Monday, 12 October 2020

Calontir Challenge Plan - Chemise

 I have decided to enter the Calontir Clothing Challenge and am aiming to make a 1520s Portuguese outfit to be complimented by a 16th century Portuguese dinner.  I have entered for the Historically Focussed Advanced section as I wanted to extend my skill set.  I feel this challenge is a good way to continue to educate people about the wonders of Portuguese dress!

I decided that rather than focus on one painting I would incorporate elements from a variety of different Portuguese period images in my dress design.  This will hopefully result in an outfit suitable for a wealthy upper class lady from Lisbon.  

Layer 1: Chemise

I bought some very nice linen/cotton blend when on holiday in Auckland.  It is the right weight for chemises and feels like it has a good amount of linen in it.  

I have found that most of the linen in our local shops tends to be heavy so doesn't have the right body to make a chemise.  This is really important in Portuguese where you often have the chemise puffing through gaps in the sleeve!

Section from the Martrydom of the 11,000 Virgins, St Auta Altarpiece by the Master of St Auta.  (Image from -,_retablo_di_sant%27auta,_1522-25,_pellegrinaggio_di_s._orsola_a_roma_e_martirio_delle_11.000_vergini_1.jpg)

I decided for this challenge that I wanted to use the chemise in the portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal as inspiration.  I loved the placement of trim on it which looks like the rays of the sun.  I felt this will compliment the gold of the brocade I am using for my dress.

St Catherine of Alexandria (possibly Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal) by Domenigo Carvalho (Image from,_reina_de_Portugal,_como_Santa_Catalina_(Museo_del_Prado).jpg) 

I have started this chemise by cutting the material out in to 6 pieces.  Two body pieces which are the width of the fabric x measurement from collar to knee, two sleeves - the width of the fabric x length of arm, two gussets of 8 inches squared.    I then hand hemmed all of these pieces using a whip stitch.  This technique is used on the extant Italian 16th century chemise on pages 110-111 in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 4. There are no extant Portuguese clothing items that I am aware of (please let me know if you are aware of any!!) so I am having to look at nearby regions for costruction techniques. 

My next steps are to whip stitch this pieces together and then gather the neckline/add trim.

Monday, 27 July 2020

My other website

I also an interesting in 16th century Italian dress and food.  You can check this out on my other page here

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Portuguese Dress

Here are the two Portuguese dresses I made for our recent Baronial Anniversary.  The grey one is a day dress and undergown for the pink silk dress.  The pink silk dress is based on an image in The Visitation by Gregorio Lopes dating from 1525-30. Documentation can be read here


Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Portuguese Dress Pinterest Board

One of my lockdown projects has to been to reorganise my Pinterest boards!  I started with my one on Portuguese Dress as I want this to be my big research project for the year.  I am particularly wanting to focus on Women's fashion in Portugal between 1520 and 1540 and to help me do this I am creating an inventory of useful dress images.   I am hoping to slowly create a wardrobe of Portuguese dresses and dress accessories!  My nicely arranged Portuguese dress board can be found here.