The Florence Files: Recreating Maria d'Cosimo Outfit, 1555
Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.


Portrait of Maria di Cosimo 1555-57 by Alessandro Allori.

The problem is, when in a hurry, is that things get forgotten. I had forgotten to line the kirtle body with canvas.

So this brings me back to my original plan (which was abandoned due to lack of time) of doign a set of 'underbodies' similar to that of Eleanor Toledo found in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion. Right are her drawings from the extant burial clothing of Eleanor. There are no channels or stitch holes to suggest boning, as in elizabethan corsets. A reed corset wouild also be expected to leave holes where linen stitches would have been.
From this, one conclusion is hat this was just an added layer of 'reinforcement'. This should negate the need for 'breast taping', with linen, for every event making it easier to dress myself without help. (It is hard to do breast taping by yourself, when you have back and shoulder problems).
This extant 'underbodies' have small stitch marks on the lower edge which may indicate there was a skirt attatched. I think (at some point) I may do this, rather than use a separate skirt.

I used canvas to line the underbodice, attatched the linen lining with blind stitching and used bias to line the lower hem. I used hook and eye to close the front, as in the extant model. Below are photos of the construction.

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2009.

William Heinemann, London. 1913 available on line:
  • Kovesi Killerby, Catherine, Sumptuary Law in Italy 1200-1500, Oxford University Press. NY. 2002. ISBN:0-19-924793-5
  • Piponnier, Francoise & Mane, Perrine Dress in the Middle Ages, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997. ISBN: 0-300-08691-1
  • Crowfoot E, Pritchard F & Staniland K, Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450, Boydell Press, Woodridge, 2001 (ed) ISBN: 0-85115-840-4
  • Arnold, Janet Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, Maney, Leeds, 1988, ISBN:0-901286-20-6
  • Arnold, Janet Patterns of Fashion, MacMillan, London, 1985. ISBN: 0-333-38284-6
  • Frick, Carole Collier. Dressing Renaissance Florence.: Families Fortunes & Clothing. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. 2002. ISBN: 0-8018-6939-0
  • Jones, Ann Rosalind & Stallybrass, Peter. Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory. Cambridge University Press. 2003. ISBN: 0-521-78663-0
  • Oonagh's Own: