outfit I want. Do I want northern spanish with the crazy hats and choupines? Do I want mid c16th Spanish with crazy sleeves and choupines? I definately want choupines…. let’s start there!
About Joana: I have been involved in the SCA for 19 years in the Barony of Southron Gaard which was originally in the Kingdom of Caid and is now in the Kingdom of Lochac. I have sewed for most of that time. Until recently I did mostly Italian dresses which can be seen here – https://elisabettafoscari.wordpress.com/la-guardaroba-di-elisabetta/. More recently however I have wanted to explore my Portuguese heritage through the SCA and have therefore spent much of this year researching and reading about everything related to 16th century Portugal to help develop my Portuguese persona of Joana. I also love cooking and have cooked several feasts for my group, the biggest was for Midwinter Coronation last year.
Her Project: I am making an outfit suitable for an upper class lady from around 1510-1530 in Portugal. This is to fit in with my persona of Joana. My inspiration is primarily the St Auta altarpiece which was painted between 1522-5 but I will also be using Garcia Fernandes painting of the Martyrs of Lisbon as inspiration for my outer layer. My pinterest board on Portuguese fashion is a good place to view these and other images https://www.pinterest.nz/elisabettaf/portuguese-fashion/ I have been developing my knowledge of this period of Portugese dress recently and have made a couple of outfits already in this style. I have some particularly lovely brocade in my heraldic colours of green and gold I want to use for this project. The outer layer I have wanted to make for ages as it looks pretty and practical. I would like to cook a Portuguese style dinner as my other item using the Portuguese cookbook “Um tradado da cozinha portuguesa do século XV” which was written just before the period of my dress.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I feel very happy that I have made an outfit and cooked a meal that would be familiar to my persona, Joana de Bairros, a Portuguese lady of the 1520s. I was able to wear my dress to the ball at our camping event last week and received many compliments on it.
I have really enjoyed this challenge! It has been a great chance to make an outfit and I like the fact that there was the catergory to do something a bit different. Thank you for all your hard work in running it!
I don’t have photos of me in my dress eating my dinner. I did not think that the dress would go well with cooking and preparing a meal so decided to do the meal out of dress. I am very confident it would be exactly the sort of food my Portuguese persona would have eaten however.
This is the underwear layer of my 16th century upper class Portuguese outfit for a woman. It consists of a chemise and petticoat. The chemise is based on one worn in a portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria who was Queen of Portugal and the petticoat is made using the Alcega pattern of a ‘skirt for a fat woman’. Both items are fully hand sewn using mostly whip stitch! The chemise is made from cotton/linen and has gold trim around the neckline. The petticoat is made from an embroidered polyester taffeta.
I had to put an extra gusset in the side of the chemise as the arm was too narrow which has resulted in the sleeve sitting a bit short under the arm. You can’t really tell unless you are staring at my armpit however. I did not off set the corner of the sleeve and the body of the chemise enough so will do that differently next time.
The petticoat went very well and I also put a wool layer in the hem to add extra padding. I would have put a bit more fabric in the back and made the ties shorter but overall I am very happy with it!
A dress in the style of 1520s Portugal made from green silk and gold brocade. The bodice is interlined with two layers of a linen/cotton canvas that are padstitched together to make it firmer and lined with a ecru coloured linen. The dress is trimmed with a green velvet ribbon that has a very narrow gold bobbin lace style trim on both edges. The sleeves are lined with pink silk and the bottom of the sleeve folds over to show the lining at the cuff and this is trimmed with gold lace and pink pearls. The seams are machine sewn and all fabric pieces were overlocked with a machine zig-zag seam. The rest is sewn by hand, mostly using whip stitch!
For this layer I made a hood/bonnet. I used the headdress on the Lopes picture of Maria Madalena as my inspiration. I loved the shape of this especially the heart shaped front. I decided to make it out of black velveteen as that is what the original looked to be made of. This is also consistent with many of the hoods seen in English and Spanish portraits of this period. I lined the hood in the pink silk I used to line my dress sleeves as I wanted to link it to the dress. I bought the trim around the edge of etsy. It is gold work embroidered on to a tan velvet ribbon which gave it a similar look to the portrait. I had wanted to embroider it myself but time was short. I also made a pearl tassel for the corners of the hood out of a plastic drop pearl, a garnet bead and a earring wire.
