The Florence Files: Recreating Maria d'Cosimo Outfit, 1555
La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.
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.
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
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
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
When worn, this gives a similar rounded silhouette to that of the
portrait (if you ignore the fact that I am not a size 12!)
Back to Diary:
- Ricci, Elisa. Old Italian Lace Volume 1. 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:
- Arnold, Janet Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, Maney,
Leeds, 1988, ISBN:0-901286-20-6
- Arnold, Janet Patterns of Fashion, MacMillan, London, 1985.
- 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: http://oonagh.actewagl.net.au/
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