Monday, March 3, 2014

Eggplant Veste

Giovanni Battista Moroni, Portrait of a Lady
Lavinia Fontana, Laura Gonzaga in Green
 Since the Artemisian Costuming Challenge, I have been plotting a silk veste, whose beautiful silk taffeta has languished in my stash these last several years. It is a strange berry silk, shot with brown that comes across as mauveish/purple/eggplant depending on the light.  It hates to be photographed as well, so the colors in these photos may look strange.

A veste is a fitted overgown, sometimes with simple shoulder treatments (barragoni), sometimes with lavish ones.  Sometimes they had sleeves, sometimes not.  Sometimes it was worn over a sottana (under-gown), sometimes over a doublet and skirt or forepart.  It's a relatively simple way to add a layer of warmth and completely change the look of a gown.

I started with a fitted doublet-ish shaped bodice.  I say "ish" because it is not a standard doublet shape.  The front angles out, and will never close up toward the neck, across my chest, as it is designed to be worn open and show the under layers below.  Some vestes could have been closed to the neck - I chose not to.  I added thread-wrapped buttons down the front.



I then drafted a collar, made of two layers of canvas and one layer of wool felt, and pad stitched it to give it some form and direction.  I ended up having to do this twice due to poor measuring - the first collar was too short to fit in the neckline.  This was then covered in silk and hand-stitched into place.

I cartridge pleated the silk skirt and attached it to the bodice by hand.  Last, but not least, I hand sewed, stitched, and gathered puffed shoulder treatments, enhanced with a thread-covered button.


I wore the silk veste over my butter yellow damask sottana and spiral/chevronesque silk sleeves from the Artemisian Costuming Challenge.  After this first voyage, I find I need to stiffen the hem a bit, or grade the split in the front, so you can get a peak of the yellow gown beneath.

Below pictures all taken by my amazing husband, JJM (also often referred to as Sven). 


Noelle/Serafina, this picture is for you!  Goats!







Special thanks goes to my awesome husband who took the portraits for me!