The Realm of Venus Presents...

he talian howcase


Josť Cabrera de Castilla
(Ryan Davidson)

Shire of Dragonís Mist, Kingdom of An Tir
(Beaverton, Oregon, USA)

Costumer and SCA Participant

An Outfit in the Style
 of 1560s Bergamo

(Highlighted/bordered images are click-able for enlarging)

Jůse Says....


About Josť

My wife and I took an immediate interest in costuming as soon as we decided to join the SCA. Before we even attended our first event, we got a hold of a Singer sewing machine and started making some simple outfits from broadcloth and muslin. By the end of our first season of events, we knew that we were totally hooked.

By my third season, I was ready to start patterning my own clothing. I started experimenting with doublet shapes, and I slowly managed to improve my understanding of the proper shape of the body. I made a mediocre attempt (that I thought was great). Then I made a passable attempt (that I thought was great). At this point, Iíve accumulated enough knowledge to make clothing that looks, feels, and fits like actual period clothing ought to. Iím sure that some ways down the road Iíll think of it as only passable.


 The Concept

Iíve been interested in the portrait called Portrait of a Tailor since I first saw it. Seeing a man in an outfit that he undoubtedly designed for himself made me want to challenge myself to do the same. Iím also painfully aware of how few men are tailors nowadays, and I want to help counter this trend by providing other men with an example of work that I am proud of. 

Itís worth mentioning that although my persona is a Spaniard, I am part of a group with a focus on high Renaissance Italian and German garb, so I am opting to fit in with the overall theme of the group rather than obey the tendency of Spanish clothing to be severe black affairs. Iíll probably do some more black later, but An Tir gets almost as hot as the West Kingdom in the summer, so black will be relegated to evening wear only.

My first task, then, was to figure out which elements of the outfit I wanted to reproduce faithfully, and what I wanted to change. First off, I knew I didnít have the depth of understanding to replicate the pinking of the doublet. So I needed to choose a fabric which has enough pattern in the weave to make up for it. I happened to go into Joann Fabrics on a day they were having a sale on their home dťcor fabrics, and the cream floral pattern seemed right. Red isnít one of my colors, so I planned on exchanging the red of the trunkhose for a shade of green.


I also decided that I wanted to keep the detail on the wrists and neck, but I figured the shoulder piccadils could go for this version. I contemplated adding piccadils at the bottom of the skirting, but rejected this idea when I calculated how many I would need. For these, I decided on an ivory silk. Due to a miscommunication, my wife accidentally picked up 2 yards of silk instead of Ĺ a yard, so now Iíve got way more than I needed. Thatís okay; Iíll use it to line a hat. And maybe make a pair of tie-in sleeves.

The Doublet

With the cream fabric I bought for the outside, I bought 5 yards of ivory cotton drill cloth to develop the pattern (accounting for mistakes made along the way). The final version would become the lining of the garment. I ended up doing three total mock-ups. The last one actually looked right and fit correctly.

After getting a satisfactory shape patterned, I cut and sewed the body of the exterior of the doublet. At this point, I had not settled on precisely how I wanted the neck or the skirting to look. But before I could address those, I had to make the tabs.



 Each tab is a single piece of silk, two inches long and about an inch and a half wide, folded over and then serged closed on two sides. After trimming the excess thread, I flipped them all inside out, creating a small, neat tab with a crisp top edge. To complete the neck and both wrists, I would need approximately 80 tabs. When I figured this out, I was very, very glad I had decided not to put tabs along the bottom of the skirting.

Now that I had my piccadils, I could attach the lining and the exterior. I ended up just putting a short, single-layer collar on both the inside and the outside of the neck. On the exterior one, I attached two staggered rows of tabs at different depths, creating a more complex look to them. Then I lined up the two pieces, wrong sides out, and serged them together along the neck and then down both of the sides of the front. After topstitching the edges to keep them flat, I was left with a mostly completed garment, with the wrists and the waist unfinished.

