The Ninth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2019


Ben Pung
Georgia, USA

I have been doing historical costuming for just over 25 years in the SCA, where I am known as Master Lorenzo Petrucci. My main interests have been mid-15th century and mid-to-late-16th century Italian men’s clothes, in addition to a variety of other 14th-16th century styles.

My plan is to create a man’s outfit from around 1515, based on a variety of images. The layers will be:

1) brache (drawers) and camicia (shirt)
2) guibbone (doublet) and calze (hose)
3) saio (gown/skirted jerkin)


(Updates listed in reverse order)


First Update: April Progress


I have done a lot of 15th century Italian clothing already, and enough later 16th century clothes to be interested in trying something new. I came across this Lorenzo Lotto painting while looking for evidence of stay tapes on pleats for 15th century men’s giorneas. While this is not a smoking gun for that (I found a better source elsewhere), it does do a good job of showing the various layers of this style.

The first layer of the outfit will be brache (drawers) and camicia (shirt), both made from linen. Next will be a guibbone (doublet) of silk and calze (hose) divided into upper and lower parts, both made of wool. The outermost layer will be a saio (gown) made of wool lined with silk.

I will not be including the riding boots shown in the image, but will likely be making some sort of hat (one can be seen in the right side of the painting, but there is little detail as to its shape). I have already acquired the fabrics I plan to use, assuming all goes to plan.



Item completed this month:


I have made a few camicie with gathered necklines for both men and women, usually using the raglan sleeve pattern that has been running around the web for ages. Invariably these fit poorly when I make them, especially in the armpits. This time around I took a look in Patterns of Fashion 4 and found two boys' shirts with gathered low necklines and these were made in a way that I was unfamiliar with. They are basically T-tunic shaped, with a large rectangular neck opening bounded by a front and back panel and two small strips on the shoulders. While the earliest date mentioned for either of these shirts is 1550, the pattern seemed simple enough that it was entirely plausible for a similar shirt in 1515.

This camicia is made entirely of 3.2 oz white linen. The main seam for attaching the shoulders to the body panels and the initial attachment of the cuffs and neckline binding are done by machine with polyester thread. All other construction and finishing is done by hand with waxed linen thread. The seams between the shoulders and front and back panels are flat felled. All other seams for attaching the body, sleeves, and gussets are done by hemming the edges of the pieces and whip stitching the finished edges together. The side seams are left open from the hips down, and the total length is about mid-thigh.

The cuffs are gathered with a 1/4" inch double running stitch into plain cuffs with a cloth bag button and buttonhole. The neckline is similarly gathered and bound with a strip of straight cut linen.





Item started this month but not yet* completed:


[*Whilst the brache were actualy completed this month, unfortunately Ben didn't take any in-progress photos and they therefore can't be included as an extra layer 1 item.]

While there are no extant brache to go from, there are a number of images depicting underwear of various sorts. Mutande are shorter and tighter fitting, while brache are longer and somewhat looser.

I have used several different patterns for these over the years, but in this instance I chose to make two separate legs with a curved crotch seam and a rectangular panel between them. I added a casing and drawstring at the top.

The fabric I used is medium weight white linen. The construction was done by machine and the finishing was done by hand with waxed linen thread. The drawstring is a plain weave tape made from cotton crochet yarn on an inkle loom.