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 : Hi there, so I am very new to the SCA, roughly a year or so- but with the pandemic I’ve only made it to 3-4 events. I am fairly new to historical sewing but have been making costumes and cosplay for myself as well as a variety groups and Mardi Gras krewes in New Orleans for several years. I also help run the Sewing Squad facebook page, which is a small group of people in my region that want to learn more about sewing skills and history focused garb.
Project: I’m going to be doing a (roughly) 1480-1500c Italian Renaissance set of garments. This will be inspired by a set of paintings from that period, though the fabrics will be different, since I’m picking this period/style to utilize a yellow silk taffeta and a red silk brocade that I already have. I also wanted an opportunity to work on my embroidery and with the heavy ornamentation on the sleeves of this period, hopefully I can get some nice detail work done ( though I’m pinning that as a “stretch” goal, time allowing).
I am checking in my Spanish camisa layer. This is the Spanish renaissance version of the Italian camicia (shift). They are very similar garments with the main distinction from the 1490’s period I am working in being, that the sleeves do a large bell at the end and dangle out of the bottom of the gamurra sleeves instead of tying or buttoning at the cuff. I have added my art reference to the Facbook album- “Mencia de Mendoza with Saint Dominic”, artist contested. I am hoping to do a complete recreation of this painting. She was high nobility in this period and my fabric and notion choices are reflective of that. These shifts were typically either heavily embroidered with blackwork or lace and were often made of fine linen or silk.
I opted for two types of silk-synthetic mix lace after examining the source painting closely. I sourced and purchased 15c reproduction lace for the collar and used lace I already owned for the sleeves and bottom hem. These were hand sewn on with a cream colored silk thread and a whip stitch. The camisa pattern is drafted by me, using art examples, online research of others recreating this period- “15th C Clothing For Men and Women” by THL Peryn Rose Whytehorse, and several books I own- “Patterns of Fashion” by Janet Arnold, Herald, Jacqueline- (1981) “Dress in Renaissance Italy 1400-1500” by John Murray, “Dress in Italian Painting 1460-1500” by Elizabeth Birbari.
I also consulted with the SCA Iberia Facebook group to get more Spanish specific info for this period, and help understanding the fashion differences between them and Milan. The camisa is made of a semi-sheer silk in cream, with gathers at the neck, back and around both sleeves. The inside sleeve raw edges are covered and whipped down with a cream colored twill tape for additional strength, since the cloth is quite thin and prone to unraveling. The neck was bound with a bias tape I made of the same material, with the lace being attached to the edge.
The sleeve and bottom hems are rolled and whip stitched with the lace added at the bottom.
If I could do anything differently- I probably would have picked a different painting. I didn’t realize at the start of this that there is VERY little information know about this artwork, and most of it is contested. They aren’t even sure this is actually Mencia De Mendoza…. So a lot of assumptions were made based on published research of that art. This led me to the ten year period around 1490, and influences from both Milan, and Barcelona as she was tied to both areas. Her fashion in this painting has elements of both cities- the long sleeves of the Spanish camisa, with the tighter fitting sleeves of Milan gamurra dresses at that time. The bodice of the dress isn’t seen in this gown so I had to use other art references from that period and those regions to help me pattern.
Having none of the support garments and very little of the under-dress showing in this art has been a difficult but exciting challenge. It has also given me a little freedom to make creative choices that would normally be limited in a strict recreation with more of the support garments showing.
1490’s Spanish/ Italian- Milanese style gamurra
I modeled my entire outfit off of a painting entitled “ Mencia Mendoza with Saint Dominic” which is roughly dated to 1490(s). When researching this painting I hit a ton of snags so some suppositions were made. Per the biographical information on Mencia Mendoza she was Spanish with heavy Milanese influence. So, because of that, and the fact that the gamurra layer is not heavily visible in the painting I sources comparative works for that region and time period. “Bianca Maria Sforza” by Ambrogio de Prendis 1493
“La Belle Ferroniere” Leonardo da Vinci 1490
“Lady with an Ermine” Leonardo da Vinci 1490
“Detail from the Pala Sforzesca” unknown 1494
I created my own pattern using some input and research from online sources. In particular, for bodice construction the paper “15th C clothing for men and women” by THL Peryn Rose Whytehorse, Barony of the South Downs, February 2015. The gamurra layer is composed of a layer of canvas, with boning inserted in an attached linen burlap backing. Then covered in an additional canvas front. This is covered in a 100% yellow silk taffeta. I debated between the more historically accurate cording vs. boning, but time constraints won out and I used synthetic whalebone.
