The Realm of Venus
Costumer and Ren
Outfit in the Style
of the 1570s - 1580s
My name is Lindsey
Eastman and I recently graduated from Illinois State University with my Bachelor
of Arts in Theatre Design and Production. Inspired
by my high school madrigal singing group and attending my local Renaissance
Faire, I began sewing in 2003. I jumped straight into a full Tudor gown for my
first project, and I have not looked back!
of my projects this one began with the fabric.
On a whim I went down the curtain aisle in my local Wal-Mart
and saw this stunning brocade in red, blue, brown, and black.
I immediately gravitated toward the red and gold version, and I
bought two panels, enough for a dress, then and there.
It is 100% polyester, but itís a crisp, light weight and has
a beautiful sheen that looks remarkably like silk.
step was deciding on the style. I
knew it had to be a Venetian to feature the beautiful pattern of the
fabric, but I wanted to do something in a different style than the
first Venetian gown I made. Then
I stumbled on the detail pictures of A
Musical Evening by Ludovico Pozzoserrato [right], and I
knew what I wanted to do. I
fell in love with the pointy shoulder ruffs that almost looked like
I did not wear
a corset with my first Venetian gown, so for the second go I decided to
wear the Dorothea bodies I made for a class project.
That corset was purely functional and certainly had its flaws,
but I did like how it improved the line of the bodice.
bodice fitting the dress came together fairly quickly.
I added two lines of thin gold trim around the edges of the
bodice and the hem of the skirt, and used a spiral pattern on the sleeves. I laid out the
trim while the sleeve was still flat and stitched it on with invisible
thread and then put the sleeves together.
That did cause some wrinkling, so next time I will apply the trim
ruffs were the most challenging part of this dress.
I thought perhaps they were made of lace, but I couldnít find
any I was happy with. My
next thought was to make little triangles from silk organza, but the
idea of hemming all those tiny pieces killed that plan quickly!
I went to the craft store for some inspiration, and I bought
some sheer wired ribbon and gold seed beads.
I cut the ribbon into short lengths and then pinched one end
together to make it a triangle shape.
Then I covered the messy bits at the end with the gold beads. I
gathered all the pieces and attached them to lengths of ribbon to
anchor it all together. The
neck ruff was originally intended to be a standing ruff as in the
portrait, but after some failed experiments, I decided to make a
falling ruff attached to the silk organza partlet.
I actually like falling ruff better than that standing ruff in
To do my hair I
simply pin curled my hair when it was wet, slept on it, and combed it
out in the morning. Then I
piled it into little horn shapes and added the pearls.
This is one
of my favorite outfits and I feel so very elegant and unique when I wear
If you would like to contact Lindsey you
can do so by e-mailing her at Lindseyerin37
(at) hotmail (dot) com or visit her
Would you like
to be Showcased? E-mail