Welcome to IRCC 9. The Italian Renaissance
Costuming Challenge is a four-month long challenge to create a complete man's, woman's or
child's late Italian Renaissance outfit, from the skin out, of a style circa 1480 to 1600. The outfit can be of any social class and needs to include at least one
accessory, with a maximum of four accessories allowed. More detail, below.
open on Thursday, March 1 2018,
and will close 11:59PM Saturday, March 31, 2019. The challenge proper will begin on April 1,
For more detail please see the Challenge Schedule below under The
Items of hand-work that are labour
intensive can be
started immediately, before the official start date. These may include, for
example, extensive embroidery on trim destined for an
outer layer, or on panels for underwear (not counting insertion-stitch joining), making lace, weaving of anything larger than a
garter/s, making your own buttons in quantities, etc.
cutting-out or assembly of any part of any accessory or garment can be
done before the beginning of the challenge. If you
have any questions about what can be worked on in the
time leading up to the challenge please e-mail me at
the address at the bottom of this page. You will need to provide a photo/s of the complete or nearly complete, length of hand-made lace, or embroidered fabric, or woven textile,
etc., with your registration when registration begins in
note: all dates given are for YOUR time zone. So please
follow the date on your clock and calendar.
February 28, 2019: Plan And Buy.
Plan your outfit layers and accessories. Acquire what you will need
for your planned outfit, and begin work only on any
extensive handwork items such as lace-making, extensive
embroidery (on flat fabric panels, not pre-cut pattern pieces), weaving (of anything other than
March 1 to 31, 2019: Registration.
Register as an entrant in the IRCC 9. You will need to provide me with the details listed below
under the heading How to Register, and a photo of any
items of extensive hand-work completed in the period leading
up to registration, if any. Continue with planning and buying for your
outfit, and working on your
items of extensive handwork. Please note: I reserve the right to refuse entry to any participant, but I will not do so arbitrarily.
1 to July 31 2019: Let The Sewing Begin!
Cut, stitch, assemble, and complete your
outfit (see below for details), and send regular monthly reports on the first day of each month, including August 1, consisting of a written description and photo/s of what you
have achieved that month, especially any completed item/s.
1 2019: The final monthly update consisting of write-up and photos is due by 11:59PM. These are not the final on-the-body shots.
Your outfit needs to
be comprised of the following:
Layer 1: A camicia/shift/smock/shirt or
drawers or corset/pair of bodies. One item
of your outfit MUST be an underwear layer. I will also accept a partlet
or a stomacher as an underwear layer, but in this case it cannot be counted as an
Layer 2: Either
an under-skirt or
under-dress/petticoat with sleeves, or doublet
and 'trunk-hose'/slops/breeches, or
jerkin/sleeveless doublet worn over another garment.
Layer 3: The
final layer will be either an over-dress/gown, or a doublet and hose, or a loose gown, or
Layer 4: An accessory
or accessories to a maximum number of 4 items/set of items, for
- a fan
- hat, net or jewelled accessory for
- zibellino (also known as a "flea fur")
- girdle, belt or sash
- a set of earrings and necklace and ring/s.
- a set of two necklaces and ring/s.
- Venetian shoulder/neck ruffs (if they are separate from
the partlet - if attached will be counted as one item with the partlet)
Important points to note:
- Don't forget to send a progress photo and description of what you have been working on, each
month, according to the schedule listed in the
- An in-progress photo or photos of each and every
item making up the four required layers MUST be sent to me:
don't just send a photo of the completed item. The progress photo/s do not have to be on the body.
- Anything which has been completed must be photographed in its entirety, not close-up, so I can see the item in full.
General Photo and
- Information should be sent to me in the form of text included in the body of an email (Email address at the bottom of this page). It is helpful to indicate within the text which photo/s go where.
- Word documents will also be accepted for longer updates, and this year I will accept Word docs with embedded images to indicate where they go, BUT: you will also need to send the images separately, because the embedded images are not suitable for use on the web page.
- The accompanying images should be sent attached to the same email. You can send multiple emails with several images attached to each, if need be. Please order them numbering the emails 1 - X.
- In-line images (that is, images included in the body of the email) are also acceptable, provided the meet the size requirements, but I do prefer them as attachments for ease of downloading.
- Please DON'T date-stamp your photos.
- Please DON'T send composite images.
- Also please
do not just tell me you are still working on planning/buying
for your outfit - this needs to be done prior to the
Challenge start, and during the registration period, and does
not count as progress. If a photo and description of progress you have
made is not received by the scheduled date you will be
eliminated from the challenge.
2 to 15, 2019: Final Photos and Final Update
Photograph your finished outfit on the body (on the body is not required for underwear layer), and from the skin out, and
send me the photos and write-up. I require, as a minimum, the following
full-length (do not crop out head or feet/hemline) of the
front, back and side of the complete outfit, including
accessory, worn on
the body. (These MUST be sent during the photo submission
period at the end).
full-length (do not crop out head or feet/hemline) of the
front, back and side of both the under-wear alone,
and main layer worn on the body over the underwear
layer. If you would prefer to photograph the underwear
layer on a mannequin that's fine too, so long as items can
be clearly seen.
Detail shots of
artistic/freestyle photo in a location or setting that is
in some way Italian Renaissance in style or feel. To see
what I mean by this, click
Final Photo and
- If you need to use a mobile phone or tablet computer camera, please ensure that the images you send are clear, taken in daylight or in good lighting at the very least, not blurred or otherwise unuseable.
- Do not date stamp your photos.
sure your camera is set to take photos at its highest
resolution. I prefer photos submitted to be
uncompressed, and a minimum of 1500 pixels wide. If I can't
see your work, I can't evaluate it properly.
