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Re: [Italian Renaissance Costuming] What are the "little" things that make an Italian Ren gown really period?

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  • Diana Habra
    ... The main thing that makes an outfit for me is correct fitting. You can have the perfect material, the perfect trim, or the perfect head gear but if the
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 28, 2005
      > The stuff people take for granted or the stuff that makes people
      > think "it is pretty, but it needs..." Or for that matter what
      > are
      > things people do wrong in making Italian Ren gowns that keep it from
      > being more period?
      >
      > I'm looking for things/ideas that take garb to the next level or your
      > peeves when looking at someone else's garb.

      The main thing that makes an outfit for me is correct fitting. You can
      have the perfect material, the perfect trim, or the perfect head gear but
      if the dress or doublet doesn't fit correctly, then it looks like a
      *costume*.

      I see many examples of great attempts.......but the bodice is wrinkled
      (not enough fitting and/or stiffening), or the bodice gapes or doesn't
      give enough support (incorrect fitting), or the shoulder strap is falling
      off or it is in the wrong place (incorrect fitting), etc.

      Clothes from this time period should look like they were made for you
      (because they would have been) and if you have a poorly fitting outfit,
      your outfit will not look correct.

      My two lira,

      Diana/Roseline

      www.RenaissanceFabrics.net
      "Everything for the Costumer"
    • Alex Doyle
      Enough fabric and fabric with the right hand to it. I ve seen one that while it was silk, the girl either didn t know to line it so it had more body or she
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 28, 2005
        Enough fabric and fabric with the right "hand" to it. I've seen one
        that while it was silk, the girl either didn't know to line it so it
        had more body or she just wasn't using enough fabric. Other wise the
        cut and fit looked okay

        alex

        --- Diana Habra <dch@...> wrote:

        >
        > > The stuff people take for granted or the stuff that makes
        > people
        > > think "it is pretty, but it needs..." Or for that matter
        > what
        > > are
        > > things people do wrong in making Italian Ren gowns that keep it
        > from
        > > being more period?
        > >
        > > I'm looking for things/ideas that take garb to the next level or
        > your
        > > peeves when looking at someone else's garb.
        >
      • Oblique Red
        Do you have any suggestions for sources where someone who is a self-taught sewer might be able to find information on that sort of thing? I know that I ve had
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 29, 2005
          Do you have any suggestions for sources where someone who is a self-taught
          sewer might be able to find information on that sort of thing? I know that
          I've had a lot of trouble finding something that explains what purpose
          linings serve and explains them rather than just saying you need one... if
          you don't know why you're supposed to have one, then that's a bunch of
          fabric that you don't see the point of spending money to buy.
          I would love to find a really good book that explained the theory and
          purpose as well as the techniques of things like linings and facings and
          interfacing and seam finishes and edge-binding and thread shanks on buttons-
          all those little technical things that make such a difference in the
          appearance of a garment but that are difficult to figure out on your own if
          you don't have an experienced sewer to ask about.

          On 9/28/05, Alex Doyle <dubghaille@...> wrote:
          >
          > Enough fabric and fabric with the right "hand" to it. I've seen one
          > that while it was silk, the girl either didn't know to line it so it
          > had more body or she just wasn't using enough fabric. Other wise the
          > cut and fit looked okay
          >
          > alex
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jessica Maxson
          Salve! Honestly, the best sources I have found are mailing lists like this one. There are lots of knowledgeable people who are willing and happy to share their
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 29, 2005
            Salve!

            Honestly, the best sources I have found are mailing lists
            like this one. There are lots of knowledgeable people who
            are willing and happy to share their collected learning. I
            learned a lot more from folks on mailing lists than I ever
            did from books (for the most part), especially since when
            you're a beginniner and/or self-taught sewer, it's hard to
            know what information applies to modern techniques and what
            applies to period stuff. So feel free to ask questions here!
            If you can handle a lot of email traffic, the h-costume list
            is also a great place to learn new things. I haven't been on
            it in a while, but I got so much out of it when I was.

            As far as linings, there are a lot of reasons why you might
            want a lining in a garment. It reinforces and supports the
            outer layer of fashion fabric, makes it look neater and more
            finished on the inside, and can even add warmth to the
            garment. It also makes the garment more durable, by cutting
            down on wear and tear on the seams. Frequently, you can just
            line the bodice and/or sleeves and get those benefits
            without having to line the whole garment, which doesn't
            require as much extra fabric. In period, upper class people
            would line the whole garment with a contrasting fabric or
            fur to show off their wealth (as well as for the other
            reasons I mentioned).