The bodice is fitted with 7 bones in the front and 5 in the back.
I then started on the skirt, with is 7 yard of the silk taffeta, lined with a thin bleached muslin. Because of the weight of the skirt I opted not to used the heavier weight linen I had. I also attached a twill tape the the top of the lining and felled the silk on top of that so I would have more stability when attaching the skirt to the bodice.
The panels of skirt were then cartridge pleated and whip stitched to the bodice.
This layer was 90% hand sewn. The only machine process was sewing the skirt panels together.
The sleeves are a linen burlap covered in the yellow silk taffeta., they are deliberately not lined with silk, as I plan to embroider them at a later date.
The lacing rings on both the bodice and the sleeve are 15c reproduction, and are hand sew on with a 3 strand embroidery floss.
I then made 18 fingerloop braids- 2 for the bodice lacing and 8 per sleeve, using 6 strand embroidery floss. I purchased aglets for the points, and sewed them onto each braid.
The sleeve cuffs are a layer of linen canvas covered in silk taffeta and have a 4mm yellow gold cording sewn in, to match the cuffs from the painting. The cuffs are attached separately to the finished sleeves.
In retrospect, I will probably go back and do hook and eye for the cuffs. And will probably shorten the sleeves overall by 2-3 inches. There is just slightly too much bunching in the forearm.
1490’s Sbernia overcoat
This layer was the most visible in the painting. I was not able to find a satisfactory pattern or tutorial for its construction so it was made using the drape method over my dress form. The construction was fairly simple, with two gores at either side. I did pleating at the shoulders to get the appropriate sloped look in the painting. The panels are machine sewn and all seams are hand finished.
I left this layer unlined as the damask fabric was already quite heavy.
I then took a vintage mink stole I was gifted and reconditioned and lined it, cut it into tim sized panels and whip stitched this onto the front opening and the sleeve openings. I trimed this in a maroon silk bias tape.
This layer was 80% hand sewn.
15th century pointed turnshoes
This was my first attempt at shoe making. I watched several youtube tutorials and looked at a few extant pieces before getting started.
The shoes are made out of 4 oz for the top, and 8 ozfor the soles- veg tanned leather.
I created my own wooden shoe lasts to work on this project using two 2x4s cut to about 1 foot each and using my foot tracing and measurements I sawed, whittled and sanded each last. Then sealed with neem oil.
The soles are then tacked onto the lasts and the top portion is sewn together then placed inside out on top. I then used an awl to punch diagonal holes from the soles to the leather tops. Then using waxed linen thread, I sewed the tops to the bottom. Wet the entire shoe in warm water fo 30 minutes or so. Turn right side out. Let dry overnight on the lasts, and condition, stain and seal with leather waterproofing.
I created the patterns on the tops of the shoes based on a 15th century extant find from Italy.
While the tops are still flat, I used my leather knight to cut the small lines, and a leather hole puncher to create the 4 point design.
The shoes are hammered and flattened at the seams before and after turning to create a smooth bottom.
I lined the heels with an alaskan fish leather, which isn’t period accurate, as far as I know but looks fabulous, and has the benefit of not rubbing my heels raw.
The buckles I had on hand were attached with a grommet at the ankle.
Velvet lace belt. I used a yard of leftover black velvet I had. Hand sewed into a wide belt then whip stitched onto a set of lacing facetings I had. Unsure about the historical accuracy of this, but I needed a belt for the sbernia and was about 36 hours from due date.
About Makenzi: My name is Makenzi. I have not chosen a SCA name. I was introduced through my sister and her husband, Makayla and Tristan Smith. I joined in the spring. I do sew regularly, just not clothing to this extent. Mostly repairs and accessories. I enjoy Archery, and am learning to be a scribe. I am sure this project with provide many challenges. Thank you!
Her Project: I am new to the SCA and wanted to create something nice to wear to my first event when they are able to be held again. I have loved the look of italian dresses for many years and decided to create one for myself.
Her thoughts on the C3 experience:
This was such an amazing experience and I learned a lot. I can’t wait to do more projects and become for period accurate as I go! It took lots of Blood and Tears. I am thankful for Jorunna for answering all of my questions even though it was hard to explain in text and most of the time I didn’t know how to ask the question without showing her. I am also thankful for my sister, Makaylas knowledge and distant encouragement. Silly pandemic keeping people apart. If not for socially distancing She would have been a great help with sizing and stopping me from making silly mistakes. Even with the struggle, I can’t wait to start again.
