The beauties of the Italian Renaissance have captured the heart of many. The surviving paintings and few precious garments of the period provide us with a rich resource for fashion history. This style of dress is known as a gamurra worn in Florence during the last decades of the 14th century. The simple silhouette with a full skirt was perfect for showing off the sumptuous fabrics flooding into the region. Many thanks to The Realm of Venus,La Bella Donna and Reconstructing History for all their research!
The dresses of Florence from the 1490's were comfortable as they were pretty. The sturdy interfaced and lined bodice is worn without stays, a bonus if worn in the heat of summer. A long camica with voluminous sleeves is your main undergarment. Adornment is limited to the neckline and the split sleeves, attaching with cobalt ribbons to the shoulder. Very adjustable, the higher waistline and side lacings accommodates weight fluctuations and flatters many figures.
Reconstructing History pattern #509 was used for this garment, with my own sleeve design added. I chose a vibrant cotton jacquard. Silk and wool would also have been appropriate, but I chose cotton for easy laundering.
Cotton was available at this period but silk and wool were most common, with linen used for undergarments.
Interfacing was used to add body and stiffness to some areas. The sleeves are interfaced with organza, while the bodies has a heavy canvas interfacing. Both are lined with cotton broadcloth. A wide broadcloth band was also applied to the skirt's hem to protect against dirt and wear. Gold rings at the shoulders and side seams act as eyelets to lace the dress together.
A mixture of modern and period stitching was used in construction. The neckline and armholes are hand picked, and the sleeve's appliques carefully whipstitched into place. The skirt seams were machine stitched, and all pieces were surged strengthen the seam and prevent fraying.
Cobalt blue, gold, black, and pearls were used to accent the lustrous teal. Deep cobalt rosettes and lacing ribbons add electric pops pf color. Thin decorative lace trim the neckline and armholes. Gold trim on the sleeves are played up when worn with a gold lace and organza cap, adorned with pearls.
Additional accessories add the final touches. Dollar store rings in gold and faux precious stones add lots of luxury. I plan to add underwear, a partlet, and a long strand of black beads. I hope to even have hand-knit red period stockings in my historical wardrobe one day! I must seek out the Knit Wit...