The Realm of Venus Presents...

he talian howcase



Lindsey Eastman

Central Illinois, USA

Costumer and Ren Faire Goer

A Venetian Outfit in the Style
 of  the 1570s - 1580s

Lindsey Says...

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!

The Gown

Like many 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. 

The next 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 star bursts.



  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.  

After the 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 by hand. 

The 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 the end.     

  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 it. 



If you would like to contact Lindsey you can do so by e-mailing her at Lindseyerin37 (at) hotmail (dot) com or visit her website here.




Would you like to be Showcased? E-mail me!


(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.)