My first layer is a modified Chemis. I was unsure how to make it to fit at first and so I pinned it to my size and sewed it. It looks nice and I am happy with it. I have learned since that it would be more time period to add a string and lace it through to fit on the neckline, so next time that’s what I will be doing.
My second layer is a 16th century Italian dress. I used a light green fabric for the skirt and a tough dark green for the bodice. I used hook and eye for the closures and laced the sleeves with a gold ribbon to match my first layer. If I were to change anything, I would modernize it a little more by adding inches and making it more easy to move in.
Layer 3 is a heavy black cloak. I used a fleece layer for the lining to keep warm and a stretchy cotton material to add weight and protection against the elements. It is very warm and blanket like. I cut my fabric into triangles and sewed each together before sewing together the layers. I am very happy with this peice and would even use it in my day to day life.
I make a leather square pouch. I used a white leather I was gifted. I sealed it with beeswax. Which originally stained it yellow. I then dyed it black instead. It was tough to sew together, I would probably use a softer leather next time. I used popsicle sticks, cut and sanded myself until the shape I wanted for the button closure.
My final layer was a cloth belt. I used left over fabric from my bodice and a gold trim. I am super happy with it and this it gave just the perfect touch.
About Roxelana: I joined the SCA over 25 years ago because “the SCA is 4H for grown-ups” first as part of the Mid-Realm, then NorthShield, and now Calontir. I’ve entered more than my fair share of competitions through the years and I really enjoy that aspect of the organization. I started in beadwork and have taken that knowledge to figure out 1520 silk flowers and recreate them. My silk flower adventures are all on my website. Years ago a made a Landsknecht gown for NorthShield’s first kingdom event and it was incredibly well received. It doesn’t fit me anymore and I really want to make something else that is that WOW. I have the fabric for it – I just need the motivation.
Her Project: I’m thinking Second half of 16th century Italian. Definitely late period high end stuff as I have a lot of silk available. I have one picture that I have always wanted to recreate and I’m thinking now is the time. I’m really not into the whole documenting (because I read everything and who takes notes so on future projects that aren’t even in their imagination yet can be properly documented?) aside from make it look exactly like the painting/original item. And I reached a point were medically I don’t have many good years left to do the kind of detail work I would like to do.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I am so grateful for this challenge because it gave me the gumption to create the partlet that I always wanted – and once that was done I knew I would go the whole way! While I still have the final blue silk dress to make, because of this challenge, I know it’s going to get done!
Chemise – the very basis of almost all female clothing. I have some rules for my chemises:
1. They must be comfortable.
2. They must not be reveling (either see-thru or open exposure)
3. They must not get dew-soaked so they should not touch the ground.
4. If I’m going to all the trouble, then it must be linen. And linen requires all raw edges to be finished so I tend to make as few raw edges as possible.
I have many chemises but the one I like the best is a heavy weight linen body with light weight linen sleeves that I never cuffed because I always have them rolled up! I had a happy accident when I made it in that I cut the neck too wide and had to put pleats in the neckline to get it to the correct size. This was happy because it kept the neckline closer to the bust and cut exposure. I have also taken to wearing bloomers because – way more comfortable. I have several pairs and I cut them in two pieces – left leg/right leg – so there is minimal seam. I (again) could not find the pattern so I made a new one. Several of the previous ones have no elastic, or only back-side elastic because I don’t have issues keeping them up. I did put elastic in this pair though. I chose to make this set with natural colored linen rather than white or cream because I was really liking the salvage and I already have lots of white ones. I cut the front and back out of a heavier weight linen and cut the sleeves and bloomers out of a slightly lighter weight. I cut the sleeves so that the cuff would align with the salvage and cut them a bit wider than normal with the seam running up the back of the arm (more historically accurate.)
I cut out the front and back, rolled the side seams together and machine sewed them. I pressed and rolled the hem and machine sewed it. I cut the sleeves, rolled and sewed them. I pressed in a rolled edge and hand sewed the neck opening and inset the sleeves with linen thread.
I finished the sleeves with silk yarn doing a gather stitch – It is good for now, but I might smock the sleeves or find some other solution. I like that it looks lacy but I’m still able to roll them up if I want to.