To make the hood I used the pattern on page 51 of the Queen’s Servants as a guide. The shaped rounded back of this gave me a look which I felt fitted with the image. I edged all pieces on the machine and machined middle seam on the velvet and the silk. I machined one edge of the velvet and silk together and hand sewed the rest closed with a whip stitch. The trim was sewed on by hand.
To create the shaped back I hand gathered the centre back as indicated on the pattern. I pulled the gathering stitch which gave me a tight frill which I hand sewed together on both the velvet and silk. On top of the velvet side of the gather I sewed a ouch I bought from Steve Millingham pewter replicas.
To make the shape around the face I sewed some millinery wire inside the front seam between the silk and velvet. I then bent the wire to give the shaped front. Wire was used in early 16th century English headresses and I have seen several examples of these frames at the Museum of London.
The jewel at the front was bought from Armour and Casting. I sewed it on to a strip of black velvet and then sewed that to the front of the hood at the centre front. I have done something similar with hennins in the past and found it gives a good anchor point for the hood.
When I make Mark 2 of this I will make the hood much bigger, especially between the top of my head and ear as it doesn’t cover my head as much as I would prefer. I found getting the correct shape for the wire difficult and while it is ok it requires frequent rebending.
Dinner! I invited a Spanish friend of mine over for dinner as the final element to compliment my dress. There is only one surviving Portuguese cookbook from my period in time which dates from the late 15th and early 16th century so would have been used around the time of Joana. It is called Um tradado da cozinha portuguesa do século XV or O Livro de Cozinha da Infanta D. Maria de Portugal. Both are modern titles attached to a book of recipes that was written around the turn of the 16th century and then taken by Maria, the niece of the Portuguese King João to Naples when she married Alexander Farnese.
From this book I cooked:
Galinha mourisca (Moorish Chicken)
Pastéis de leite (Milk pastries – really a Portuguese custard tart)
Unfortunately it is a fairly limited range of recipes with a focus on meat dishes and sweets so vegetable options were limited. I therefore decided to use the 1520 Libre del Coch by Robert da Nola. This is a Spanish book rather than Portuguese but allowed me to keep an Iberian flavour to my dinner. The date of 1520 is contemporaneous with Joana too. My guest for the evening has a Spanish persona so this was a nice way to acknowledge her too.
From this book I cooked:
POTAJE DE CEBOLLAS QUE DICEN CEBOLLADA (A Pottage of Onions called Cebollada)
The food was all delicious and was very pleased with how it turned out. The eggplant was my favourite, the onion my husband’s and my guest liked the sauce from the chicken on the bread. The custard tarts were everyone’s favourite!
(A PDF containing further commentary about this layer is available at the bottom of the page)
Additional Layer One: I decided once I put on the dress that I really, really, really did not like the first chemise I made. It didn’t sit right and it itched! I decided therefore to make a new chemise using a much lighter-weight cotton. I constructed it exactly the same as the first one in that it is all handsewn. The trim is in the same place but a different trim. It keeps to the source image though of alternating wavy and straight trim. I made the ruffle around the neck much narrower than in the first version to be more in keeping with the Catherine of Austria painting. The other main change I made was off setting the sleeve and the body of the chemise much more to provide more room under the arm of the chemise. This was an area I particularly disliked in the first one and I find the sits so much better.
Portguese coat: This is based on the overlayer worn by the lady in the green dress in Garcia Fernandes’s painting of The Martyrs of Lisbon. Happily she wears it in two panels so we have fairly good view of it. I made mine out of the same black velveteen as the hood and lined it in the same silk. For the trim I used a gold/silver woven braid. The fur collar I bought from an antique shop. It had a rip in it so I glued it on to some suede I had and then lined it in more pink silk. I have issues with using real fur but I feel that repurposing a vintage piece is respecting the animal by allowing its fur to be used for a bit longer.
I was going to close the sides with ties but it didn’t sit well so I sewed it together at the sides and sewed fake ribbon ties which I finished the bead and garnet aglets I used on the sleeves.
