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.)
My finished Italian costume… done with the Fresco filter 🙂
In my previous post I shared some of my research/inspiration, and here’s what I finally came up with.
In addition to reading a few dress diaries, I was lent notes from a woman in the SCA who has also studied and created a late 1400s Italian costume along with the help of her mentor. Her notes include recommendations for adding the needed fullness throughout the garment, rather than just adding fullness to the sides of the garment.
Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni – Domenico Ghirlandaio. (1489) Florence
In the Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni the Giornea appears to have a very low V-neck. The garment is completely open at the sides, and is worn un-belted. The garment is sleeveless. The same outfit seems to have been recreated in the Visitation painting. This version doesn’t appear to have any trim at the neckline or along the sides, and the hem is unseen. The fabric seems to be a white and yellow brocade/damask.