Thursday, March 19, 2015

Am I blue...

At a meeting of my local Costumer's Guild chapter, one of the members brought in a book that had some beautiful photos of Italian Renaissance portraits. So the two of us decided to make some Italian Ren costumes for the upcoming Figments & Filaments costume convention.
Looking around the net, I fell in love with La Bella Nani by Paolo Veronese. That gorgeous blue! Those cutwork sleeves! I had to make it.

And it fit right into the schedule for the Historical Sew Monthly group. January's theme was foundations - perfect time to make the camicia (chemise). February's theme was blue - perfect for the dress!

I used Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Lady's Wardrobe pattern as my base. I adapted it to fit a more Venetian look. But the most elaborate change was the sleeves. I combined the "paned" version of the sleeve into one solid pattern. Then came the hard part!

First I had to measure the image and figure out the conversion to make it full sized. (Who says that I never use my math degree in real life?)

I drew a grid on paper and started sketching out the major sections in full size.

Then I traced them onto the pattern piece in the right layout.

Using an X-acto knife, I cut out the openings on 1/2 of the pattern.

 This is how the pattern "stencil" ended up.
I cut the sleeves out of the velvet material and fused interfacing on to the back of each one. The interfacing had 2 purposes - to give the sleeve a little more body and to keep the cutwork edges from raveling.

Using my  "stencil", I traced the design onto the interfacing, flipping it over to do each side.

Then came HOURS of cutting the holes with applique scissors!

Here's what I ended up with:
The blue is not really this, um, vibrant. It's a nice royal blue.

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