For Caterina’s elevation nearly a year ago I wanted to make a Giornea – and overdress for the Italian Renaissance costume not unlike my previous Giornea. However, this time I wanted to try a different style, with an open front rather than open sides. I thought that this would be flattering, and would nicely show off the green silk under dress (Gamurra).
I drafted the pattern based off my new Gamurra draft for the bodice, and used simple trapezoids for the skirt. No drafting there…
I did a mock up in a gorgeous gold and red brocade home decorating fabric. I bought this at the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale a while ago, and adored it, but it was only about 2 meters… I didn’t think I’d be able to find anything to make out of it…. but this worked out reasonably well. I wish I had more fullness for the skirt – but I hoped it would still be a wearable mock-up / toile. (I usually like to do mock-ups out of fabric that would make a wearable garment if the mock-up works out…)
I did have to rotate one of the pattern pieces upside-down to get the best use of fabric. The pattern doesn’t seem to have a one-way direction, so my fingers were crossed that this would be ok.
Once the bodice was cut out, sewn together, and edges stay-stitched I pinned the skirt fabric to it, and tried it on. I found that I needed to adjust the waistline slightly on the front and back-side, so made that adjustment to the garment thus far and the pattern. (I also made some other adjustments to the pattern, which I’d apply to the “real” garment for Caterina’s elevation.)
I decided to line the Giornea in the same red and gold striped fabric that I made my earlier Gamurra out of, and trimmed it with bias tape made from a tiny bit of orange shot with red (which results in a gorgeous nearly metallic copper) silk I had in my silks-scrap box. This binding went on the neckline and armholes, though I wish I had more of it for a belt as well.
Despite the lining, I put a facing on the centre front of the skirt in the outer fabric. I did this because originally I considered not lining this mock-up… but once it really was working out, I knew it would be a workable garment, and thus needed to be lined. The facing is sewn OVER the lining, and the edges are bound in the lining fabric. In the photo below, I’m hand-sewing the facing to the lining. The black machine basting was then removed.
At this point the garment was fitting really well (minus the few changes I opted to make for the teal version) so I went ahead and shifted my focus to the teal version instead….
The major difference I made between the red and gold toile and the final version in teal cut velvet is the neckline. I liked the wide neckline to show off the double-ladder lacing of the under dress, but thought that the red and gold neckline was a bit TOO wide and made me look overly busty, so I adjusted this for the teal version.
… nearly a year later I finally got around to finishing off the red and gold toile…
The hem was fairly simple, although a bit time-consuming. I let the garment hang out for about 24 hours, trimmed the hem to the right length (both outer fabric and lining) and then opted to bind the raw edge with gold silk bias. I chose this because double-folding the red and gold home decorating fabric would be very bulky. I only sewed the bias on the right side with machine, and then folded it back and hand-sewed the hem in place.
Like the teal overdress, I opted for just hooks and eyes to close this garment. The belt that will be worn over this will “hide” any closure, so making it fancy wasn’t important to me.
In all of these photos, I’m wearing the Giornea over a mundane shirt, jeans, and am using a mundane belt. I just wasn’t in the mood to get all dressed up to take a few photos. I think it still looks like a neat outfit though!
When I was originally making my black and gold brocade Giornea, I went with a style that seemed to be very common – what I interpreted was open at the sides, but not at the front. For this dress, I opted for a style that seemed less common – closed at the sides, but open at the front. All of the following are taken directly from Pinterest, in case the links break in future.
The Daughters of Giovanni II Bentivoglio and Ginevra Sforza
While the left figure has short sleeves and doesn’t appear to have a split front into the skirt, the figure in the middle in the black does clearly have a split front, and the over-gown is lined in blue. However this one has sleeves as well.
I’m most interested in the figure second to the right, wearing a sleeveless overdress in blue, split in the front bodice and skirt, and appears to be worn over a ladder-laced dress. Her overdress MAY be trimmed in red at the skirt only, but I actually suspect her bodice of her under-dress is gold, and she’s actually wearing a red skirt under the blue underdress. This doesn’t seem to be a common style…
The trim on all of the overdresses appears to be minimal – just at the neckline. The overdresses may be worn with a very thin, tied (ribbon style) belt.
The bodices on all dresses are smooth, while the skirts all appear pleated or gathered.
The main female figure is wearing a red dress, with a white/cream overdress. There is a much larger version of this painting on Wikipedia, which gives more detail.
This overdress has a V neck to the raised waistline, and the neckline is trimmed with a gold fabric or braid which appears the same as the trim on the red dress. The trim is only on the neckline. The bodice is smooth, while the skirt is pleated or gathered. She’s wearing a very thin dark (ribbon-like) belt at the raised waist.
The figure behind the main one seems to be wearing a grey over dress which is likely similar, though appears to have less neckline trim.
Giuseppe Romagnoli ~ Ginevra Sforza, Castello Bentivoglio, Emilia Romagna
This statue has the same ladder-laced front under dress as I’m going for with my costume, and a vest-like over garment. It does not appear to close at the centre front, and a waist seam is not evident. I don’t know if this is a similar garment or something different.
Giovanni Mansueti, Miraculous Healing of the daughter of Benvegundo of St. Polo (detail)
The gowns here are slightly different from what I have in mind, but the painting detail shows both closed-front over dresses, as well as the green overdress on the right, which shows a split front along with wide trim at the hem.
Beheading of St. John the Baptist
While the dress in this image is not nessessarily the overdress, it has some elements I’m inspired by for the overdress. I think that this painting is Spanish, instead of Italian, though there are enough elements that are similar that I’m not too concerned about this discrepancy.
The dress has a belt, similar to the overdress style, is lined with a complimentary colour, the neck and armholes are bound with complimentary trim, and the hem has a wide band of highly embellished trim.
I wouldn’t put highly embellished details on this “mock up”, largely because I feel the neckline is a bit too wide for me right now.
I also am completely in love with the headdress, and made a similar one for the final costume.
This photo illustrates the two different styles – the peach dress is similar to what I’m going for (without the attached sleeves) while the red one is similar to the overdress I made before.
Historical Sew Monthly
This gown is red and gold, and has a red and gold lining, gold trim, and copper trim. While it’s not actual metal, or cloth of gold… the shot-effect and the silken fibres have a metallic effect. I’m obviously super-late in submitting this challenge!
The Challenge: June: Metallics – make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamé.
Material: The main fabric is an unknown blend home decorating fabric, that I bought at the Grandmother’s Fabric sale. A burn test suggested that the warp was polyester, while the weft is cotton. The lining is 100% silk. The trim at the neckline and armholes is 100% silk. The silk trim at the hem is 100% silk.
Pattern: I drafted the pattern, based of a bodice block with a dart. There is some evidence to suggest that darts WERE used slightly later than this is intended to represent, and for my figure definitely helps since there is a significant difference between my bust and waist measurements.
Year: Late 15th century Italy (1488-1500)
How historically accurate is it? The main fabric fibre content is all wrong obviously, though the weight seems appropriate. The pattern is more “shape of” than something I can document, since the only documentation of bust darts is from a few decades later. The construction is all by machine with hand finishing.
Hours to complete: Not sure. I think I’d cry if I actually tracked this….
First worn: This was intended as a mock-up for another garment, so I haven’t worn this yet… I wore the teal gown that was developed from this toile at Samhain in November 2016.
Total cost: The main fabric was probably about $5 from the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale. The striped silk was on a significant sale, though I don’t remember how much I paid for it. I suspect it was probably close to $7-10/meter, and there are several meters in this gown. The silk trims were scrap from another project, and heavily pieced to get the best use of it.
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