For layer two I made two kirtles: a fitted and a loose one, and a pair of sleeves. I did not start out to make two kirtles but after trying on the outer dress with the fitted kirtle I decided it actually needed something to fill in the inverted V of the skirt. Thinking to the final dress – I wanted something lightweight and airy for summer-wear, so I searched the stash and found some silver striped cotton and made a loose kirtle. I lined the front of the kirtle with gray silk and will eventually trim out the gray so I will have two looks in one garment.
For the sleeves I based the pattern on Margo Anderson’s curved sleeve pattern and, again, made them fully reversable so I will have two looks. One side is a wool/silk blend while the other is very golden. The loose kirtle has a space in the shoulder seam to tie the sleeves. The sleeves have a tie sewn in (finger-loop braid). The fitted kirtle is made with two pieces of linen (I know today’s looms are much larger than in period but I have so many issues with linen disintegrating, so I tried something new and put in fake seams.) All seams are rolled or fake. I reinforced the back opening with cotton trim and then sewed the rings onto the trim. (I could not find my larger rings and these are just a hair too small.)
Long seams were all done with the machine, I hand sewed all the edgings and openings. I made the finger-loop braids for the kirtle and sleeves.
The outer layer of my outfit is a Dress after the Florentine painting of Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo in 1571.
Years ago I made a similar outfit as a skirt and vest and I always had issues getting it on and off. When the two pieces are attached, the weight of the skirt will allow the vest to slide right off and will reduce wrinkles in the vest while wearing it. So I made this dress by patterning it off the old one that was originally patterned off of Margo Anderson’s Elizabethan Pattern.
I did not slash out the sleeve caps as this dress was originally going to be a mock-up for the final dress. I will be using the pattern I made from this one, as I think it fits really well, for making the blue silk dress. I have confidence now. What I learned from this layer will be put to use in making the final blue silk gown. (I have already dyed and put together the trim but I didn’t want to rush it to meet the time restrictions.)
Overall – major seams were done by machine, attached the pleated skirt to a grow grain ribbon (I’ve had to take these apart before and wished I had taken this step) and then hand-sewed the skirt to the top and the skirt to the lining. I’m not sure I like the closures, but they do function correctly.
So it took me about two months to do the embroidery and another month to get it all put together. It is after this painting although my proportions are not exactly the same. I wanted a smaller ruffle and taller collar which fits my face better. That may not have worked so well. I did it entirely by hand with silk embroidery floss and linen thread. Real seed pearls on manufactured bobbin lace and linen ground fabric.
Most of the supplies I got at Thistle Threads which centers on 17th century casket construction and the embroidery that is featured on the caskets. I buy most of my silk floss there because she also carries purl that I use frequently and she is particular about carrying historical colors. All of the trimmings are accurate as well although some are modern recreations with more modern materials to keep costs down. The bobbin lace trim was no longer available in gold and I like silver better anyway so I got all trimmings in silver but also got the trim for the sleeves in gold. The red and silver cording I got two years ago and used most of the yard I had available. All of the silk threads (Ovale and Trame) were in my stash. The linen thread I picked up at Pennsic last year, Wm Booth Draper 60/2.
The ruffle is done on a singe layer of salvage so I wouldn’t have to worry about hemming it and I got it to ruffle using the pulled thread method. The base is done on two layers, of folded linen, using stitches I couldn’t name because I learned to embroider as a child. I did it all freehand without drawing out anything other than the boxes so I would get the spacing correct. I did not embroider the back/middle section of the collar because it should never be seen when I’m wearing it. The entire ruffle is embroidered with random flowers that are particular to me. When I hit the halfway point I did the same (similar) flowers in reverse so one side is nearly a mirror image of the other. I tried to keep the back of the ruffle neat and tidy because it is not covered up.
I beaded the trim and then attached the trim to the ruffle and then ruffled it by pulling a thread, then I sewed the ruffle to the embroidered collar. I then cut out and hand sewed the base of the partlet and hemmed it all the way around excepting the front opening which was cut on the selvage. I attached the base to the collar, sewed trim all the way down both sides, and cut a piece of linen to cover the back. I also stiffened a piece of organza and sewed that into the middle of the collar as well (it probably didn’t need it but I wanted to be sure it stood up without issue.
Before I seamed up the back I tried it on and it fit well but I found it underwelming visually. I decided to add some extra trimming (based on what I saw in the painting and what supplies I had on hand.)
I am very pleased with how it turned out. And this piece was all about the embroidery and beadwork so I’m hoping you will count it as my accessory layer.
