The Eighth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2018


Tatiana Kaish
Moscow, Russia

My name is Tatiana Kaish. I'm from the Moscow region of Russia. I've been doing the reconstruction for about three years. This will be the second experience of tailoring the gown in the style of the Italian Renaissance.

For the competition, I chose a suit from the portrait of Isabella of Portugal by Titian. Since a similar dress is depicted in the portrait of Joanna of Aragon by Rafaelo Santi, I suppose that Isabella is wearing an Italian gown.
Also, Janet Arnold wrote in her book "Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620":
"Isabella of Portugal, wife of Emperor Charles V, wearing a gown similar in style to that worn by Eleonora of Toledo in her grave in 1562 except that the skirt opens at the front to reveal a forepart."
My costume will consist of:
1.A camicia and a bodice (worn by Eleanora of Toledo)
2. An under-skirt and a top skirt
3. Velvet gown with a sleeves
4. A girdle and head gear
All the necessary fabrics and accessories for creating a costume, I have already purchased. I will use machine embroidery with metallic threads and decorate with a cord and beads.

First Update

I use an online translator, so I apologize for my clumsy English.

I decided to start with the "bodies" worn by Eleanora of Toledo. They say that Eleanora was very thin because of a long illness and wore a similar stays to give the body a volume/ to have been that of keeping warm , rather than providing stiffness. I will use it to become thinner.


To begin with, I made a layout/draft of the corset.
Then I transferred the pattern to paper, since I plan sewing and the dress on this pattern.

Then I cut the details of two types of dense cotton, placing the upper fabric along the share thread, and the lining in the weft.

I stitched through all the details and inserted a jute cord into the channels.


I sewed all the details and hooks for accurate fitting. Then I worked the edges.

The next step was sewing the camicia. As a sample, I chose this one. Pattern of Raglan. Inserts made from the lace fabric. At the bottom I sewed lace and worked the cuts.


On the trying on clothes, I realized that there is not enough tissue in the armpits. I'll be thinking how to fix this. But overall - the result suits.

I had a bit more time and redid the camicia. I unstitched the side seams and inserted the gussets (4 wedges); and decorated the neckline. Now it has become comfortable - nothing contracts and does not hamper the movement. First layer is totally complete.


Second Update

This month I had more time and I managed to do a lot.

I began to embroider ornaments. The design of the program for the embroidery machine was made by my husband. The design was very difficult. A fragment of 18cm is embroidered in 135 minutes. I made a sample of embroidery and immediately decorated with beads and pearls as it will be in the final. I embroidered the stripes on the fabric, then I will cut them and draw them to the dress. The most difficult thing is to combine the drawing.

I was engaged in manual work while watching the process of embroidery. I gathered a girdle, strung a bead of cord.

I made a skeleton for the bodice by inserting clips from the building store into the channels. They are strong enough and plastic.

I also started sewing a shirt. The collar and cuffs will be decorated with beads, and the upper part and sleeves - golden cord. Here is a photo of this process.

I sewed the under-skirt. Cut from the width of the fabric 71cm. In fact, there are two skirts between which a sisalic thread is laid. It looks like straw and holds the bell well. I needed about 65m thread.

The under-skirt is finished.

I have almost finished my top skirt. It remains only to sew the belt.