The Eighth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2018


Angela Smith
Kansas, USA

I’m a bit of a thrifted fabric junkie, and definitely not a novice to sewing. I tend to stick to historically inspired fantasy and “generic Ren Faire” costumes, though ages ago I made a Venetian-inspired ensemble (I blame the intoxication of Dangerous Beauty!) and have thrown some Italian influences into my Elizabethan-ish garb. This will be my second historical Italian, which I suppose makes me an Italian Ren. novice.

I found my primary inspiration for this outfit early last fall and started planning an entire mix-and-match wardrobe based on similar portraits, but it didn’t take long to realize my timing couldn’t be worse – I was working on losing weight, and my measurements needed to stabilize before I could make anything other than accessories. Meeting my weight goal coincided with the announcement of IRCC8, so I’m unpacking everything and reworking my plans to meet the requirements of the competition. As my finances are extremely tight right now, this will be primarily a stash-based project, which may occasionally mean sacrificing accuracy in favor of availability.
Layer 1: An embroidered pair of bodies; Layer 2: A black-and-gold sottana with sleeves; Layer 3: A black velveteen doublet gown; Layer 4: A zibellino and matching necklace & earrings set.


Optional accessories: a muff, soft black leather shoes/slippers, a fan, and/or a partlet (I haven’t decided yet which I’ll make to meet the max of 4!) I intend to have fun and take some fantastic/creative license with the extras, but make the under gown, sleeves, and doublet gown to be as historically accurate as I can make them, so that all I need to do to go from fantasy-inspired to historical is change out the accessories and underwear.

I’ve started on a set of 22 large and 44 small two-tone thread-wrapped buttons, but I’ve only managed to finish a few so far.