Group Members: Lady Eibhilin O Beirn, HL Adelaide Sarsfield, HL Ysabel de la Oya, and Lady Sawbina Fahy
Location: Cum an Iolair, Calontir
Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate
About : We have known each other for several years, and have had sewing days together a few times. This is the first time where the four of have have worked on one project though.
Their Project: Early 16th Century Italian dress. Pattern from Mediaeval Miscellanea’s PERIOD PATTERN ™ NO.41WOMEN’S ITALIAN RENAISSANCE GOWNS, C. 1470-1505 A.D., will include some heraldry elements.
Their final thoughts on their C3 experience:
We learned that divide and conquer is the best way to go about things. We all learned a lot during the process, we increased our skill level in sewing and in the goldwork (couching cord and sewing on pearls). We had a great time working together and look forward to future group sewing projects.
Early 16th Century Italian camica for women. Made by Adelaide and Eibhilin. Machine sewen on linen , hand finished
Two part skirt made of linen and a cotton brocade forepart. All machine sewn by Sawbina. The bodice is linen with a cotton canvas. The pearls are handsewn by Ysabel and the cording was couched on by Sawbina. All embroidery was done before the cotton canvas liner was sewn to the bodice. Patterning and cutting are done by Sawbina, bodice pieces sewn together by Ysabel by machine mostly wit armsyths handsewn. Three eyelets on each side of the bodice was done by Ysabel
Stomacher and Sleeves. Stomacher is made of cotton brocade lined with the same fabric Stomacher made by Eibhilin. The stomacher is to help “fake” a kirtle. The two part sleeves are linen lined with cotton canvas. The sleeves have 50 eyelets handsewn by Ysabel. The cordwork is hand sewn by Eibhilin. The sleeves were sewn by both Ysabel and Eibhlin.
Early 16th century Italian women headpiece. Upper class. Constructed of a linen cap, with pearls beads and couched on cord. Fillet is made by attaching metal beads at intervals with with jewelry hung at the temples. A black band holds it on the head.
About Sara: I’ve been in the SCA for 15 years, though there have been periods of less participation. I have sewn most of my family’s garb from the beginning, but definitely have a love/hate relationship with sewing. I draft most of my own patterns. I love trying/learning new things. I have a tendency to learn new skills for a very specific project then move on to the next thing; be it skill, project, or what have you. This project is encouraging me to complete an outfit that I’ve been meaning to make for a 14th century themed event in Aethelmearc. My persona is 14th century already, but for this I will be “upping my game” with the details. I have done very little embroidery until the last few months. I will be incorporating that into this project. I have done zero woodworking or painting so the painted chest “accessory” is a big undertaking for me.
Her Project: For this project I will be making a mid-14th century outfit that will include (but is not limited to) an undergarment, a fitted kirtle/gown, and a shorter dagged over garment inspired by a fresco by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. My persona is typically English, but many of my inspirational images and pieces are Italian. I have a lot of possibilities in mind for my accessory layer, in particular an embroidered alms purse and a painted chest. Both the purse and chest are likely to include some heraldic display. The chest is intended to serve as a cooler but is inspired by several of the time.
I made a supportive, sleeveless, linen shift for a 14th century woman and some linen braies. Both are completely hand sewn with linen thread using a felling stitch I got off to a slow start with this layer because I knew I needed to draft a new pattern and I couldn’t decide which method I was going to use to do so.
While I was fussing over pattern drafting I made myself these braies because I want to try wearing some (for a variety of reasons.)These braies are a different style than I’ve made in the past. (I haven’t worn braies myself before but if I decide I don’t like wearing them, these will fit my husband. ) I patterned these from my hip and thigh measurements, adding a crotch gusset. And, voila! Braies! For now, the “braies girdle” is 1/2″ linen tape because that is what I have on hand.
For the shift, I ended up drafting a “close enough” pattern using measurements and then fitted the garment on myself. I usually make my shifts with sleeves but decided to try a sleeveless option this time. I chose to have this undergarment lace up the back because the next layer will button up the front and I don’t like the bulkiness of a button placket over lacing. It is currently laced with 1/4″ linen tape because, again, that is what I have on hand.
I used a 4.7oz linen that is rather sheer for both undergarments so the photos will not be of a live model.
