Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Realm of Venus

The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

 April 21 to August 21, 2011

Carina Merritt

Location: Canberra, Australia

Bio: Iíve been costuming for six years since joining the SCA.  I live in the Beautiful Barony of Politarchopolis with my husband and child. I fell in love with Florentine clothing after being put in one as part of our collegeís hospit for festival and have been making and drooling over it since then!

Project: Iím going to attempt the four layers. Embroidered camicia, Underskirt with guard and Gown. As we have a special event coming up I would like to further embellish my wardrobe and want to add an extra girdle, partlet and hat as well. The gown will be a late Florentine dress in green velvet, most likely based on the Maria I de'Medici, 1551 painting by Bronzino.

My main inspiration is the painting of Maria I de' Medici 1551 by Bronzino. I will be attempting the embroidery/couching which I have never done before but look forward to having a go. I have some gorgeous green velvet to use and will most likely make a hat with the same material.

I will be starting on the drawers as soon as my sewing kit has dried up from Rowany Festival!

Here is a visual of what I hope to complete.

This image is the material for the drawers, partlet and sleeves ( It is much whiter than the lighting in the picture)

May 12: At the moment I am focussing on research and hand sewing the drawers.

This is the material for the overcoat.

The feathers for the fan.

A composition of the materials which will be used.

June 27: This month I finished the camicia which is hand sewn. I gathered the material and stitched lace down and added small pearls to finish it off. I'm rather happy with the finished product and hope to take a picture with it on this weekend.
The sleeves were pleated and also had lace stitched down. I have not started pearling those but will do so this week. I'm debating adding golden beads in between but will see how I go.


I started on the girdle also with these red, white and gold beads and pearls. It is now almost completed, just need to get a fastening and some tassels for it.

August 16: The underdress and skirt is done. I won't be embroidering it for the challenge as I'd rather spend more time on it. The hat will be finished shortly and will gather everything to take pictures with it all on very soon, yay!

The pictures are small detail of the underdress, detail of the lacing ring for the sleeves and the chemise and underskirt. I have finished the sleeves which are in a fantastic gold material but haven't taken any pictures yet.


Carina's Final Update

I forgot to take pictures at last night's event but a friend took this picture of me in the final outfit a couple of weeks back. The challenge was very exciting and good motivation to keep things going on track. I can't wait to have a bit of a relax and improve the things I made for the challenge as well as taking some better pictures of it all! Thank you for such a fantastic challenge.

The over dress was completely hand sewn including the eyelets. The inside of the bodice is canvas and boning. The sleeves are also hand sewn and lined with linen.

Layer 1: A camicia

Layer 2: underskirt

Layer 3: over-dress

Layer 4: girdle

The back is a bit loose, whilst he is an awesome photographer, he apologises for not being so skilled at dressing. I have misplaced one sleeve unfortunately (so they are not included in the pics).


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