The Realm of Venus Presents....

talian howcase


Temair Ruadh
(Tia Dixon)

Pennsylvania, USA
(Aethelmearc, Shire of Hornwood)

Costumer and SCA Member

A Venetian Gown in the Style of  1490-1510

Temair Says

 Greetings My Name is Temair Ruadh & I come from the SCA Kingdom of Aethelmearc. I have been sewing since I was about 10, but this is the first gown that I have completed all by myself!

This gown came into being because I wanted something elegant to wear to 06’ Spring Coronation Celebration. I found Inspiration at Lynn McMasters' website. Lynn has a wonderful gown done in this style under Mid-Italian renaissance. I also found that The Realm of Venus and the Italian Renaissance Gown Construction websites helped immensely in narrowing down what time period I was aiming for.

I started this Project in February, 06. The gown combination I chose is documented around approximately the 1490's. Granted I have mish- mashed a few things together.....but I like it.



 My chemise is cream linen & I followed the instructions from Jen Thompson’s page Festive Attyre. 

I purchased Period Patterns 41 since I am not talented enough to draft my own patterns ;-)
To get the look I wanted I have used the bodice & skirt pattern for View I, the 2 piece sleeves for View V. I later went back & made a second pair of sleeves Using VII & the Tabard in View III to switch out when we got ready for that Ball at Coronation.

The fabric I chose is a dark wine colored antique satin from the flat fold section at our local Joanne Fabrics - I used approximately 8 of the 9 yards I purchased.

To stiffen the bodice I use a double lining of Weavers Cloth. This does give wonderful support & lies very smoothly. But it is a real bugger putting in grommets down the back. Thank goodness I have Brad; he finished them all for me! I then covered each of the grommets with matching embroidery thread.

I cut out the panels for the skirt but decided it didn’t seem to flow enough so I added 3 more panels & box pleated it to the Bodice. As far as I can tell box pleats are Period just not as widely documented as cartridge pleating.

Now my gown is all together, time to find trim & work on the finishing touches

I decided trim for gown had to be black, little did I know a simple design in black is hard to find. I eventually found one on e-bay, but decided to look some more because it was very pricey! I kept wandering back to e-bay & decided this was THE Trim. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything else so I bought it.

While waiting for my trim to arrive I tackled the problem of what to do for attaching the sleeves . My fingers were sore from covering grommets so I decided lacing rings would be the way to go. I found Metal ones with no split in the drapery supplies at Joanne’s (the ladies know me on sight now I think). Attaching rings is mindless specially when sitting in front of the TV. Now how on earth am I going to tie the sleeve pieces together?

I solved this dilemma by making ties out of 1/4 inch black satin ribbon and aglets from straight pins with decorative heads (used to make earrings) strung with Onyx & Ruby glass beads for weight.

Once my trim arrived I attached it in stripes down each sleeve piece & around the Skirt about 6 inches from the hem. The trim is synthetic & very stiff so I was not able to get it to lay right around the neck line so I omitted it there.


While working on this gown I realized it could be very versatile so I went back & made a tabard out of a green & gold vine-y upholstery fabric & full sleeves out of a similar weight gold fabric with every intention of switching into them for the ball to be held at Coronation. Alas the day arrived, the gown was perfect & wore very well, but after feast we were so tired we skipped the ball & headed home early.

For more information & a stitch by stitch account of this gown please see my blog at

*portrait style photos of me & my gown Compliments of Darter the Chronicler



Bella Says.....

Yummy! What a lovely, lovely gown. Well done Temair!

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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.)