Blue-Gold "Italian Renaissance" Brocade Gown

 

Just like the German Gown, this one is not 100% historically accurate.
I like to call it my 'Italian Renaissance' gown though because it does have certain features of that type and style, but of course there are some elements that are pure fantasy.


One of the most challenging things were the sleeves. I didn't make them as suggested by the pattern (McCall's 4041), but played around a bit. Instead of letting the strips of trim
loose as intended, I sewed them down onto the cream silk of the sleeve puffs and made it look as if the sleeves were slashed and the silk was pulled through the 'slits' - to give
it a more historical feel like seen, for example, on this painting by Lucas Cranach-


'Judith with the head of Holofernes' by Lucas Cranach the Elder
c.1530
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
(cropped a bit)

What's still missing on this picture is the beaded and embroidered wide trim that I added along the deep V of the neckline. It adds some extra richness to the dress:






Also, the fabric looks a bit too much gold and green here. It is, in fact, a lovely dark blue and gold.



Unfortunately, the fabric is very fragile. While sewing, it literally fell apart under my hands, and every time I wear the dress, only the slightest movement is enough to rip
the fibres out of the seams, making the dress practically dissolving :-(
I have no idea what's the matter with this fabric. I tried several methods to rescue the dress so that I can actually *wear* it and not just hang it in the closet, but unfortunately,
when cutting out the dress, I left very little seam allowance inside, so my options are limited. My last hope is now something called "seam fix", a glue-backed tape that you can
iron over the seams on the inside and which makes the fibres sort of stick together. However, that won't prevent any holes 'falling' into the fabric - not at the seams, but just
somewhere in the middle. But at least, the seams won't split anymore when I wear the dress....

 

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