26 February 2013

Allons Bourguignonne! O no?

Remember that red velvet Burgundian I inherited?

yes, this one. 

Well, in December, I got it all torn apart and ready to be made over.  I took the sleeves off to alter them, lowered and widened the neckline in the front, removed the collar and cuffs and even cut out a new collar and cuffs from some white faux fur I had lying around.

Carlo Crivelli1470
And then one day a couple of weeks ago, it went all Italian on me.

I blame the painting at right.  Many moons ago, I loved it for the amazing detail and pattern on the sleeves (click to visit pinterest, and a larger image).  Every time I ran across this painting, I thought mournfully of the pomegranate sleeves that were never to be.

Then I happened across it again while I was idly and half-heartedly sketching out some changes to the red velvet Burgundian...and I thought....wait...

It was already torn apart.  I made an Excel spreadsheet comparing the changes and amount of work needed to finish it as a Burgundian or turn it into an Italian gamurra (because I'm a dork like that), and realized that not only would it be LESS work than the Burgundian, I wouldn't need to also build a hat at the last minute before the tournament last weekend, but I also had some fantastic jewelry already made that I can wear with it!

And, of course, the pomegranate sleeves - which I did eventually cut out and sew together, but I had never finished them (I couldn't find the right buttons).

Permettetemi di presentarvi Maddelina della Sarta.  
I love this so much. :) 

So what'd I do?  I removed the sleeves from the Burgundian, and faced the arm holes and neckline with red linen.  I cut the top of the bodice , took in the sides and the back to fit. then pleated the top edge of the skirt and stuck it back on.  I also made a privacy panel to pin inside the front under the lacings, to make it look like there are more layers going on here than there really are.  

So how many layers are going on here?  In this picture the only thing underneath it is my fitted chemise.  I have that fluffy camicia that I made somewhere - but I'll be damned if I can find it lately.  I'm hoping it turns up before this weekend, since I was planning to wear this at court!

The silver lacing rings on the front are plain ol' aluminum "chain maille" rings from the jewelry section at the hobby store (because they were cheap and not crappy-looking);  after I took the picture I replaced the black ribbon on the front with silver, and tied the sleeves on with silver ribbons to match.  Here I am at the event over the weekend, Bjornsborg's Tournament of the Smitten Heart:

with my pointy almost-period tent in the background, with silver lacings
and sleeve ties instead, and all my pins and favors from the event. :) 
I had so much fun wearing this, and it was so comfortable, and I felt so nice wearing it, and got soooo many compliments, that I've decided that Italian Ren is my new love.  I can't wait to make some from the ground up!




  1. I love this time period, too, before everything gets too bodicey and fussy. Very nice job.

  2. Wow, thank you! Coming from you, that means a LOT to me. :)


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