Italian Renaissance Gowns

These are my early Italian renaissance gowns. For more information on the Italian Renaissance fashions, check out The Realm of Venus.

trishreditalianmasqueradeSblackitalianren-sThe black gown I made the bodice part from the Simplicity 9531 pattern, the only adjustment I did was ignore the zipper (placed the center back at the fold) and made it side lacing. I made the skirt part from 2 large panels that I knife pleated in the front and box pleated (more fabric back there) in the back.

The red velveteen over dress was done in much the same way, except I split it down the front and made the neckline scoop much lower than the black dress and it’s a hook and eye clasp holding it together. I wore this for the first weekend of the Michigan Renaissance Festival (weekend theme Italian Carnival) with sleeves from the same Simplicity pattern in Velveteen and Satin.

I made the mask and the fan to go with the outfit. I had my hair wrapped up around the top of my head in rope braids and twisted (my mother in law showed me how to do it to my hair after I showed her a painting).

In 2006 I added new sleeves & trim on the red over-dress.


Meeting of the Betrothed Couple 1495

MomItalian2005-cutoutMom’s Italian Ren gown

For Midrealm’s Kingdom 12th night 2005 held by Cynnabar, I made an Italian Ren gown for my mom. I made it out of washed green cotton velveteen with a green and red iridescent silk dupioni as a lining. I decided to use a discontinued McCall pattern 2806 which has a nice women’s Italian Ren style gown in it. While it has darts which aren’t really period, I’m making this more for the comfort factor. I traced out the pattern pieces for the bodice on the fabric, and I also used the 2 part detachable sleeves from Simplicity 8735. I used Mom’s Brother PE150 embroidery machine to embroider a design on the center front of her bodice and on each part of her sleeves, and even little flowers all over the sleeves and center front top of her chemise.

italianembroidered02I used just over 4 1/2 yards of velveteen in the skirt, which I hemmed with some braid trim, sewed to the front, then turned under and stitched to the underside. It helped keep the skirt from collapsing under her feet as she walked. I also made laces for the sleeves and center back lacing with white twill tape, a silver jewelry finding and a pearl on each end (so at the center back, it’s the lacing, not gaps you see).

momback1She seemed to be pretty comfortable in it. I think she looked great. I would have entered her in the A&S competition if I’d have drafted out the darts and had pictures of her in the outfit printed out so she didn’t have to sit on the table all day… but I had finished it at half past midnight the night before. It all worked out.