Monday, March 28, 2016

Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge 6

I've been an avid follower of the Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge (IRCC) for several years and have decided that this is finally the year to enter it! I'm strongly considering making my Adrian persona Italian because Italian garb is so pretty (and because picking a late period English name would be rather boring). So I do need some more Italian outfits.

I really love the high waisted look of 1490s styles like those who inspired the fashions on Ever After and The Borgias. And I've got a bit of cold feet at cutting into my silk for my Borgia dress in an untested pattern. I'm hoping that this project will help me get some kinks out of the dress pattern before cutting into my pricy silk.

My first layer will be a camica or Italian chemise. I've already made one for my Borgia dress but one can never have too many pairs of underthings for costuming. The second layer will consist of a gamurra or gown which will be front laced with a pleated skirt.

The third layer will be a giornea which is a pretty draped over dress that is open at the sides like this lady is wearing. I'm hoping this will be a nice easy layer to throw on to make my outfit look pretty pretty for events such as court during Adria but that can be left off for most of the day when it's just too hot for that.

Lastly will be accessories. I'm planning on making some jewelry and another pocket ( because pockets rock). Italians also have such pretty jewelry! If I have extra time at the end and I'm feeling ambitions, I may throw in a few extra accessories but who knows.

Once the challenge begins on April 14th, I'll be sending in monthly updates which I'll also share here. Now off to do some fabric shopping!


  1. When I was in Florence, we made a point of stopping by the Santa Maria Novella Basilica to look at those Ghirlandaio frescos of the Adoration of the Virgin. And I bought a couple of high-res book marks for those last two ladies. This was my fave period for costuming as well. :-)

    However, I no longer do SCA (my area has a high creep percentage and it ruins events and dancing). Would you like these bookmarks?

    -- Tegan

    1. Thanks so much! I'd love the bookmarks. You can email me at girlwiththestarspangledheart[at]gmail[dot]com and I'll get you my address.

    2. Also, it looks like you're digging the Florentine styles here. As Italy wasn't unified until the 19th century, styles could vary greatly between the city-states. The other big one that's commonly done these days is Venetian Renaissance. But Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Also, it was a high-trade city, and pearls were more common than most other gems.

      Yay costuming!

    3. Yeah, I do tend to like the Florentine better than the Venetian and I'm trying to get better at being able to tell the difference. I've got a lot to learn about these styles! Thankfully, there's lots of people who do beautiful Italian styles and blog about them. :)

  2. How splendidly exciting! I love this period and how fashion presented itself in Italy back then, too. The elegance factor was off-the-charts.

    Wishing you many happy hours of IRCC sewing,
    ♥ Jessica

  3. I think this is so fascinating. I have very little experience with Italian renaissance fashion (beyond the things you mentioned, like Ever After and The Borgias), but it does look like a beautiful era for fashion. I can't wait to see your progress with this challenge!

  4. I'm not going crazy right? The girl in the front in the first painting is wearing a light purple dress isn't she? Also, so much inspiration! I should really think about making some Italian garb! My heritage on my dad's side is Italian, so it would be cool to explore clothing my ancestors could have worn! :D