The Honorable Lady
 Magdalena Lucia Ramberti
(Christa Gordon)

Ravenhyrst, Kingdom of the Outlands
(Denver, Colorado, USA)

Costumer and SCA Member

A Venetian Outfit in the Style
 of  the 1520s

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

Magdalena Says....


Up until recently I was known in the SCA as Anora Marchaunt. While at Pennsic I decided to fully embrace my courtesan persona and changed my name. I am now known as Magdalena Lucia Ramberti. I love to create costumes that cause people to stop and take a second look. I relish in the little details and love to challenge myself.

Along with my new persona I wanted to have an amazing show dress for use in my courtesan classes. The theme for this year's 12th night was 1492 Spanish so I figured I would do an early 1500's Italian gown and "visit" from Italy. I had the perfect excuse to create a dress in a style I have never attempted before.


I looked through the galleries here at The Realm of Venus and I fell in love with "Portrait Of A Lady and a Lute Player". The water wing sleeves looked like so much fun!!

I made a trip to Denver Fabrics and found a beautiful blue and gold fabric on sale for less than $5 a yard- I bought 9 yards on the spot.


I decided I really wanted to do this dress right with all the correct underpinnings and accessories. so I started from the skin out.

My first project was a pair of stockings (or calze in Italian). It took a few different mock-ups and a lot of trial and error before I was finally happy with the pattern. I used a lightweight linen that I usually use for camicie  and hand stitched them together with a running stitch. I wanted to flat-fell the seams so they would be comfortable. By using a blue thread I was able to create a cute little detail.

The garters I bought at Pennsic. I carried over the detail to the pair of Drawers (calzone in Italian) I also made out of linen using a basic pant pattern.

The petticoat is made of a heavier red linen, box pleated to a waistband. Red petticoats are commonly found in household accounts of the time as it was thought that the red color would ward off sickness.

I already had a camicia made for my ladder laced Italian and since the 12th night deadline was fast approaching I decided not to make a new one.


I had originally planed to wear a corset with this dress but knowing how warm the hall gets and that I was planning on wearing it during pennsic I decided to bone the bodice with zip-ties and use canvas as a stiffener. Once I decided to make the bodice side-laced it all came together quickly. I beaded the bodice with pearls that I bought at pennsic- It reminds me of all the good times I had there and I plan to wear it there next year. I cut two panels for the skirt and box pleated them to the bodice. A gusset at each side was sewn in so I could easily put on the dress.

The sleeves are based on the pattern by Danielle Nunn-Weinberg in her showcase at Realm of Venus.  I just left them puffy and did not tack them which she does for her dress. The sleeves are made up of three pieces. A straight sleeve made out of white linen, a blue velvet fore arm cut from the same pattern as the straight sleeve ending just below the elbow. and lastly a large stretched sleeve head that is gathered at the top of the sleeve head and again to the forearm. Each sleeve is created separately then whip-stitched to the bodice from the front of the armpit to the back leaving the underarm open so the camicia can be seen.

 I made the Jewelry next- Including hand knotted on silk pearl necklace, pearl drop earrings and a girdle belt made with pearls, lampwork beads and jewel findings I found at a local hobby shop strung together with 'tigertail'.

I found I had enough time to create a pair of Chopines. I was inspired by a pair seen in the background of Vittore Carpaccio's Two Venetian Courtesans (also known as Two Venetian Ladies). I made the platform by cutting some extra panels of my son's play mat into a sole shape. Stacking them on top of each other and using an epoxy to hold them together until my desired height. I though 4 inches would be a good starting height and if I like them I would try a higher set next time. The band over the top of the foot is done with canvas and moleskin and trimmed with gold gimp.


I finished the look with a flat hair bun most of it is fake and I used a blue velvet ribbon to sew it to my hair so bobby pins were not needed. Hair jewels were made with eye pins and left over pearls from the girdle belt. I wear the yellow veil to mark myself as a courtesan and not a noble lady out of respect for the crown. 



  You can contact Magdalena at Anorathepain (at) and her blog is available to view here.

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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.