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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
About Lorenzo : I have been in the SCA off and on since 2005. I love to sew, although I would say my skills are great. It is very relaxing to me and I love to see an outfit come together. It is important to me that as I progress in the SCA to wear outfits that are more appropriate to what my persona would have worn in period, even if the methods and materials are not period.. yet. I am a brewer, a bard, someone who make jewelry, an archer and thrower of knives..
His Project: My persona has shifted in the last year in terms of century so my plans are to make an outfit that would have existed in the Iberian Peninsula roughly mid 1400s. I’ll be researching historical paintings to base it off of. My skills are beginner to intermediate and I’ll be using modern materials and sewing techniques to construct it. My hope is that at the end I’ll have my first piece of garb from that time period for my persona.
About Porzia: I was laurelled for clothing in the West nearly 20 years ago. While I’ve never been one for persona, usually you would find me working on something early period. I’ve been wanting to do something new and unfamiliar for a while, and so much of this is new – including the type of resources (and language!) for the resources, the construction, and even seam techniques, so it’s like learning these skills all over again – which is really exciting 🙂
Her Project: My outfit is for a woman in the Castilian Court in the 13th Century. It is based on the excavated Royal tomb materials from 13thC Castile, particularly the Infanta Maria (1235), Eleanor of Castile, Queen Consort (1244) and Infanta Dona Leonor (1275). But it also draws on material from other grave finds in the Panteon Real, and the illustrated manuscripts produced in the court of Alfonso X, as I am not a princess, but a woman of the court, to help make choices. This is not a piece for a specific activity, but a challenge for me. While I have been thinking about it a lot, and done some preliminary tests on construction, this is the chance to put what I have learned together in an outfit for the first time, to work through my research & speculation, and have some teaching materials as a result. One of the things I love about 13thC Spain is that Heraldry is Everywhere, including on clothing, so where I can incorporate that, I plan to – it helps that my heraldry is just stripes!