My Red Allessandro Allori gown

I have wanted to do a version of this outfit for a number of years and finally earlier this year all the pieces came together and it happened


Allessandro allori Portrait of a Lady Florence 1560

A few years back I stumbled across a number of beautiful dark red damask tablecloths that had a nice bold design that were on sale so I bought quite a few of them with this gown in mind.

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The partlet fabric was a piece in a throw out bin for only a couple of dollars and I really reminded me of the texture of the one in the Allori portrait, so finally the fabrics has come together.

Usually I would tend towards silk and cotton, not linen I’m allegeric, and these fabric are man made fibres but they just spoke to me ans had to be sewn.

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The bodice has cable ties for boning in front and none in the back as due to a back problem I can’t tolerate boning in the back of bodices, I know it makes them not sit flat like they should but my pain levels are more important to me. The cable ties are encased in channels sewn in canvas, the lining is a red cotton fabric and the outer is the red damask, cut carefully so the big design is centred on the middle. The bodice is laced on both side/backs.

The skirt is a simple tube cut but then trimmed at the hem to give a very slight train, not too long as to trip over my consort. The hem is stiffened with a layer of felt and cotton.

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The sleeves were the biggest challenge with their unsual slashing pattern. I make a mock up out of a normal sleeve pattern and found that if I made the seam of the sleeve at the top instead of underneath it served as the main vertical slash quite nicely, then the others were cut on a 45 degree angle. The top part are the sleeve was cut off in order for the paned section, in which I have insert faux puffs in a white cotton. The slahes are all hand sewn to the lining with bias binding cut off the main fabric inserted between the layers, This binding was then slashed using a craft knife. This slashed bias binding is also used around the neckline of the bodice. The openings in the sleeve were sewn together at intervals and small knots of red cord to serve as the decoration. The head of the sleeve is bound and ties attached to make the sleeves removeable. I have sewn lacing rings under the straps of the bodice which these tie too.

The partlet is just a simple design which I have added a collar too with four ties.

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