The Ninth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 to July 31, 2019


Jo Foster
Wyoming, USA

I've been actively involved in historical reenactments and live action role play depicting many historical periods for nearly forty years. My focus has been the seafaring folk from the early days of European sea travel. I have long admired the beautiful Italian Renaissance gowns and wanted to make one for myself.

The outfit is inspired by paintings dated to the 1530s. Blue and gold will feature heavily in this dress and accessories. There will be an underwear layer in linen trimmed with either bobbin lace or tatted lace I will make. The second layer is the dress (sottana?) in saffron colored taffeta. Third layer is an over-gown for outerwear of either wool or leather, whichever is most readily available. The accessories include an embroidered partlet of blue linen, the balzo head/hair piece, leather shoes and linen gloves.

(Updates listed in reverse order)


First Update: April Progress


Item completed this month:


No developed pattern was used. The individual pieces were drape fitted to look like other camicie in multiple online sources.

The camicia is handkerchief weight white linen. The perl cotton thread bobbin lace is added for decoration but is not part of the competition handwork having been made a very long time ago.

I started out cartridge pleating the linen but it was making the edge too thick and was uncomfortable. I started over and used knife pleats instead.