1550s Venetian, 16th century, projects

New Venetian Renaissance – Fabric Shopping!

If you’ve seen my desire to costume, please let me know!  I don’t know if I pinned a note to its shirt, but hopefully it knows where it lives and could be sent to me COD?

I am trying to overcome my TOTAL lack of enthusiasm for costuming.  I did get on a fabric buying spree a few months ago, so that’s something!  I’ve been wanting to make a new dress for Bella Donna, and been wanting red for a while, so about a year or so ago I finally found some that would work:

I still love the fabric, but one of the things I’ve been trying to do as Bella Donna costume maven is to get us to broaden up our color palette.  We originally started with only shades of red (everything from gold through red through burgundy).  It worked great for a common look, but I think non-costumers don’t distinguish as much as costumers do, so we got a lot of, “Why are you all wearing the same dress?”  Hence, my last Venetian was in green.

Well, we got together to talk fabric a few months ago, and I realized that suddenly everyone was going to be back in red shades. I think part of it is what fabrics people got excited about, but also that it’s HARD to find good silk damasks! So I thought I’d better walk the walk and shelve my red (for now) and see what else I could find.

Cue months of fabric shopping, and I FINALLY came up with these, which are both in my hot little hands now:

Medium blue and bronze silk damask

Peach and gold silk damask, from Renaissance Fabrics

Okay, yes the peach is still in the red family, but at least it’s a lot lighter than red and it’s shiny!

So, now I have to figure out which one to use! For a while I was more excited about the peach just because it’s REALLY SHINY, but now I’m leaning more towards the blue — which is SUCH a coup, as finding blue silk damask that works for costuming?  Shockingly really hard!  And I don’t do baby blue, thank you very much.

I’m still planning to make this dress, including the weird gold shell/flower-y bits:

Veronese - Woman Holding Gloves, 1550-60 (via Realm of Venus)

I even found some butt-kickingly good gold lace that will work for the stomacher, which I’m REALLY excited about.

First up will be a new corset, basically a strapless version of my 1780s stays.  I even managed to cut it out and mark the boning channels on Sunday, which is a major accomplishment given my total lack of energy for costuming!  More on that soon.

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  • Reply Sabrina April 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Oh the joys of proper documentation! After reading this entry, I was checking out your 1780s stays and wishing I could see the pattern you used. Then I realized that I could look it up on my university’s library site because you cited the article! So thank you!
    (This comment was prompted by Modehistorique’s recent blog about Pinterest.)

  • Reply Trystan April 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Blue!!! I think that would look pretty on you, plus, it’s different, plus it’s SUCH a pretty fabric. I’m not a fan of blue on me (I know, it’d look good w/my coloring but I end up hating every blue gown I’ve made or blue clothing I buy), but I lovelovelove good blue on other people. Besides, you several peach-y costumes already, so BLUE!!!!!!

  • Reply kendra April 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Sabrina – yay! I’ve been meaning to link to Sarah’s post, because I’m totally with her — and have been bad about crediting museums etc. myself in the past, so am trying to be better about it!

  • Reply Alyssa April 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Are you willing to share where you found that blue/bronze fabric? I’ve been looking for a blue damask like that for FOREVER – it is my fabric holy grail.

  • Reply kendra April 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Alyssa – yes, but since I’d prefer not to have the entire universe buy my fabric, I’m going to email you the link privately!

  • Reply Andrew April 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Yes, the blue is slaying me.

  • Reply Jenny-Rose April 25, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Wow – all your fabrics are goregous but i have to agree with everyone else the blue is really stunning. I can’t wait to see your new frock! :>

  • Reply joan April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

    hi I am looking for turquoise silk lampas please contact me

  • Reply Laura April 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Oh, definitely blue. With your coloring, that would look AMAZING! And I adore the inspiration painting! Is it me, or is having a fabric panel behind the ladder lacing a bit unusual? That really opens up the idea of making a supportive/boned kirtle to wear underneath those gowns. Keen!

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