I made my first Renaissance dress

July 11, 2023


Hello lovelies, 


In 2021 I wrote a paper for university on Renaissance dress in Assassin's creed II, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood und Assassin's Creed Revelations and it was then that sparked my desire to own my own Renaissance dress. It took me two years to finally start the project and to be honest, I only started it because I wanted a new dress for a medieval festival at a castle that would be held in about 14 days. Apparently, I can't work and push myself without deadlines. Who else has this problem?

Luckily, I had all the research done in 2021 for the camicia and the gamurra. Which meant I could get right to it. Hooray! 

Part 1 - Camicia

First I made the camicia, the underdress out of white sheer silk organza. It was the only suitable fabric I had at home and I didn't want to buy new fabric as my finances were a bit tight that month. And I knew that a real silk fabric would at least cost about 30€ and more per meter. And I needed a lot of metres.

The pattern I used was from here: Late 15th Italian camicia and I only minimally changed the measurements to fit my body height. I'm small. :(

And if you look closely, there are also no side gores because I barely had enough fabric for them.

First I added the underarm gore to the front, then sewed on the sleeve. Then added the second gore to the back, then the other sleeve and then connected all parts. Afterwards I closed the side seams and the sleeves. All seams were made by hand in a flat felled seam.

It looks huge on my closet, doesn't it? One door is about 50cm wide for comparison.

The front was gathered into big pleats and suddenly it didn't look too bad anymore. Or at least, it didn't look like it belonged to Hagrid anymore.

The night before the event, I added a golden band to hide the gathers a bit.

Part 2 - Gamurra

The pattern I used was from Margot Anderson - 025D The Italian Lady's Gamurra in the digital version. I wanted to go for a Lucrecia Borgia look from the Series "The Borgias" and chose to have a very low and tight bodice. 

(c) "The Borgias" (c) LB Television Productions Limited/Borgias Productions

I used was a medium weight cotton brocade with a cream coloured floral pattern. I probably had around 6 meters at home but forgot for which project I bought it. Nevertheless, it looked great as a non-historically accurate Renaissance Italian dress. 

I took off a lot from the front bodice to make it tighter. In the end, I could have taken off even more as it was still not as tight as I wanted it to be. Thick fabric was inserted between the lining and the outer layer to stiffen up the front a bit.

The bodice part is completely hand stitched and even though it took me ages, I also made small button holes for the spiral lace. Some holes were really well made, others turned out way too small. 

I also changed up the sleeves from the original pattern but that didn't really work out great and resulted in a small bulge on the back sleeve. It was not visible at the front but everytime I lifted my arms, it was visible. 

The dress really came along quickly. I pinned everything together because I wanted a first look of the ensemble to see if the red sleeves matched the dress. And they kind of did.

Instead of pleating the skirt I made cartridge pleats, which is more 18th century than Renaissance but it looked amazing nevertheless and accommodated the massive skirt part anazingly well.

When I first tried this dress I realized that i had this little gap at the back of my dress. Instead of adding even more eyelets, the bane of my existance, I decided to just push in a small needle at the day of the event. And that solved the problem.

All that was left was hemming the skirt and it was officially done.

And here I am, wearing the dress at the medieval fair. I used a wig to hide my pink hair and wore the Italian Reta I made back in...2013/14 maybe? I had no ring but thought that my opal drop earrings and cross necklace gave it a nice Renaissance touch. 

There were so many great places to take pictures around and even in the castle. 

I'll eventually make a longer and more detailed video on YouTube, but for now, it's on my never-ending waiting list. So many videos, so little time.

Have a great day and see you all soon!


Auris Lothol

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