The Ninth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2019


Crystal Tice
Iowa, USA

I have been involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism since 2011 where I am known as Zaneta Baseggio and reside in the Canton of Axed Root. I have been making Italian gowns off and on ranging from the 14th century to late 16th century. In the past couple of years, I have stepped away from the machine and have started sewing outfits by hand.

My inspirations for this challenge are the 1510's portraits with the huge bag sleeves like La Schiavona and del Piombo's Daughter of Herodias. My second attempt at Venetian garb was based on these portraits. I am looking forward to revisiting the style with a bit more sewing skill.

I plan on making a camicia, underskirt, and an over-gown with sleeves. For the final layer of accessories, I plan on making a partlet, an apron or sash, a coif, and a pair of shoes.


(Updates listed in reverse order)


First Update: April Progress

Items completed this month:

1. Camicia

This month I spent my time on my under layers.

My camicia is made of a lightweight linen. I used the width of the fabric as my front and back panels. I divided the width in half for each sleeve. There are nine inch gussets under each arm. I followed the instructions from Bella's website for construction. The seams were sewn by machine and then flat felled by hand. I hand sewed a small hem around the neck, hem, and sleeves. Once all the edges were finished, I cartridge pleated the neckline with two lines of running stitch. The pleats were then pulled to the size I wanted and sewn down to a twill ribbon.



2. Padded Underskirt

The skirt is a middle weight linen made of two panels. The panels were sewn by machine and everything else was hand sewn. I pleated the top of the skirt and attached it to the waist band. Eyelets were added to one side and a lucet cord to the other for closure. Once the waist band was sewn in place, my husband marked the hem line for me in chalk. I decided to experiment with the underskirt and added a stiffened hem. I took the extra length of skirt that had been cut off from the bottom and used it as facing. Wool blend felt was cut into strips and tacked together to create the length I needed. The facing fabric was folded around the felt and pinned slightly lower than the folded edge of the skirt. I then used a running stitch to sew the two together. Once that was done, I used a whipstitch across the top of the facing/felt to attach it to the skirt. I tried to catch the felt just a little bit on both sides so that it will stay in place. It definitely 'poofed' the skirt a bit and I am liking the way it looks.



The completed items: Layer 1, camicia and layer 2, padded underskirt.