The Realm of Venus
Angharad verch Llewelyn
Reno, Nevada, USA
of the West, Principality of Cynagua, Province of Silver Desert)
SCA Member and Costumer
A Florentine Gown
in the Style of the 1520s
When I was younger, my Nana was quite the seamstress. She sewed clothing for me, and even my pioneer costume for Sutter's Fort one year. Since that time, I've loved dressing up in historical clothing but never got the
opportunity again until my first SCA event. I've been in the SCA for about two and a half years. At the time when the dress was made, I'd been really sewing for almost 2 years. I didn't really know how to sew clothing when I joined, but seeing all the wonderful clothing everyone else was wearing was a great
motivator. I began with the basic t-tunic, and then on to Norse clothing, when I found my love for 16th century Flemish clothing.
| This project began with an e-mail around November. I posted out to the West Kingdom Clothier's Guild with a picture of the blue linen saying I had no idea what to do with it, did anyone have any suggestions? And hooray, someone did. I didn't know it at the time, but the in thing for Twelfth Night 2006 was Italians. The lovely Lady Vittoria Dolfin e-mailed me saying Italians would be a good thing, and that if I could come down to her house over a weekend she'd help me with it. And then begin my favorite part of any project - looking at all the pictures for ideas! For this fabric, Venetian's wouldn't be quite right, and besides I prefer simpler styles. I found Jen Thompson's Florentine gallery, and fell in love with Giuliano Bugiardini's Portrait of a Young Woman.
I really liked the sleeve bits, and the little bitty guarding around the neck. And then came time to fit it. The bodice pattern I had for my first Flemish kirtle was very poorly fitted so I definitely needed to be fitted for a bodice again. The process took awhile. Then came the cutting and the construction. I used a layer of linen canvas in between the blue linen layers, and it supports quite nicely. It does tend to wrinkle when I sit down, but I blame that on my poor posture. I used roman shade rings instead of eyelets, and I
finger loop braided the lace out of red wool. I don't think I'll braid out of wool again, one cord snapped as I was being laced closed. I love the guarding, but I really can't take credit for that. Vittoria attached it, and if she hadn't it probably would have never been done and if it had been done, ended up looking so good. Between working retail during the holiday season and studying for finals, I was a bit strapped for time. If I do end up making another Florentine dress, it will have some overlap in the skirt slits so there's no gape when the bodice is laced closed. I'd also make the skirt longer, it's about 2 inches too short and I'm not sure what happened there.
Thanks to Meistara Vigdis Vestfirzka for taking all these wonderful pictures.
Brava Angharad! You have created a lovely
Italian Renaissance gown to be proud of - I can't wait to see what you make in
If you would like to contact Angharad you
can do so at theluckycheshire
(at) yahoo (dot) com
Would you like
to be Showcased? E-mail