The Realm of Venus Presents....

talian howcase



Gwen Kachelmyer

St Paul, Minnesota, USA

Costumer and Renaissance Faire Goer

A Florentine Gown in the Style of 1500


Gwen Says...

I learned to sew when I was about 9 but didn't take much interest in it until I was about 18. My first major project was a Victorian corset for the Victorian society's 12th night gala. Most of the costuming I've done has been Victorian, but the Italian Renaissance is what got me interested in sewing again in the first place.

This costume came about at the request of my sister-in-law. She was a bridesmaid in a wedding that used the Simplicity "Ever After" pattern as a dress, and she asked me to make up an Italian costume as well so I could go with her to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. 

 I started by doing a lot of Research online, especially at Jen Thompson's "A Festive Attyre" page. 

I made the camicia out of hanky weight linen and used the instructions from her site.

(Inspiration portrait is Raphael's The Woman with the Unicorn, 1505, Galleria Borghese, Rome)

I loved the color combination. 



   I used Period Patterns #41 as a starting point for the dress, which is also linen, trimmed with velvet. The dress laces up both sides and I made a tie on pocket to go with, just for ease of carrying things at Festival.


 I originally made the round sleeves like in the  portrait, but then decided that I really loved the earlier, more fitted sleeves with poufs of camicia sticking out, and as I donít currently plan to make another Italian gown, I figured Iíd make a pair to go with this dress as well.  


     I made the underskirt from a length of sari fabric.


Detail of the caul and velvet trim


 Detail of the sash.



Bella Says.....

Yummy! Lovely colour combination, trim and accessories in a style of Italian Renaissance costume we don't often see done, and done so well at that! And doesn't it look great on her! Brava Gwen!

If you would like to contact Gwen you can do so at Gwen (at) princessharold (dot) net

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(Copyright Information: As author I, Anabella Wake, known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona, hold copyright on all information on these pages. In addition I hold copyright 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.)