- Also, please be
sure itemise your outfit pieces, note whether complete or
incomplete, and to address what has and hasn't been hand-sewn or
hand-made in all your items in the final write-up.
Winners will be announced some time after August 15, 2019.
Winners will be announced via this website, as well as the 'Realm of Venus' Facebook
Page and 'Costume and Culture in Late Renaissance Italy'
How to Register
To register to enter, please send me an e-mail
on or after March 1 2019, and by no later than March 31 2019, with these details listed:
- Your full legal name (I am happy to use an alias for your privacy and safety, if required. Just let me know in your email.
- Your location: state/province
and country only. Please don't abbreviate your state's name. I'm an Aussie. Getting better at recognising US state abbreviations, but still need to work on it.
- A short (three to four
sentences-length) bio/introduction, including whether you are either a novice to sewing or
novice to Italian Renaissance costume (as defined in the
- A short description of your proposed
four-layer outfit (It's a good idea to know what you're intending to make before the challenge starts, so you can go ahead and begin extensive handwork and otherwise plan your entry, but you can change your mind later, should you need to)
- A photo/s of any extensive
handwork begun prior to registration which you wish to
include in your challenge outfit.
- A current head and shoulders
colour photo of yourself for inclusion in your page. Please do not send
a photo of someone else wearing clothing you have
made. High resolution and big
picture is good (I can crop and re-size!), but it must be at
least of a high enough resolution to for us to clearly see
- Note to past participants: please send a photo, even if you've sent one in the past. Full-size is best.
note: if any of the above are not provided your registration will
be invalid and most likely deleted. I am sorry to have to take
such a hard line, but it will save me having to chase people up
with reminders to send photos or the like.
All items must be started ON or AFTER
April 1 2019, except in the case of items of extensive handwork, such as
lace-making, extensive embroidery, weaving other than garters, etc.,
or one of the underwear items listed above. ONE item of
underwear must be made from scratch within the competition period, along with the all the upper layers
and one accessory. If you don't manage to finish all four required
levels don't worry, you will still be in the running. However, those
who attempt and or complete all four layers, plus extra layers, along
with extensive handwork will end with more points
than those who only attempt/complete one or two.
This is a challenge for individuals,
not groups, therefore only items sewn or assembled by the by the entrant with no
help from anyone else will be accepted. However, help with pattern
drafting, draping, and/or fitting is allowed. Use
of commercial patterns is also allowed.
Anyone may enter
multiple outfits if they wish, however points will be allocated on a
per-garment/item basis, not cumulatively. Your items should be
designed to look good worn together as an outfit.
and a one or two paragraph progress report must be sent once every
month minimum, by these deadlines: May 1, June 1, July 1 and one more by August 1. This will help to
keep you all motivated and enjoying the challenge!
The final shots of the outfit must be sent by no later than 11:59PM on Thursday, August 15 2019. This period is to enable you to
take the final and artistic shots without feeling rushed to do so.
The photos of the
completed outfit should be:
(a) three full-length (do not crop out head or feet/hemline) of the front, back and side of the complete outfit worn on the body.
(b) three full-length (do not crop out head or feet/hemline) of the front, back and side of both the under-wear alone, and main layer worn on the body over the underwear layer. If you would prefer to photograph the underwear layer on a mannequin that's fine too, so long as items can be clearly seen.
(c) Detail shots of each accessory.
(d) One artistic/freestyle photo in a location or setting that is in some
way Italian Renaissance in style or feel, wearing all layers and accessories. If you arrange to take the artistic photos as part of a group, please ensure that each member of the group takes her/his photo in a location which differs from the other members of the group, otherwise I will end up with several artistic shots which are almost identical. To see an example of what
I mean by an artistic/freestyle shot, click
summation of your outfit must accompany the final photos and should
itemise the complete and incomplete items you made/attempted.
Points will be allocated as follows:
and Handwork Points:
|10 points for each layer
|10 additional points if EVERY layer
has been completed.
10 bonus points for each item completed by each monthly deadline prior to the last on July 1. The more you complete by each of the first three deadlines, the more points you receive.
|10 bonus points for any extra
|5 points for any layer
started/attempted but not completed.
|10 points for each
inclusion of complex HANDWORK (that is, other than sewing straight
seams or hemming, sewing on trim, etc..) This could include
things like lengths of hand-made lace, buttons, embroidery,
hand-done eyelets, weaving,
hand-making shoes, etc.. If in doubt, email me at the address
above points will be awarded to everyone who finishes, according
to the criteria.
the points below will be allocated to the persons who best meet the
best attempt by a SEWING NOVICE
(A novice for this purpose is someone with less than three years
of sewing experience).
best attempt by a NOVICE IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
(A novice for this
purpose is someone who has attempted less than three late
Renaissance (late 15th-16th
century) outfits prior to this
|20 points for the
best attempt at Hist. Acc. DESIGN (Colours/Fabric
Choices/Patterns/Locale and Date Accuracy)
best attempt at Hist. Acc. CONSTRUCTION (hand work,
closures, pleating, padding, etc., but does not include textiles
used: both period-available and not will be placed on an equal
footing to allow for differing budgets).
|20 points for the
best artistic/freestyle PHOTO (from final photo
submission, either standing or sitting).
The OVERALL WINNER
will be the person with the highest total points from ALL
In addition, I will choose winners for BEST
HAIRSTYLE OR HEADWEAR, BEST ACCESSORY, BEST USE OF HANDWORK.
However, these categories do not accrue points.
All entries will be
evaluated by me, with the option of enlisting the help of
volunteers should the number of entrants get unwieldy.
Bella Lucia da
The Realm of Venus