Red & gold Giornea – HSM June 2017

Selfie in my new red and gold Italian over dress. This is my very late submission to the June 2017 Historical Sew Monthly (worn over mundane clothing).

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 (Giornea)

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…)

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Celebration – hairpiece

Complete "celebration" Italian outfit including the padded roll hat, teal figured velvet overdress, and green silk underdress with sleeves

Complete “celebration” Italian outfit including the padded roll hat, teal figured velvet overdress, and green silk underdress with sleeves

You may have noticed from my posts about the “Celebration” Italian outfit, that I also had a hairpiece – since my own hair is not down past my waist!

For this I looked at my inspiration image, as well as a bunch of other images – many of which show a LONG ponytail, in sort of a ‘casing’, with a bit of adornment (ribbon, pearls, etc).

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Celebration- Giornea belt

The complete "Celebration" Italian outfit from the front, holding the over-dress open to show the silk skirt under it.

The complete “Celebration” Italian outfit from the front, holding the over-dress open to show the silk skirt under it.

Finally, to finish off the teal figured velvet giornea (overdress), I needed a “belt” and a closure.

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.

Work-in-progress photo collage of making the belt for my teal overdress.

Celebration – teal Giornea (overdress)

Complete "celebration" Italian outfit including the teal figured velvet 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.)

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Celebration – Italian camicia

Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.

Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.

I originally intended to make an Italian camicia to go with my Italian costume, but ended up running out of time so did a makeshift version in cotton instead.

I opted to FINALLY finish the Italian camicia (shift, underdress, chemise) that I started a year and a half ago for the costume I was making for the elevation of Caterina to the Order of the Laurel. I had intended to do this entirely by hand, but after doing four of the shortest seams by hand, I was frustrated with how long it took, so I decided to switch to the invisible/interior stitching done by machine. All of the seams are finished with a French seam, which I hope will suitably support the thin gauze fabric.

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