In May, I was honored to be chosen as one of Queen Etaine’s artisans. In the SCA’s West Kingdom, the Queen’s Artisans are people (non-Laurels) recognized for their artistic ability and usually given some creative goal to work on during the reign. Since Etaine is a costuming Laurel, she had a very specific and exciting task in mind for us: She wanted all of her artisans to create new outfits for people in the Kingdom who are pillars of the arts and service communities but who have not had new garb in a long time.
I *LOVED* this idea the minute I heard it! And I had the perfect suggestion for who to make something for — my good friend Gianetta, a fantastic cooking Laurel who I’ve been saying I want to make a new outfit for for ages but I hadn’t gotten around to it. Hah, now, with a mandate and a deadline, I can do it!
The funny thing is, Gianetta does sew, but doesn’t enjoy it that much, she far prefers cooking. But she still buys fabric and trims, so she has quite the stash. Which meant that, when the project was announced, she was happy to throw a ton of fantastic materials at me. I had originally thought of making her a practical middle-class 16th-century linen kirtle based on Campi’s ‘Fruit Sellers’ painting because Gianetta is always mucking about in the kitchen. But she had some yummy silks and laces that demanded to become a far more elaborate outfit. Thus, we upgraded to a 16th-century Venetian gown.
At this week’s stitch ‘n bitch, we looked at a bunch of images, and it feels like we’re going for something around 1570s-80s, based on the bodice shape and the trimmings. She has so much gorgeous gold lace, I really must make a partlet with a big ruff, maybe sleeve ruffs too. Then I did some mockups and got a first pattern draft of the bodice that I’ll mockup in canvas with front-lacing for the next round of fitting. It’s going to be so much fun planning all the details of this outfit!
Here’s my Pinterest board of inspiration images, & below are some of the materials Gianetta earmarked for the gown.