Venice 1550s, Black Velvet Gown


This is being worn with a hanky weight linen camicia with front opening - the red ribbon is threaded through an eyelet in both fronts, and can therefore be changed to suit the dress.

The camicia neckline has been tightly gathered, the tiny pleats secured by back-smocking. The ruffle created has been hemmed and blanket-stitched in black stranded cotton embroidery floss.

I used galvanised washers attached to twill tape for the lacing rings on this one - you can just see them glinting along the opening edges. Cheap, but not as nice as lingerie rings.

The view of the "V" in the back.

Period: 1550s

Inspired by: Portrait attributed to a follower of Tintoretto "Portrait of a Lady In Black". (seen above)

Pattern: My own, re-designed from my first, and for the first time incorporating my interpretation of the shoulder-strap/wide neckline design of Juan de Alcega's cuerpo baxo (Translation gives this as "low-cut bodice".

Materials likely to have been used in period: Looks like velvet to me. It's hard to tell from the low quality picture, but I'd say plain cut velvet, interlined with linen and lined with silk or linen.

Materials I used: Velvet - plain 100% cotton. The bodice was interlined with fusible interfacing, and lined with black 100% cotton drill. Washers were sewn to black twill tape, which was then sewn to the bodice on either side of the front opening for the lacing. Sleeves are scalloped at the top and finished with black satin bias binding, incorporating loops for attaching to the gold buttons on the shoulder straps. Black satin bias-binding around hem and sleeve wrist ends.

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