wanted to use a roll of grey linen and found these two mid 16th C
Florentine painttings. I liked the trim postioning in both these
dresses. (You can also see the pintuck along the lower skirt).
Far Left: Zucchari,1579.
Left: Tossini's Portrait of woman, mid 16th century.
Details of the outfits:
- greyish colouring
- wide, square neckline.
- gathered skirt
- trim: around neckline, 3
lines down front, ("V" with a centre line) and similar patterning on
the back. some others have just the "V" patten on the back.
- the pintuck can be seen above the
hem, on the Zucchari painting.
- Sleeves are fitted and slashed.
They have verticle lines of trim.
for side lacings are seen here on the right, in the painting in the
Pitti Palace: Vasari and Stradano's The Arrival of Pope Leo X
1559-60. An alternative back trim positioning (without the centre back
line) can be seen. I had a limited amount of red trim, that was bought
several years ago
article can be found HERE.
An updated article is in
The main differences are:
- the wool stiffening of the imbusto is 3-6mm thick (I
- seams could be either flat fell or open and did not
necessarily have the edges hemmed down.
- the position of the 'side-back' lacing is more
side, than the back.
- the armhole appears to be flat at the back pattern
and curved on the front.
- It appears that the upper class sottana has the skirt
of pieced panels and the middle/everyday sottana could have a skirt
made with simple rectangles.
remade the toile and the resulted pattern had the side back lacings,
further to the side than my previous sottana. I used the same sleeve
pattern, based on the Red velvet dress of Pisa..
Grey is a
common colour used in Florence (see The Colours of Florence
I wanted to use some grey linen. As it was a plain material, I decided
to make slashed sleeves and line them with 'left over' red linen to
match the planned trim.
Below shows the bodice
pattern cut out and the lining herringbone stitched on the front. The
layers of lining consisted of two layers of canvas/denimn =
stiffened material and 2 layers of wool felt = 4mm thick, which were
herringbone stitched by hand.
The layers were then cut where the seam would be and the edges of
outer material was folded over and sewn in place with running stitch.
The lining was then folded over, at the seam allowance, and hem
stitched to the back of the main bodice. The final bodice can be seen
The neckline can be seen in closeup.
The eyelets were handsewn. For this sottana, I tried a new method, for
the eyelets, by using a metal washer to simulate the rings found on the
extant Pisa dress.
|In the past,
I have used triangles
and rectangles, to pattern the skirt, to minimise material
use. This is
consistent with the extant red dress, in Pisa, and with the burial
dress of Eleanora. For this dress, I thought I would try the optional
rectangular patterns for the skirt, as found in the Wool/linen
dress in Pisa.
The first example, by Zucchari is more of a middle-class
this skirt pattern is consistent with an easier tailoring and less
costs involved. (seen right). The seams were
flat-felled using running stitches and the skirt openings were edged
with a bias strip, made from the same
material as previously discussed in Tailoring Techniques.
The hem was also edged with a bias strip (covering a felt strip), as I
have done in previous dresses.
This is again seen in the Red Pisa Dress (at the Florence Textile
Colloquium) and discussed in Janet Arnold's
Pattern of Fashion
, with regards to Eleanora's burial dress.
The pleated skirt was added to the bodice and the lower lining
was hem stitched in place.
Sleeves: Cutwork pattern
Below Left, is the cutwork pattern and lining of the sleeve. I cut on
the bias to reduce fraying.
The buttons are thread covered
buttons with a hand-made cord as the closure loop (above right), as
seen on the Red dress in
Pisa. (Below L, from notes supplied at the Textile Colloquium) Below
right shows the (reconstructed?) closure as a loop (photo: K
Carlise); my final sleeves (below R)
bodice trim placing, was discussed above. The hem trim placing can be
seen on the far right (Red dress of Pisa) and Vasari and
Stradano's The Arrival of Pope Leo X 1559-60 (above) which shows
a version, at the back with no central line. I used a combination of
both to use the trim available. I was left with less than 20cm of trim.
I did have to compromise on the
sleeve verticle trim, as I did not have enough for more than one line.
I made piccidils for the sleeve cap, similar to those on the Red dress
| As in
my previous sottona, I made a roughly 6cm wide length of wool felt
(herringbone stitched together) and covered it with red material (I
could not find the rest of the grey linen) hand stitched it onto the
hem with about 5 mm overlapping so it was visible. This was then
clipped . The neckline grey edging, was also clipped.
Finally, the dress as worn on
it's first outing at the Foundation Picnic.
- L'Abito della Granduchessa; Vesti di corte
di Madonne nel Palazzo Reale di Pisa. Museo Nazionale di
Palazzo Reale, Pisa
Charles. Bronzino: Agnolo Bronzino.
Chaucer Press. London. 2005. ISBN:1-904449-48-4
- Orsi Landini, Roberta
& Niccoli, Bruna. La Moda a
Firenze 1540-1580. Pagliai Polistampa, Firenze, 2005. ISBN:
- Rosenthal, Margaret F, Jones, Ann
Rosalind. Cesare Vecellio's Habiti
Antichi et Moderni: The Clothing of the Renaissance World.
Thames and Hudson, London. 2008. ISBN: 978-0-500-51426-9.
Notes and photos taken at
the Florence Textile Colloquium, 2008.
(ha, proof I was there in photo #6!!)