            We had a discussion not too long ago about facings and
            interfacings and whether or not they were used in period. I
            think the general consensus was that they were not usually
            used in period, though a rare example here or there might be
            found (I don't recall exactly, I blame pregnancy brain).

            Seam finishes are used for durability. There are a number of
            different types of seam finishes, and I won't go into them
            all here, but they are generally to keep the seam allowances
            from unraveling over time, or to make a stronger seam. Keep
            in mind that people in period did not have sergers or sewing
            machines to do a zig-zag over raw edges, so they had to find
            various ways to secure those edges. The Museum of London
            Clothing and Textiles book has a lot of details about
            techniques for hand-finishing seams. Ditto for edge bindings.

            I'm not sure what specifically you mean by thread shanks on
            buttons - whether they have a thread shank would depend on
            the type of button. Self-cloth buttons might have a thread
            shank, which would then be used to actually sew the button
            on the clothing (possibly the same for later-period thread-
            wrapped buttons, not sure). I actually don't do that, even
            when I make cloth buttons - I find that they sit too loosely
            on the garment, and I can get a tighter stitch with a
            separate piece of thread. Maybe I'm just weird that way. ;-)

            Hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions about
            sewing techniques if you like. =)

            --Giuliana Salviati


            >
            >Do you have any suggestions for sources where someone who
            is a self-taught
            >sewer might be able to find information on that sort of
            thing? I know that
            >I've had a lot of trouble finding something that explains
            what purpose
            >linings serve and explains them rather than just saying you
            need one... if
            >you don't know why you're supposed to have one, then that's
            a bunch of
            >fabric that you don't see the point of spending money to
            buy.
            > I would love to find a really good book that explained the
            theory and
            >purpose as well as the techniques of things like linings
            and facings and
            >interfacing and seam finishes and edge-binding and thread
            shanks on buttons-
            >all those little technical things that make such a
            difference in the
            >appearance of a garment but that are difficult to figure
            out on your own if
            >you don't have an experienced sewer to ask about.
          • Alex Doyle
            Not off hand, a lot of sewing that I ve done has been self-taught. The I want to do that and what do I have to do to get there kind of mindset. There have
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 29, 2005
              Not off hand, a lot of sewing that I've done has been self-taught. The
              "I want to do that and what do I have to do to get there" kind of
              mindset.

              There have been times when I've done commissions for friends who have
              requested certain seam finishes or such that previously I didn't think
              were needed. After using them I rarely not do them now.

              As to the lining or not to line question, I took that hint from a stage
              costume book. Where they were coming from was that cheap fabrics might
              have the right finish, but not enough weight to hang like the real
              thing. If you line said fabric it will then have the weight to hang
              right. I did this once with a dollar a yard print fabric that was SOOO
              Elizabethan. In fact I think I spent more on the lining than the
              outside fabric, and end up with a gown that looked and wore right. I
              have a friend who was really surprised when she came across a fabric
              scrap of the dress on just how thin it really was. And for a cheap
              fabric, it has worn really well- it's in good shape after having been
              worn a goodly portion of five years.

              Sometimes a lining isn't required to give the right weight either. I
              have one gown that is so lightweight you can see through the fabric if
              held up to the light. I added a six inch heavy velvet guard about the
              skirt and it not only looks right, it is a light layer that goes over
              another skirt.

              alex

              --- Oblique Red <obliquered@...> wrote:

              > Do you have any suggestions for sources where someone who is a
              > self-taught
              > sewer might be able to find information on that sort of thing? I know
              > that
              > I've had a lot of trouble finding something that explains what
              > purpose
              > linings serve and explains them rather than just saying you need
              > one... if
              > you don't know why you're supposed to have one, then that's a bunch
              > of
              > fabric that you don't see the point of spending money to buy.
              > I would love to find a really good book that explained the theory
              > and
              > purpose as well as the techniques of things like linings and facings
              > and
              > interfacing and seam finishes and edge-binding and thread shanks on
              > buttons-
              > all those little technical things that make such a difference in the
              > appearance of a garment but that are difficult to figure out on your
              > own if
              > you don't have an experienced sewer to ask about.
              >
              > On 9/28/05, Alex Doyle <dubghaille@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Enough fabric and fabric with the right "hand" to it. I've seen one
              > > that while it was silk, the girl either didn't know to line it so
              > it
              > > had more body or she just wasn't using enough fabric. Other wise
              > the
              > > cut and fit looked okay
              > >
              > > alex
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
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