The Realm of Venus Presents....
Sarah Wydville, West Kingdom
SCA Participant and
A Gown in the style of 1570s Venice
I started out as a patron of the Northern
Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, CA at the age of 12 and
instantly fell in love with the whole idea of costuming. I began
designing historical costumes almost right away but did not begin
to sew my own costumes until I was 15. Costuming is an obsession
that has stuck with me for the last 12 years. I created my first
website in 1996, called "Sewing The Seeds of Rebellion"
and together with Melissa Heischberg (whose website was then
called "Sew Happy"), we began putting "dress
diaries" online for people, like ourselves, who wanted to
see the guts of the project in all their glory, not just the
pretty finished product. In about 2000, I changed the name of the
website to "The Elizabethan Lady", which lasted for two
years under that name before changing it to its current title
"Mode Historique", as I began branching out from
strictly Elizabethan era clothing.
For me, education is the primary point of putting my costumes and
research online. I love learning and I figure there are probably
others out there who are searching for information that can't be
found easily. As the internet has grown and as the online
historical costuming community has swelled over the last 10 years
(TEN YEARS!!!), the flow of knowledge has been incredible. With
the advent of blogging, dress diaries are now everywhere you
look. It's fantastic!
I am involved in the SCA (West Kingdom) as Lady Sarah Wydville,
ORL. I am also a member of the Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild.
||This outfit was made in
honor of my first trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire
in Kenosha, WI. When you're meeting two of your best
online costuming buddies for the first time, you want to
look good! Melissa and Jennifer Thompson were both going
to be seeing this dress up close and personal, so I
wanted to make it as nice as I possibly could. If anyone
would pick out my sewing flaws, it would be them! (Of
course, they're too nice to say so... ;)
The fabric is 100% silk jacquard that I found onsale at a
trendy fabric store in my area. I lucked out that it
ended up being 50% and that there were 7 yards on the
bolt (I'm short, so that was enough to make two outfits
for me, if I was careful with piecing). I still paid
through the nose for the fabric, but it's silk!
I wasn't specifically picking a Venetian portrait to
recreate, so I went with what I think we all consider is
the "basic" Venetian style: Open front bodice,
ladder lacing, straight sleeves, etc. The one thing I
love about Venetian clothing of the 16th century is that
they use sumptuous fabric without a whole lot of extra
ornamentation. The fabric speaks for itself, and since I
love simplicity in design, I had no problem letting the
fabric be the center piece.
Yummy yum yum! The mere thought
of how much the silk brocade must have cost is almost enough to
make me pass out, only I wouldn't dare take my eyes of that
gorgeous fabric for a second! It has such a lovely sheen to it,
doesn't it? And Sarah has adorned herself perfectly - from the
carcanet to the girdle and not least of all that fan, whose
handle I covet! :-) If you would like to contact Sarah
you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org You
can see her dress diary for this gown here.
Would you like
to be Showcased? E-mail