Layer 2 is a mid 14th century fitted gown that buttons down the front with 20 self fabric buttons. I chose a lightweight red woolen stuff for my fabric which, to be frank, has been a pain to work with. It frays like mad and has a springiness to it that has caused some frustration. Unless this fabric performs fantastically, I will be hard pressed to use it again. But I wanted to try a lightweight wool over linen for summer. I started with a linen thread and later switched to silk thread when it finally arrived in the mail. I used a 12mm silk twill as a facing along the neckline and behind the buttons and buttonholes. The buttons are bigger than i usually make them, partly because of the nature of this particular fabric. They took longer than they usually do. I worked the buttonholes with a 2/30 silk thread/yarn. It is sewn entirely by hand.
This layer is a mid-14th century dagged overgarment based on the image of a dancer in a fresco painted by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. Since I could not find the exact fabric I wanted for this garment, I decided to use a piece of wool of indeterminate fiber content from my stash. (I suspect it’s a wool/nylon blend.) I used the basic pattern that I drafted for layers one and two, making adjustments as needed. Some of the seams are flat felled and some are just a running stitch. Those I ended up tacking down using a herringbone stitch (both to remind myself that I could do it, and because I think it’s fun to work.) The neck edge is folded over and finished with 2/30 silk in a blanket stitch. This wool frayed more than is desirable for dags so I had to stay-stitch all the dags, which I also did by hand. As I hoped, this layer worked up quickly. I knew that I would get distracted making gifts, etc., for the holidays and I did. I cut this out on Sunday (Dec.27) and finished it today (Dec. 31.) However, the fraying tendency of this fabric slowed me down. Since I had to stay-stitch all the dags, it took longer than I wanted. If I had more time, I would have added more embellishment.
I am submitting a 14th century aumônière. This one is done in needlepoint using 100% wool yarn on a linen canvas. It is measures about 6″ × 4.5″. There are two panels. One pictures a lion and the other pictures a griffin. It has a linen lining and is trimmed with braided yarn. This is the first (and so far only) needlepoint I have done so I used a published pattern instead of creating one myself. I worked on the two needlepoint panels in November and December while waiting for other materials to ship, thinking that I could use them as a backup if I didn’t finish my other projects. I found it fun and easy to work. At the beginning of January, I had set aside my cassone when I realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it. I then spent much of the month embroidering a different aumônière but I initially underestimated how much gold thread I would need to couch the background and had to order more because I couldn’t find anything locally. I kept hoping that order would arrive in time, but I’m still waiting for it. Fortunately I had the needlepoint in reserve. On Saturday, January 30th, I just had to figure out a way to stitch them together into a purse.
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
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I really struggled with motivation on this project. I had a few ‘what do I think I am doing’ moments, but I am super happy that I did finish. I might have made the bare bones entry, but it is still done. I have finally made myself a persona specific coat – with embroidery! I have made a doublet and realized it’s not as scary to make or as hard to wear as I had imagined. It’s pretty comfy. I look forward to wearing it.
I will continue to make improvements on this project and will finally get around to making shoes sometime soon.
Not challenge related clothing items – I did not make my leggings or my boots. I did make my hat but it was before the challenge started.
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.
1490’s Italian men’s doublet with attached sleeves.
I’ve held off submitting this layer because I thought I might make pants like I originally planned. I did make a mockup using the “trace a pair of pants” Morgan Donner method. It fit very well in the leg, but not so much around the hips and waist. So I decided to not continue with it right now.
The doublet is machine and hand sewn with tablet woven round cord. Seams were done by hand. Finishing, hems, and buttonholes done by hand.
Like my overcoat, I decided to tack my sleeves to the body with stitches rather than trying to lace them on. I did leave gaps if I want to poof the undershirt and the bottom half is not attached. I did not line the sleeves. The skirt panels were machine sewn (and therefore will probably be redone) and then whipstitched to the body. I left an overlap for pointing the doublet to pants in the future.
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.
Heraldic medallion in the manner of Venetian Heralds. Heralds in Venice wore a gold medallion of the Lion of St Mark on their hats.
The original plan was for layer 4 to be shoes, but they just weren’t going to get done. One of my stretch goals was to complete a heraldic medallion since this was supposedly my “official” Herald get up. But I’m still a complete newb at metalwork. So I went with painting. Which I’m also a newb at.
I started by freehand painting. Then I went with masking tape stencils. Then I added details with sharpie. The bigger Gold Falcon badge was still tacky when I went to attach it to my previously made hat, so I went with the standard Herald medallion.
I used enamel paints and pre-cut metal blanks. I put a piece of masking tape down on the blank, drew out the design, and then used an exacto knife to remove the parts that I wanted painted.