Mandy L'Estrelle

A Venetian Gown, Girdle, Partlet, and Corset-Cover

Outfit based on Paolo Caliari's “Lady with a Heron” circa 1550

The Fabric
I bought six metres of a lovely dusty pink damask which I then searched for a suitable gown, and came across the Caliari portrait which I thought was perfect as my fabric has similar stripes. 
I also found an off-cut of some cotton sheer curtaining that has embroidered flowers and swirls that toned in nicely with the pink fabric.

The Gown.
As this was a short challenge, and I am severely time poor, I used all my undergarments from the IRCC2. I altered the pattern from the underdress from the IRCC2 gown to make it front opening.

The bodice is four layers, the pink fabric, 2 canvas and a linen lining. There is a single line of boning down the front of each side to give support for the lacing. The decorative lacer rings I bought some time ago and they needed to come out of my stash and make themselves useful, so I have used them on this gown. The lacing is a double ladder tying at the top.

The skirt is a very simple 3 panels gathered onto the bodice, the is corded, however I mismeasured and it is currently a bit too long so I will either rehem, or add a pleat just above the cording so I don't trip over the skirt.

The sleeves are two layers, the under layer is a simple plain sleeve, the upper is box pleated and then caught in an alternating pattern with small pearl beads, onto a band lined with 2 strings of pearls and then hand sewn onto the under sleeve. The sleeves are detachable with hooks and eyes, but I may change these to being full attached at a later stage.

The corset cover is a simple shield shape of 3 layers, linen canvas and the floral curtaining. And this is simply pinned onto the corset.

The partlet is a very basic shape with simple edging along the neckline. It ties in front under the bust line and is worn beneath the corset cover .

The Girdle.
It is 3 metres long and I have used a mixture of pink crystal beads, pearls, amber coloured beads and gold fillers. It has larger beads and metal tassels on the ends, and a hook closure.

What I will change.
I am very unhappy with the fit of the bodice, and will probably have to deconstruct quite a bit of it to get it sitting right. The front sits fine but the back is too wide across the shoulder blades causing the shoulder straps to slip as soon as the sleeves are attached.

Banner image taken from: Domenico Ghirlandaio, Birth of St John the Baptist, 1486-90, Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence.


© 2001 - 2012 Anabella Wake (Known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona) I hold copyright on all information on these pages, and on all images of clothing/costume that I have made. You are allowed to make one facsimile copy for your own use provided that this notice is included on each page. Please ask permission to copy, disseminate and/or distribute my work - I would like to know when and how you are finding this information of use.