The Third Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 14 to August 14,  2013

The Results

Second Place
Plus Best Handwork

Debbie Mac Rory
Dublin, Ireland

The Overall Winner
Plus Best by an Italian Renaissance Costume Novice

Kirilee Barker
Queensland, Australia

Third Place

Kathryn Bell
Kansas, USA

Layer Points: 70
Handwork Points: 140
Total: 210
Layer Points: 105
Handwork points + Best Novice - Italian Ren. 175
Total: 280
Layer Points: 80
Handwork Points: 110
Total: 190
Debbie's beautiful outfit is a testament to her great attention to detail - hand woven braid and cord, hand-made buttons, home-made linen cardboard for bodice stiffening, and embroidery. Almost every utilised hand sewing to good effect. Well done Debbie! I was amazed by all the extra layers Kirilee managed to find time to make, as well as the sheer quantity of hand work: Kirilee perfectly used the pre-challenge extensive handwork making period by making a drawn thread work panel and two embroidered trimming strips. She utilised everything from hand-sewn eyelets, to stays channels, a hand-made and carved busk, hand-made  zibellino head and feet, and more. But I was most especially delighted that all this was all made by a novice to Italian Renaissance costume. Well done Kirilee! Hand made shoes, drawn thread-worked apron, and beautiful ruff-edge partlet - these are just some examples of Kathryn's hand work on this lovely sottana and veste combination. Besides being beautiful, they are very well constructed. Well done Kathryn!

Best Construction

Chantelle Gerrard
Auckland, New Zealand

Layer Points: 70
Handwork + Best Construction: 110
Total: 180

I was so very impressed that this whole outfit - shift, two under-dresses, dress and sash - were completely hand sewn, and so beautifully at that! The construction, fit, and careful replication of the period look, are what stand out and why it wins the 'Best Historically Accurate Construction' category. Well done Chantelle!

Best Design

Malinda Godwin
Arkansas, USA

Layer Points: 85
Handwork + Best Design: 80
Total: 165

Malinda's exacting and careful attention to detail blows me away. Every single detail is researched to the nth degree, and replicated beautifully. She really does look like she's stepped out of a Bronzino portrait! Well done Malinda!

Best by a Sewing Novice

Celeste Wheater
Western Australia

Layer Points: 90
Handwork + Best Novice - Sewing 80
Total: 170

It's hard to believe, looking at her lovely outfit, that Celeste has only two and a half years of sewing experience! Good fit, lovely colours that suit her beautifully, and attention to the little details that make an outfit - like the matching flag fan, pocket and sash - really make it something for anyone to be proud of - but especially a sewing novice. Well done Celeste!

Well done to ALL the entrants, for your perseverance and skill, but most of all because you inspire us all!

About the evaluation process:

As per the IRCC rules, finalists received 10 points for every layer completed, plus 10 more if they completed every layer, for a maximum of 50 points for all four required layers. In addition 10 points were awarded for every item in excess of the 4 required. These are the layer points. Every entry was then assessed for handwork on all items and a further 10 points were allocated for each instance of handwork (other than sewing straight seams), therefore those entries with the most completed items featuring the most handwork score highest. The 'Best Handwork' award goes to the entrant (other than the Overall Winner) who has the highest score in handwork; 'Best Design' and 'Best Construction' speak for themselves, and can be given to the same entrant. 'Best Novice - Sewing' and 'Best Novice - Italian Renaissance Costume' are only awarded where warranted.