The Eighth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2018


Gina McGlynn
California, USA

I've had an interest in costuming from a young age when I would attend Society of Creative Anachronism with my aunt. I didn't learn to start sewing for myself until my mother got me some sewing supplies and lessons about six years ago as a Christmas gift. While I have done bits and pieces of costuming here and there, I have yet to complete a full costume on my own. This year my mother and I are both separately entering the competition to see how hard we can push ourselves.

For my outfit, I would like to do a men's Italian style outfit. Shirt, doublet and Venetian breeches and Italian caputo. As for the accessories, I would like to do at least a belt, pouch, hat and possibly one other accessory. I'm a fan of accessories.

First Update

For my first IRCC challenge, I settled on creating a full outfit for my husband. The biggest challenge will probably be creating something that looks rich enough but is also fairly simple and not too hot or with too many layers, since he gets uncomfortable easily. For fabric choice for the body and breeches, I went with a blue cotton velveteen and a matching silk taffeta for the lining and sleeves.

I live in a small house (under 500 sq ft) , so cutting and laying out of fabric has to be done at my mother's house. For the first month, my goal was to cut and take home the layers while simultaneously working on my husband's Ren Faire outfit needed by mid-May. The Faire outfit will be similar in construction and pattern to his IRCC outfit and will serve as a mock up so any construction mistakes will be made before I get to the IRCC.

The shirt is a very thin and light weight white linen. I cut the parts out and added some of the lace that will edge the sleeves and neck. Since I had several yards of linen stashed for making shirts, I chose my favorite for this competition. The sleeves came up a tiny bit short by about an inch but hopefully it won't be noticeable once it is fully assembled.

Next I cut the doublet, breeches and hat out of the velveteen as well as all the interlining and other layers that will become the finished doublet.

I decided to give the unassembled hat a test run. Unfortunately for my husband who is not a huge fan of hats, I had planned on making up for the simplicity of his outfit by doing multiple accessories, so he is getting a hat either way.

Next month I planned to be the assembly of pieces and some of the accessories, possibly in reverse layer order depending on how I am feeling.

Second Update

So far this month has been a struggle. I completed my mock up pattern for the doublet and the pants. I made the mock-up out of some left over red cotton velveteen. Overall the mock up went pretty much to plan.

My final draft will have some small changes but it was a working pattern that fit my husband pretty well. As a bonus he was able to wear it to the Renaissance Faire this month.

This month was rather chaotic, so I only made a bit of progress in regards to the contest. For one of my accessories, I have decided to use a pouch pattern to make a pouch that matches the belt I will be making for the contest.

The pouch material is black suede that I bought several months ago while on sale, so thankfully I already had it laying around. I mostly managed to layout and cut the pattern pieces out.

With each of the project parts cut out, I am hoping it will be easier to manage the items if I break them into smaller pieces so I am not overwhelmed.