The Realm of Venus Presents....

talian howcase


Holly Jo Alford
(Happy Birthday Holly!)

Iowa, USA


A Venetian Gown in the Style of  the 1560s 

Holly Says


 My dress project is to do the gold dress from the fresco "Games" by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo, c1565.  



 My fabric is a deep gold corduroy leftover from a chair-covering project, some gross-grain ribbon for the sleeve jumps, and some pretty gold net for a partlet (not yet complete), also some scalloped looking lace out of black shot with gold. I used unbleached muslin for lining and interlining and poly-whats-its cable ties for boning stays. (Lots of boning!)

 I pretty much drafted a pattern off my basic bodice, I moved the front neck down to nipple level and moved the straps WAY out, and deepened the point. I also added the signature point in the back.  

I installed as much boning as I could get away with and followed Jen Thompson's double row method of ladder lacing (Thanks Jen!) (to good effect! I think!) 

The fresco I was copying has really close ladder rungs and the lacing seemed cream colored to me so I used a cream colored flat cord.

So then I covered the whole kit & caboodle with my gold corduroy...

Next I moved onto the skirt - this was iffy - I might not have enough material to get a skirt out of the deal (but in the portrait you don't see her skirt - you just assume she has one don't you?) I used the "3 times your waist or so" method to calculate the skirt width and came out needing two panels of my fabric (a coy way to avoid saying 40 ish times 3 = 120" or 2ea 60" panels!) I also decided to reduce some of the bulk at the waist by "piecing" - to my horror, AFTER! I'd cut, I remembered the nap/pile of the corduroy - my sad, sad tail. (The black tail in the picture belongs to Charley

- but not to worry "piecing is period" - at least it is in Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold. Next I measured the drop from the waist to the point and from side to side give or take some gathers. (I see what Sarah Lorraine means about hating skirts - MAKE yourself pin, pin, PIN!)


Next was getting into the fun part - those sleeves! I decided to do mine using (about)1/2" gross-grain ribbon, turned into loops and jumped form sleeve to shoulder with room for camicia pullings-out. Here be dragons worth of pictures....


Dress & loops

Basic sleeves

Sleeves turned/lined

Dress sleeves pinned

Loop spacing measured by a scientifically proven method!

Lace cuffs & curved clippings

Dress with conjectured lace cuffs

Sleeve loops & bias sewn on

Loops pinned to dress

Since sometimes I'm lazy I went for the faux camicia at the sleeve heads and made a sort of stomacher faux front for under the ladder lacing.
 I sewed the black shot with gold lace to the inside of the neckline

 Oh yeah, and I had to make a backgammon game board.

Finally the photo shoot!
The setting looks like they're out on the verandah playing board games. There's a man's right side standing on the left, and a lady in a white/green dress sitting at the table. The table is covered with a purple cloth. (I used a ladder & comforter for my lady in white)




Bella Says.....

Wow. It's pretty, it's sexy, it's delicious yummy in colour and detail. What more could anyone ask for? Well done Holly! 

And Happy Birthday!!

If you would like to contact Holly, you can do so at Grubnerref (at) aol (dot) com

Would you like to be Showcased? E-mail me!


(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.)