I applied a similar effect with the tabs on the wrists and then topstitched the lining into it, completing those. At this point, when I tried to test fit it I realized that the wrists were a bit snug. I could slide my hands in just fine, but getting them out again takes a little wiggling. For future doublets, I will expand the wrist just slightly to make sure I can get my hands in and out a little more easily.

Studying the Portrait of a Tailor, I could see that although he is wearing a belt that distorts the shape of the skirting somewhat, it did seem to flare out from the body of the doublet. So I created my pattern for the skirting on a curve, with the bottom being larger than the top so it would have the correct flare.

I cut two layers of skirting, sewed them together, topstitched them down to flatten, then placed them into the bottom of the doublet and closed it all together. This completed the body of the doublet. I tried it on by pinning the front closed, and it seemed perfect. I have more of a belly than the Tailor did, but the overall shape is correct, and I guess Iím just more fashionably pudgy than he was.

I decided to use Dritz cover buttons on this doublet, and covered them with the same ivory silk that I used for the piccadils. I found these really easy to deal with, as the silk slipped easily into the buttons and then held tightly, unlike other fabrics I have worked with. Now, I hate button holes - with a passion. Fiery, hateful passion. My gracious wife took on this duty for me, and adding the button holes and sewing on the buttons are the only things I didnít do on this outfit. This is just another reason I love her.

The Trunkhose and Hose

The trunkhose are made using the Fantasy Fashions paned slops pattern. I made only one major alteration from the original pattern in making them: I added hidden pockets in the sides. I wish I had captured pictures of how I did this. I basically cut the basic shape of the leg as two pieces instead of one, and then inserted a rectangular pocket in the middle. The seam along the outside of the leg is hidden by one of the panes at pretty much all times (unless I am holding the pane out of the way as I was in the picture).

I chose an olive, cotton twill for the trunkhose. Rather than sewing the panes out of a different fabric or adding trim, I decided to keep this garment simple. This was in keeping with the Portrait, where the tailor is in simpler clothing than he would presumably be capable of making for his customers.

The hose are an olive, 94% cotton/ 6% spandex blend. The fact that the hose are almost the exact same color as the trunkhose is entirely a happy coincidence. These were cut from a pattern supplied by Seamlyne, which was a renaissance hose supplier that has now gone out of business. The great thing about the pattern is that you basically only have to serge up the back of each leg, then serge the two halves together. If you want to get fancy, you can sew in a casing for a drawstring- Which I did.


The cape is made from a thick cotton twill exterior that will stand up to just about any scraping, dragging and hot embers you can throw at it (note: do not throw hot embers at me. I am a heavy fighter and I am not liable for damage caused by firewood being used as an impromptu sword). The interior is peacock-patterned brown brocade. In keeping with my understanding of shoulder capes, I made sure the outside was the dull side and the inside was pretty. This means the part that is most likely to have filth thrown out windows onto it is not the pretty stuff.

When I first made the cape, it was very stiff and didnít hang very well. I just kept wearing it and then stuffing it back in a garb tote until the fabric softened up. There is a cord strip sewn around the neck and along the bottom to decorate it, and a curtain cord (available from most fabric stores) with tassels on either end was used as the cape cord. I pin the cape onto my shoulder using a brooch so that it doesnít slip off the back of my shoulder.

The hat brim is made by cutting an oval of artificial stiffener (Peltex 70 is my favorite material for this) and then gluing wool down to it and wrapping it around the edges. I made two of these, then made a big oval of brocade and backed it with two layers of brown for the body of the hat. I made this hat to be reversible, so one side is entirely green and the other entirely brown. Some home dťcor trim was hand sewn around the outer edge to cover the seams between the two sides and decorate the edge.

The shoes are originally from but were altered to add a rubber tread, a very small heel, and an insole. My feet are much happier, and I can wear them most of the day without killing my feet. 
The dagger is a gift from a friend, and then I took it to another friend to add a pair of loops that allow me to actually attach it to a belt.



  You can contact Jůse at Malkom1366 (at) , and you can access his Yahoo Group here.

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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.)