Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Italian Renassiance Costuming Challenge & Progress on the Gold Brocade Gown's Rehab

I am so excited about this next project that I just had to share! The Realm of Venus has reached it's 10th year online, and to celebrate, they're having a Costuming Challenge. Between April and August, the entrants are to create a complete outfit - one undie (shift, stays, or drawers), a petticoat or undergown, the gown itself, and an accessory.
So, of course, I signed up! I have a few different portraits that I'm drawing on for inspiration. First off, this gown is pink, and it has white embroidery on the bodice, and I love it! I'm also digging those sleeves, and I've seen that style on many different gowns, so I'm going to stick with them.
The only thing I really want to do differently is the neckline, and maybe the stomacher. There's a great article on Realm of Venus on whether or not the corset cover exists, so I'm going with yes, and I want it to be one of the fancy-schmancy ones like in the portrait to the left. The only real difference between those two gowns are that the one in pink is from Venice, and the lady in the cream/pink floral is from Verona. But, the gowns are SO similar that I don't think it really matters.
The challenge begins on April 21st, without a stitch to be sewn in advance, so I'm patiently counting down the days while I hurry to finish up commissions before then. Hehe. If you want to enter the challenge, here's the page with the rules and sign-up info: The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

In other news, the Gold Brocade gown was in worse shape than I though. I had finally bitten the bullet and removed all the beading down the centre front, so I drew the lines down the front to guide in the new beading. It was then that I discovered that I would have to remove the beading along the neckline, as well, since the front beading was too narrow in the first place. ~headdesk~
Yeah, as you can see, pretty horrible. I remember that at the time when I was first making this gown, I was going through a rounded neckline phase, and almost every gown I made had this particular neckline. (You can see it on the Green Taffeta and Buttercream gowns, too.) It's a perfectly lovely neckline, and I particularly like it on the green taffeta gown, but in this case, it just doesn't work. So, I undid the stitching at the neckline and made it square. It already looks a hundred times better! I've also taken the skirt off of the bodice, as you can see. It definitely needs another panel of fabric to make it full enough to fit over my gigantic farthingale, which I'll have to dig around in the fabric stash to try and find. Either that, or I'll pick up some more yardage when I'm in Dallas hunting Italian Challenge fabrics.

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