The Realm of Venus
Costumer and Ren
outfit in the Style of the 1550s
didnít start sewing until 2003. I am not a member of the SCA or any guild, but
I do attend plenty of faires. Basically, I am just a girl who decided she was
tired of paying for dresses that looked sorta like what she wanted.
dress started because I wanted something different than your standard
Elizabethan at faire. I started researching and found that I loved the Venetian
painters the most, due to the fact that a lot of the women are built like
meÖearthy, strong, and with lots of T&A!
decided on these paintings* as my main inspiration (but funny enough,
found this painting **)
after I finished the dress) and my husband bought me some wonderful silk
to use. Then I freaked out about cutting fabric so expensive. Having never
made a Venetian dress, I had no idea how to construct it and didnít want
to cut my silk until I had everything hammered out.
So, I dug into my stash and found this fabric ***. I
figured I would make a test run dress and if it worked then I would have
two dresses! The fabric is a cotton/poly blend and 54Ē wide. I found it
in a local clearance bin for $3/yd. I only had 4 yards and am not a small
girl so I got very creative in my cutting. In the end there were only two
scraps left, each as big as my hand.
used Margo Andersonís pattern for the shift. Itís made from 3 ľ
yards of 100% linen and entirely hand sewn. I tried using a fuller
camicia that I had from another dress and found that I couldnít get
sleeves over it without looking weird.
bodice is three layers Ė two of heavy canvas, one gold brocade. I
debated on adding another layer for lining, but changed my mind, as I
wanted this dress to be as lightweight as possible. Michigan summers,
while not as thermometer popping as California or Texas, are known for
their humidity a lot of times ending up around 80 %. I drafted the
bodice using an old mock-up, changing seam lines and such when needed. I
didnít make a corset. It is my opinion after looking at paintings that
Venetians probably didnít use stays and instead just boned their
bodices. The front is laced with ribbon through rings using ladder
lacing. I should have did a double row of rings to help straighten out
the ribbon, but got ahead of myself sewing and by the time I realized it
would have had to rip the entire bodice apart.
sleeves I used the old ďtrace your armĒ method. I slashed the top to
make the panes and added some buttons that I got off of Ebay. The sleeve
I did line in linen. Itís all hand sewn, mostly while at work. J
skirt is just rectangles of fabric sewn together. I tried to do gores,
but just didnít have enough fabric. This was probably the toughest
part of the whole dress. I couldnít figure out how to get the front
opening to look right and still be able to get into the darn thing. I
thank Bella for coming to my rescue and sending me directions.
The brocade is cut in a slit about 8-10Ē long and narrowly
hemmed. Then the top is turned down about 4-5Ē at an angle near the
opening and about 1-2Ē at the sides and back. Then I just eyeballed
it and cartridge pleated it directly to the bodice.
the accessories I made myself. The components to the jewelry are all
from Michaelís. I got a hair piece from Sallyís Beauty Supply
because I chopped all my hair off after the first time I wore this
dress to fair. The flag fan I made using the directions from the
Renaissance Tailorís website. I hand painted the design onto heavy
card board and edged it with some lace. It works amazingly well. It
took me about a day to make and itís probably the thing I get the
most comments on.
in all, this dress was a blast to make. It took me about 3 weeks with most of it
being hand sewn at work (Donít tell my boss!). Itís definitely one of my
favorites, despite starting out as a ďtrial runĒ. Also, thanks to the
following ladies for all the help whether they realize it or not- Jen T. , Alyxx
I. , and of course Bella.
you would like to contact Jackie you can do so at Damara521
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