Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Realm of Venus

The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

 April 21 to August 21, 2011

Amy Lee Karow-Thara

Location: California, USA

Bio:  didn't really start sewing or even have a real interest in it until after boot camp (9 years ago), but when I did I fell into it headfirst. My first love is and will always be Renaissance, but you can find me conspiring over anything between 1400-1950. Even with 9 years of experience, I usually take a long time to complete a costume so I am a complete novice in Italian Renaissance costuming. 

Project: I am going to attempt a dress inspired by two out of  Vecellio's Renaissance Costume Book (page 7, #16 and 18). I may have to do a bit more research but I believe its a kirtle type under dress with a open gown over. If I have time I want to add hanging sleeves, a veil, a partlet and jewlery. I haven't decided if I am going to make a new camicia or use a chemise I already have and make a pair of drawers.

I have included two pictures of my project. The first is a picture of how I want the kirtle/underdress to look, and the other is a picture of my materials and trims. This dress has been along time in the planning and I am so grateful for the extra kick in the bum to get it started.

May 16: The chemise was completed before the challenge started so it will not count as my undergarment. I am adding the black-work to it now though. My plan is to use the same black-work on the cuffs of the drawers. 

I finished hand sewing the trim on the kirtle top last night. That took me longer than I expected it to! Next up is attaching the kirtle skirts.

June 23: I apologize that its been so long since I updated last. I started a new job and the training has left me completely exhausted. I have made some progress though. My drawers are complete. They could use some embroidery and lace but I am leaving those details until the end. I scaled up the pattern from Janet Arnold's Pattern's of Fashion 4. After I assembled them I did choose to make the gussets bigger but other than that it was straight from the pattern.

    I also attached the skirts to the undergown...

...and began the embroidery on the neckline of my camicia.

July 20: I have been working on the loose gown all week, and here is a pic of it over the kirtle/underdress. The sleeve is just pinned in right now because I am still trying to get the placement right. I can't believe the sleeves used up over 12 yards of trim! So I am on a new quest to find more for the actual gown.

Amy-Lee's Final Update
Just wanted to start out by thanking Bella for allowing me to compete in this competition. I was able to accomplish more than I thought I would, (of course there are still a hundred things I still want to do), and had a lot of fun doing it.

First up are pictures of my first layer and fourth layer: undies and accessories. In the accessories picture I did include a picture of the chopines that I attempted. I didn't get them finished unfortunately.



The next two are my second layer.

And lastly the full costume. A link in the girdle broke after a few pictures so it is missing in a few of the photos.


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