Hanna Lindroos

Stockholm, Sweden

Costumer - Stockholm Tolkien Society

A Venetian Outfit in the Style
 of  the 1560s-70s

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

Hanna Says....


My name is Hanna Lindroos and I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I have been making costumes for approximately 16 years. I am a member of the Stockholm Tolkien Society, and as such I am most familiar with the making of fantasy costumes. They are however often inspired by historic costume and every once in a while I decide to do a more historically accurate outfit. My favorite period has always been the Italian renaissance, particularly 1520-1570. This time I decided to use the Lady in White as inspiration for a dress.

Before I start I just have to mention that Iím well aware that my fabric choices are not true to period. Some of the fabrics I have chosen because of their looks (such as the dress brocade), some for comfort (cotton linings) and some for availability (silk camicia). I attempted to achieve the look of the Venetian dress, rather than accuracy in all things.



The Fabrics

A few years back I found a lovely fabric in a local shop here in Stockholm. Itís a sky blue and antique gold brocade with a quirky (and not entirely period) pattern, and a fabulous sheen. It was quite cheap so I bought a lot, 5 or 6 meters I think, and put it in the big box of brocade fabrics for future use. Another year or so later I found the blue cotton velvet (intended for draperies I think) on sale and I had to have it. When I came home with it, I realized that it was good with my brocade and decided to start planning. Having decided on the Lady in White I looked for a way to use the velvet that would keep the outfit in the same time period and found this coat. 

The Bodice

I didnít want to make a dress that required a corset, but I still wanted to keep the correct shape of a 1560ís Venetian dress. I decided instead on putting some boning into the bodice itself. Jennifer Thompsonís beautiful site is a favourite of mine and I went there for inspiration and ideas. She has made a gorgeous Venetian 1560ís dress and has some photos of the bodice with ladder lacing that I wanted to do.

My bodice is interlined with a cotton canvas and lined with a cotton curtain fabric (it was the only one I could find in a decent colour!) I used less boning than Jennifer, but I still think it worked out OK.

The sleeves are similar to the ones in the portrait.


The Skirt

The skirt is made from three panes of brocade and lined with a blue cotton fabric to add some body to the skirt. To prevent the pattern from ďsaggingĒ at the front and the back where the bodice ďdipsĒ I had to cut out triangles in the front and in the back.

I cartridge pleated the skirt using this method and attached it to the bodice.

The Camicia

Again I used Jennifer Thompsons site for direction. She has good instructions on how to make an Italian chemise.  I have worked for 6 months in Tokyo and there I managed to find several beautiful fabrics and trimmings (not to mention kimonos and obis!). One of the fabrics was an unused roll of white silk with a woven Japanese pattern that was intended for a ďunder kimonoĒ (worn as underwear under a regular kimono) (Fig 6). The kimono fabrics are only 35 cm wide (approximately 16 inches) and each roll is about 11 meters, i.e. enough to make a kimono! I used the entire roll for my camicia and ended up with somewhat wider sleeves than I had imagined and decided to gather them to prevent them from being all over the place. I ended up cartridge pleating both the neckline and the sleeves because there was so much fabric! I added a narrow Venetian lace as extra embellishment!

The Partlet

The partlet is the only piece that is not inspired by a Venetian dress. Itís from a painting by Bronzino who was from Florence.
It is such a beautiful partlet and I have thought about doing it for a long time, so I decided to cheat a little!
I made it in silk organdy and sewed on gold braid and far too many tiny glass pearls!
I realized that I should have used much smaller stitches when adding the gold braid, because when I had used the dress once, the trim was worming its way to the edges as you can see here!

The Coat

The coat itself is fairly straightforward. It has a stand-up collar and puffed sleeves and is lined with blue cotton fabric. The trim is a grey organdy trim that I bought in a craft shop in Tokyo. Itís machine embroidered in gold thread and gold glass seed beads. The edges were rather rough so to spice it up I braided thin gold cord that I found in my work room and attached it to the edges. 


The Accessories

The choker necklace was inspired by so many of the Venetian painting from this time. I used fresh water pearls and small blue glass beads and metal gold coloured beads. The girdle is made from a metal chain, big glass pearls and filigree findings.  

 Iím quite pleased with the outfit as a whole, but sadly I have only worn it once! I made it for a spring banquet and a few weeks before the banquet I found out that I was pregnant. I managed to squeeze into the dress for one evening, but I have not been able to wear it since. The last few pics showing me in the dress were taken post baby, and sadly, it still does not fit me (hence the crooked ladder lacing)Ö Oh, and you have to imagine me with long hair worn in a golden hairnet (thatís how I wore it to the banquet)!



  You can contact Hanna at hanna.lindroos (at) gmail.com.

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(© 2001 - 2008 Anabella Wake (Known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona) I hold copyright on all information on these pages, and 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.