Return of the Genovese Dress

Next time it will be Attack or Revenge of the Genovese dress.

I finally found a long-lost memory card that had in-progress photos I had taken of my mother in law’s Renaissance outfit, so it is time to post them. As soon as I realized the card was missing, everything was all packed up, we were cranky, and my hands hurt, so the last thing I wanted to do was to drag out everything and put the clothes over the dummy again to take a few photos. 

There are still a few things left to do, but this is what she wore to the school Ren Faire last year, so I’ll have the task of spiffing things up for this year’s Faire. 

First up is the finished shirt. She wanted to have a shirt instead of a proper chemise or camicia to save on weight and temperature. The collar and cuffs are pleated and held by a gold ribbon she particularly enjoyed. The sleeves are extra long to give the proper excess – the “poofiness.”


My hope is to still bead the ribbon – or at least bead the patterned stitch down the arms.


To help protect the velvet dress from sweat, but still keep things light, I chose a blended fabric for her underskirt. This is one place where I was willing to make concessions as barely the hem will be seen. It’s still a silk-poly blend that looks and feels fairly natural. The average person won’t notice, but a costumer would. The band is just a remnant from my own bin.


And it’s laced up in the back. To save my hands, I used pre-grommeted tape as a cheat and sewed it to the interior of the skirt:


And from the rear. My mannequin needs a bigger tush:


I used the tape on the velvet dress too, here only added part way so it could be fitted to my mother in law later. It needs two more grommet holes, but she liked the flash of blue poking through at her hip. When I told her it would be hidden eventually by her jacket she was very disappointed!


I took a couple photos of the dress with different lightings. The velvet is a beautiful grey that comes out alternately silver or blue toned depending on the light – whether it is catching the pile or not.


From the front:


The lace is some remnant that I had used in my old Venetian camicia that was close to an image I found, but commercially made. Since the painting for the Genovese gown showed a peek of lace under the jacket, we felt compelled to use the lace remnant on the dress. The way it is sitting, you can see some of the lining in red. It’s a thick cotton weave intended to stiffen the bodice – the skirt is unlined for temperature issues. My mother in law doesn’t have much of a bosom, so the stiff fabric works fine, no cording or glue needed.


And lastly, a side shot in natural light. Next up will be the red and black cut-away jacket!





~ by glasslajora on January 14, 2013.

One Response to “Return of the Genovese Dress”

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