Selfie in my new red and gold Italian over dress (worn over mundane clothing).
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).
Laying out the pieces for the overdress
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…)
For the belt I used two strips of the same teal fabric that I used for the binding, and two strips of copper-coloured silk as flat piping. I interfaced one of the teal strips with iron-on interfacing for lightweight stability, and sewed on copper metallic lace. (I started sewing this on by machine but it snagged the metallic lace, so I had to switch to hand sewing it with teal silk thread.)
For the closure I used a pair of large hooks and eyes which are pretty much hidden when the belt is closed, and used two jewellery sliders from Michaels to imitate a front clasp, since I couldn’t find any clasps in the three places I looked – or my own stash – that actually suited this costume.
Work-in-progress photo collage of making the belt for my teal overdress.
Complete “celebration” Italian outfit including the teal figured velvet overdress
For Caterina’s elevation 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 under dress (Gamurra).
I started by making a “muslin” or test garment/ mock up. I used a red and gold scroll home decorating fabric, which I’ll blog about soon. (Click the 1480s Florence tag to see all of my Italian garments.)
Completed bodice and skirt in green silk for the Italian “celebration” outfit
For Caterina’s elevation, I originally was going to do a later-period Italian Renaissance gown, but the fabrics offered just didn’t seem to lend themselves nicely to the period and my figure. I felt that the figured velvet would just be too bulky for all of the gathering and fullness in the later period fashions, and so I ended up opting to go back to the earlier Renaissance period that I’ve explored before and found flattering.
Concept sketch for the matcha-green silk dress and the teal figured velvet over dress
With this…. I’ve started using the 1480s tag as well for these posts, and switched from 16th Century to 15th Century. I’ll still use the Caterina’s Elevation tag however if you want to follow this specific project.
The History of Costume blog describes “points” as :”resembled shoelaces, used to attach trunk hose to doublets or sleeves to doublets or bodices”. The Complete Costume Dictionary(Elizabeth J. Lewandowski) suggests that in period these were called “Punta” and the term first referred to the tips on cords or ribbons used for lacing to reinforce them – but later the word came to mean the entire lace.
In the Glossary in Words & Pictures site, author Anéa references “Moda a Firenze 1540-1580” and says that in Renaissance Italy the word was “Sengaletto” or “Stringhe di sengaletto”, which referred to the string used to lace bodices. She adds “They were often of silk, with knots or metal points at the end, to make them easier to thread”. Since I’ve most commonly heard them referred to as “points” – that’s the term I’ll use here.
My DIY points
To attach the sleeves to the bodice of my Italian gown, I made 6 “points” – this would have been ribbon or cord bound at each end with a small metal tip – like a shoelace with an aglet which helps with lacing and keeps the material from unravelling through frequent use. (Plus – pretty!) Since I wasn’t 100% sure on the fit of my sleeves and how they’d work with my bodice, I opted to use black elastic cord instead of regular cord or ribbon, so that I could secure the ties – but still have a little bit of movement. Continue reading →