Saturday, April 23, 2011

Change of Plans

The best laid plans are usually thrown to the wind halfway through the first trip to the fabric store.

I had originally wanted to do Adam's outfit in white with a black over doublet and a black and white sword cloak.  But then Thursday night we went to Joann's and I hated...everything.  There wasn't a single bolt of white fabric in the store that looked or felt right.  What we did find, however, was a crimson cotton velveteen and a beautiful brown damask.  So in the middle of the store, already 24 hours into the competition, I totally changed the plan.

New fabric

This is the burial outfit of Don Garzia de' Medici, who died in 1562.  We're sticking pretty close to the original, with some small changes.  Adam loved the original color scheme of browns and reds but wanted the whole outfit to be velvet instead of a satin doublet with velvet paned pants.  Also, the slops underlay will be black silk instead of having everything red.
All the lines will be quilted down and then gold cord will be hand couched over the quilting lines.  Instead of the cut satin trim, I"ll be using crimson rope edging.

The brown damask will be used to make the cappotto:

The trim will be brown velvet ribbon and gold braid and will follow the same lines as the original. 

The shirt will be the same as the original plan, blackworked with a folded collar.  I'd also like to do a velvet hat, but don't know whether I want black or brown yet. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Italian Costuming Competition

Bella Lucia de Verona, over at The Realm of Venus posted three days ago about an Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge.  Within three days, she has apparently gotten 28 entrants, and closed entry this morning.  However, I was lucky enough to squeak with the final batch last night! 

The competition is four layers in four months.  It starts on April 21 and ends on August 21 and the guidelines for layers are as follows:
*  Layer 1: A camicia/shift/smock/shirt or drawers or corset/pair of bodies. I don't expect you to make all three.

*  Layer 2: Either an underskirt or under-dress/petticoat, or doublet and slops for the gents.
*  Layer 3: The final layer will be either an over-dress, or a loose gown, or a cloak/cape.
*  Layer 4: An accessory - any one of the following: fan, pocket/pouch, hat/jewelled accessory for the hair, zibellino (also known as a "flea fur"), hanky, gloves, girdle, or shoes. A partlet also counts as an accessory, as would a set of Venetian shoulder/neck ruffs (if they are separate from the partlet, and a standing ruff/collar also.

Points are awarded based on each layer completed, points if every layer is completed, and then points for extra layers, extra details (like weaving, embroidery, lace making, leather work, fur, ect).

To make things a bit more complicated, I'll be out in California for a week in May and out for Pennsic for a week in August, so that will somewhat diminish sewing for those two weeks. Blackwork on the plane? 

This is the picture that I'm using as my inspiration:

I love the colors of this gown, the pale green and sky blue, the braiding of the sleeves and the little beads and I LOVE the ruff.  Because this is the only view of this gown, I'm going to improvise the rest of the dress based on similar portraits from the same time and area.

For me:
Layer 1:  Camicia.  Maybe drawers if I get really ambitious.  I already have handkerchief weight linen upstairs for these. 
Layer 2:  Semi-supportive underdress.  I don't want to have to wear a corset, as the bones cause some pressure issues, so I'm hoping maybe either hemp cording or just straight linen canvas will provide enough support.  Blue satin underskirt and spiraled sleeves. 
Layer 3:  Doublet over gown in sage satin. 
Layer 4:  Ruff with goldwork, jeweled headband/caul, girdle belt, stockings and maybe a fan.

But wait, there's more!

Because I'm also a little nuts, I want to make an outfit for Adam as well.
This is the portrait he loves:
We'll probably stick with a black and white scheme for him using this as a model. 
Layer One:  Shirt, with a blackworked collar ala:
Layer 2:  Doublet in white silk with spiraled slashed sleeves, hose in while silk with black velvet panes.
Layer 3:  Black velvet over doublet.
Layer 4:  Hat in black velvet, sword cloak, hose

I'm not sure what we're going to do about shoes, I'd like to make them but they may be beyond me.  We'll have to see.  

I ordered some books from Amazon yesterday to help with the research, mainly Moda a Firenze which I have been looking forward to buying for years.  Sewing can't start until next Thursday, so in the meantime I'll just have to gather materials.