This year is the tenth Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge and the tenth time I have entered, I am the only person worldwide insane enough to have entered every year. Also this year the challenge has been extended from four months to ten months and requirements expanded from four items to ten!
So of course I am totally up for the challenge! This year I set my sights on making not one but three outfits for myself, my husband and my youngest daughter.
Outfit 1 of 3: based on portrait Sisters playing chess by Sofonisba Aguissola
First up is one for my youngest daughter.
I started with designing the black work for her shirt which is chemise length. She requested a design based on the symbols in her favourite book series, and so I drew up the design and embroidered it by hand using a double running stitch. After constructing the collar and cuffs I added some simple needle lace to give a nice edge. The shirt was constructed and I finished with hand worked buttons and strengthening bar and button loops on the neck opening and cuffs.
The pattern for the shirt was based on one I have used before which is found on The Elizabethan Costuming page
Next up was a simple pleated underskirt made in a blue indigo linen. It features a tuck and nice trim lined with felt to give a stiffened hem. The skirt is simply box pleated to the waist band which closes with a hook and eye.
I spent a couple of days making Bara tapes for the three people I am sewing for, so used these tapes to draft patterns from the Modern Maker volume 2.
The fabric my daughter selected for her sottana was a lovely silk sari in dark red with gold pattern and blue stripes.
I constructed the bodice with a lining of red linen two internal layers of denim and then the outer layer of silk. The denim is the only stiffening in the bodice as my daughter was adamant she did not want any boning.
The skirt is a simple gathered skirt attached to the bodice, the hem features the nice gold sari edge and a black velveteen skirt guard for strength and length. The sottana is machine sewn internally but all finished by hand where the sewing is visible, sides are closed using spiral lacing.
Sleeves for the sottana were cut carefully from the sari end that had the blue stripes so that the stripes form bands around the arms. I carefully used a double needle to sew the sleeve pieces to linen lining to highlight the stripes and also give strength to the very fine silk. The cuffs are finished with black velveteen ribbon to reflect the skirt guard. The baragoni were shown in the portrait being scalloped pattern topped with small rolls so I created small scalloped strips which were hand manipulated and sewn to reflect the portrait. The sleeves tie to rings sewn under the straps of the sottana by hand made ties finished with brass aglets.
The overgown is currently underway.