The Tenth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

April 1 2020 to January 31 2021


Angela Smith
Kansas, USA

I’m a fabric junkie with a growing hoard of sewing and craft supplies and a tendency to collect random new craft skills. While I love the challenge of historically accurate costuming, most of my work is at most historically inspired or generic “Ren Faire” style with period elements added in. My IRCC8 project was the most ambitious historical outfit I’ve attempted to date. For this year’s IRCC, I’m hoping to raise the bar and challenge myself to expand my repertoire of skills even further.


For this challenge, I plan to create an outfit inspired by a portrait of Eleonora/Dianora di Garzia di Toledo. While I originally wanted to do a faithful recreation of the portrait, my hope now is to make pieces that can work for a bigger project I've been planning, and that will also interchange with my existing garb -- this might be a bigger task than I can reasonably accomplish in the 10 months of the challenge, but I'm still going to try. Currently planned pieces include:

  • An embroidered camicia
  • Embroidered drawers
  • A roped petticoat
  • A decorative petticoat
  • A sottana and sleeves
  • An overgown with hanging sleeves
  • A highly decorated partlet
  • Stockings with matching garters
  • Embroidered slippers
  • A set of jewelry

I haven’t started extensive handwork yet, but do I have a lot of embroidery planned. I hope to get going on it between submitting my registration and the beginning of the challenge. I may also start making the many, many yards of cording/trim I want to use for my sottana, but for now the embroidery is going to be my main focus.