09 September 2014

Italian: Now Available In Black Silk

In July I shared my first-ever period corset, which I made to go under, among other things, my brown Italian dress.

Just before I completed it, I ordered a large quantity of black, raw, silk suiting, from FabricMartFabrics.com...on sale for four dollars a yard.  (Check them out, if you haven't - their sales are fantastic).   I hadn't figured out quite what to do with it until about mid-August, when I decided that I needed another Italian gown.

First I drew up a new pattern, making some minor adjustments to the bodice length and the shape of the front closure.  (I also cut down the front of the blue corset, since, as you can see in that post, sticks up above my neckline.  Nope).

Skipping ahead, since there's really nothing special to share about the rest of the process, I give you:

My new, black, silk, Italian gown.

I made it from the same pattern that I used for the brown one, except that I made the waistline a bit longer, and the front panels a bit wider in the center so that the lacings would meet instead of leaving a gap.

On seeing this all put together, over the corset (which now doesn't show, yay!), I think I was wrong to drop the waistline. The cartridge pleating on the skirt now hits the bottom of my corset and tries to tuck under it, which throws the line of the skirt WAY off, especially in the back.  Also, it's too long for a late-1400s Florentine waistline.  I'll be removing the skirt and fixing this issue soon.

The shoulders stay in place much better than the brown dress, due to a small change in the pattern shape (you can see it in the above picture: I drew the shoulder strap as usual, then cut it off and angled it up toward the face, so that when attached to the back piece, and on the body, it would stretch a bit, making it tighter and flatter across the body.  This is a trick a friend of mine showed me for my cotehardie patterns that I thought I'd try on this).

Now, if I'd only remembered that the dresses like this I've seen in paintings actually ARE off-shoulder...

The trim, applied with a ladder-style couching stitch on my machine, is an antique, silk twill tape, given to me by a friend who was de-stashing some of her inherited old family sewing things.

It's a wee bit wonky on the right corner, which you can see in the pic.  The ribbon twisted while I was sewing it down; I'll have to fix that, too.

The yellow ribbon lacing the dress was just for fitting purposes;  I'll be lacing it with more of that silk tape, in whatever color I end up feeling like. :)

I'll also be making a couple of pairs of sleeves to go with this.  I don't have any more black silk, but I have a pair of light blue fitted sleeves which tie onto the bodice, as well as at the elbow and the back of the arm.  I'm also going to make a couple of pairs of big, boofy bag sleeves, like this:

Madelena Doni, Rafael, 1506

In the meantime, I've also finished a snood that I started a year ago and then LOST!  I found it when I recently re-arranged and cleaned up my sewing room, LOL.  Yay!


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