The Realm of Venus
Costumer and Ren Faire Participant
A Venetian Gown in the Style of the 1560s
Iíve been attending my local faire since I was a baby, started playing as an adult and began my sewing obsession about 5 years ago. I attended once in that time in street clothes and felt so odd I had to leave earlier than I normally would. I hold a degree in humanities, theatre and dance, so historical costume was a somewhat natural interest for me.
In my real life Iím self-employed event planner and create parties, weddings, festivals and other events for people and organizations in the Twin Cities- another place I get to play with fabric! Iím also lucky enough to be married to a guy who lets me make things for him and who actually enjoys wearing them.
This gown was inspired primarily by the fabric. It was found on a remnant table by my mom-in-law and I knew the second she showed it to me that it was destined to become a Venetian gown with the deep V bodice.
I have this strange ability to see how fabric works around a body, so I spent a long time just thinking about how I could modify a pattern Iíve used in the past to work for this type of bodice. I also spent a good amount of time reading journals and diaries of other costumers before I formulated a solid plan for the gown.
Two portraits were my main inspiration:
I liked that both of them had the same colors as my fabric and they have a relatively narrow V bodice.
By the time I began modifying my pattern via multiple muslins, I had collected various items to use with the finished gown. I find it most inspirational to toss the accessories onto my dress form with the far-from-finished outfit, so, true to form as soon as I had cut the bodice from the real fabric I had a very good sense of what the completed ensemble would look like even if it was just pinned into my dear dummy.
The bodice is made up of 4 layers. The outer fabric, two inner layers that sandwich just a few plastic cable tie bones and a gold silk lining. I too, used Jen Thompsonís genius method of lacing using ribbons.
Oh my, this is yummy isn't it? I just adore that fabric, and Peggy has done such a great job of this style - it suits and fits her perfectly too!
If you would like to contact Peggy you can do
so at pege
Would you like to be Showcased? E-mail me!