To pattern it I cut out a tabard shape from some scrap fabric and added more to the sides when it was obvious that this was necessary. I tried to preserve the lovely curved front and back of the garment although this was difficult with the velvet being quiet bulky.
I am moderately happy with this garment. The front doesn’t sit as I had hoped. In a future version I might try an interlining to give it more shape and then sew the velvet around this. I love the fur collar though! It is very lush and snuggly
Sash: I made a sash out of the pink lining silk. It is a strip of fabric machined together and then hand sewn at the ends. I sewed a small amount of the gold lace trim I used around the cuff.
Necklace: I had a cross I bought from Raymond’s Quiet Press many years ago. It had the perfect green enamel but the pearls had fallen off. I glued some of the pink pearls I used on the necklace back in to hollows. I made a necklace out of alternating pink glass pearls and green coloured freshwater pearls on some jewelery wire. This isn’t based on any portrait in particular but I wanted the colours to reflect the colour of the dress and I am very pleased with the match I managed here!
About Lianor: I have been part of the SCA in Lochac for 5 years. I was originally drawn to Equestrian. And led me to an interest in 16th century Iberian culture. I love the aesthetics of the period. But my lack of Spanish language skills have made research harder. I have a good level of modern sewing skills, and one of things I’ve enjoyed in the SCA is translating this into historic skills. This project will be pushing me to improve my research skills and pattern drafting. I really enjoy hand sewing and detail, but I know I will have to comprise on my decisions to met the deadlines.
Her Project: My project is inspired by the portraits of Juana de Austria, Particularly the 1552/53 portraits by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz & Cristobal de Morales. Very much a royal portrait, it is assumed to be her wedding clothes. The third (outer) layer will be drawn from later portraits or images from the period. Mid to late 16th Century Iberian is a culture that I have researching for the last 2 years. And this challenge is giving me a reason to create this outfit that I have kept coming back to over the last 2 years.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I’m so pleased to have taken part in this challenge. It pushed me along to get something a bit special done, at a time when there wasn’t much motivation. I’ve so enjoyed the enthusiasm of fellow challengers, and loved seeing the range of things that were created and lessons learnt. I pushed myself to improve my pattern drafting and tailoring techniques. And I feel a lot more comfortable with the techniques now, and I can really see the value in the end result. Overall, I’m proud of what I produced.
My project is based on the portrait of Juana de Austria by Coello. Juana was daughter to Charles V of Spain, the portrait is thought to show her wedding clothes from 1552. The high status garment shows features typical of Iberian high status clothes, constructed of costly black silk velvet. Complex tailoring and structural under layers. Layer 1 is the base layer, and would have been similar to layers worn by most levels of society at the time in terms of construction and function. The difference would have been choice of fabric.
The Chemise is linen, and constructed using basic rectangles and squares for efficient use of fabric. Drafted myself from my measurement. As the chemise is unseen in this portrait, I have left it unembroidered. The unseen seams are machine sewn for speed, but seams and hems are hand finished so no machine stitching is visible.
Faldellin – half circle petticoat is worn over the top and is the first support layer for the skirts. The pattern is drafted using instructions from Matthew Gnagy – based on Alcega’s tailoring manual of the period and culture. The fabric is light weight wool blend, the slight wide pinstrip is not noticable in the made up garment. And it was choice for coolness and access – the right wool can be hard to source. The under hem is a heavy wool / synthetic blend felted fabric – similar to melton, that was in my stash. The trim is a tightly woven synthetic taffeta, silk taffeta would have been the ideal choice but I couldn’t find a really tightly woven silk in my budget in time.
This was the first time I had made one of these skirts and I’m really happy with the results. The hem treatment is really effective, adding a significant amount of structure to the garment. The bara tape draft was easy and being based on proportions it was a flattering cut. I also learnt to love my thimble and got a lot faster with my hand sewing. I think I got a better feel for the handsewing approach a tailor of the period would have taken.
My project is based on a portrait of Juana of Austria dated 1552/53. It reflects Spanish court fashion of the mid 16th Century.
This is a supportive structural layer, critical to achieving the correct shape for the outer layer. It includes a spanish farthingale – Verdugado de Seda & Pair of low necked bodies – Cuerpo Baxo. Both based on patterns found in period tailors manuals. And both patterns have been drafted using the barra tape method, which is the 16th C technique based on body proportions.
The farthingale base is synthetic silk for budget reasons, channels and tapes in linen, and natural cane which I bound together for strength. I had some problems getting the shape right for the farthingale. I had expected to get a very smooth skirt, but the draft required me to gather and adjust around the canes. Once I had decided to use my judgement to make the shape right, it worked better. Using cane was tricky and I had many experiments to get the right weight and joining shorter pieces together.
The low neck bodies have an internal structure of heavy and hair canvas, with additional layers of wool and hair canvas to the front. All layers were pad stitched together, which stiffened and gave it a curved shape. I then added linen lining and top layers. It is side back laced on both sides. Because the fit was critical, a lot of time was spent checking and fitting but this was worth the effort.
The end result is very supportive, but more comfortable than bodies with canes / reeds / bones. And is appropriate for the period of the portrait.
I’m happy with the end result, and think it has given me a good base for the next layer.
This was my outer bodice, skirt and sleeves for a 16th Century Spanish court gown. Based on a portrait of Juana of Austria 1552. Main fabric is a black cotton velveteen, with hair canvas and wool felt / melton for support and a black and gold brocade for trim. The shape of this outer layer is only possible with the support layers underneath. But still required tailoring techniques such as pad stitched and supported hems. The amount of machine stitching was minor compared to the hand stitching with all the tailoring, trims and hand finished hems.
This was the first time I have produced a separate skirt and bodice that is tied together. I was a bit unsure about it, but it works really well and I can see me doing this more often in the future.
The sleeves are layered, with a plain two pieced curved sleeve, and a paned short sleeve over the top, bound together at the top.
Construction didn’t cause me any particular problems, but it probably took longer than I anticipated.
I plan to make some additional items after the challenge to better mirror the original portrait.
My accessory is a painted heraldic banner. It includes my personal heraldry and motto, which reflects my interest in 16th Century Iberian culture. It also compliments the gown I’m constructing – so I figured it would work for the final composition. Its heavy cotton plain weave, painted with fabric paints, and bound in black bias.
I chose a gonfalon shape, as it is versatile for display. And the chevron of my heraldry could also be mirrored in the hem.
About Malkin: I have been involved in the SCA for 39 years. I am not a regular seamstress though I do enjoy it. I am a Rapier fighter, a former heavy fighter and an avid Helgaball player. Owen and I recently stepped down from our tenure as Baron and Baroness and we focused the tenure around a nautical theme.
Her Project: I am planning a reproduction of the Magellan portrait from an extant painting. It is a new idea specifically for this competition.
Her final thoughts on her C3 Experience: The project started as a Portuguese outfit completely hand sewn.Friend Praxilla was invited to the order of the Laurel and I made the English Gentlemens Full Wardrobe so that he could help on camera for the virtual elevation. I couldn’t do both. I’m still working on Owen’s Portuguese Clothes but not for the C3. The underwear and hat were hand-sewing along with a pair of stockings that would not fit the second set. Patterns were an adaptation of the Margo Anderson pattern series adapted for a man who stands 6’5″ tall. All fabrics were chosen by the recipient except the cloak pin. The stained glass cloak pin was a gift for the recipient for being so cool about the whole thing.
Hand-sewing linen skivvies and undershirt layer. This layer has been delayed because the intended recipient couldn’t decide what kind of cuffs he wanted.
Maroon velvet doublet lined in gold colored cotton . Lining is hand-stitched to emphasize chest and shoulders and deemphasize midsection. Sleeves are straight insert with 18 buttons each sleeve and 14 down the front. Trousers are single flap button’fly
Outerwear. Grey velvet cape lined with black linen and two ‘flat hats’, one lined in gold and the other lined in blue. The hat lined in gold is machine sewn, the hat lined in blue is hand sewn.
3″ diameter cloak/hat pin made using leaded glass techniques in red and gold glass.