So I’ve made a few sketches for the two costumes I’m working on. These aren’t design sketches, or art sketches, but sketches that are linear to help me see what I’m trying to do, how the fabric goes really. They’re like the crappy sketches on the back of a pattern book in a way. They show something that the photo or description can’t. This helps me as a costumer see what sort of a pattern I need to make for each part of the costume; kind of like how writing helps some people remember what they wrote, drawing it helps me see it in my mind.
So first my notes for the Genovese Gown:
I needed to estimate fabric yardage and see what would be needed for the complete outfit, and if I can make parts using cloth I already own.
1. A gathered neck chemise, but only shirt length per her request.
2. An underskirt, box pleated
3. A bumroll
4. A bodice with attached skirt, cartridge or box pleated
Now for my Medieval Venetian, which is less straight forward, sketching was really useful. I have a wide necked Renaissance camicia that I’ll either use or remake (it needs to be remade!) that I can use. No one will see it under the dress, so I’m fine with that if I have to! That I can put on the side until after I finish the medieval gown parts, which are:
1. Overdress with detached/removable (think button or hook and eye) lower sleeve
2. Sleeveless Underdress
3. Pillbox hat
4. A palla/pallia (veil or wrap)
The couple notes that I should include here/ justify is that the pattern I am taking is based off of extant garments and dolmatics which are MUCH closer to the Venetian and Byzantine styled gowns, which are much looser and flare out, maximized from a single, broad piece of cloth, or one for back and front that are sewn across the shoulder line. This is in contrast to the “most looms were 22 inches” narrow cloth that is pushed by many historical costumers, with pieces cut smaller to reflect this. Instead, I’ve got a pic (that I sadly can’t screenshot) or a dalmatic, belted, that goes at least to elbow length. If I draw a line down frow an elbow to elbow length, I’ll have a guaranteed (and rather wide) fabric width.
The other thing about the dalmatics and belted overdresses in the artwork is that they are not fitted like Northern cotehardies, so the underdress will be looser than many might be used to. Even the more fitted dress (with the decorated neckline I want!) is not form fitting like the cotehardies, so I’ll imitate that shape for the underdress. In addition to this, many cote patterns go for an even hemline, even when puddling on the ground. The extant dalmatics, when laid flat, have a straight hem, which means that when it goes over a body, there will be a rise in the front and rear and a little longer on the sides. This is normal and is just another difference from the cotes, which would have a triangular gore. You can see this in pencil on one of my sketches.
I also made a pattern from a Veneziano painting of the Madonna that I could use on the hems: