Dec 29, 2013

Bronzino Eleonora of Toledo Dress Diary

I need to replace my old Florentine 1560s gown. It is too large, and when I tried to alter it a few years ago I discovered that I had run out of fabric and could not put the bodice back together. Fabric is available online now that makes me think I could make an attempt at Eleonora of Toledo's gown. Which one will my budget allow me to order? Do I watch my budget and order a print or do I throw caution out the window and order a woven silk?
Spoonflower printed fabrics

Sartor replica woven silk

I already have a version of this coverciere (related to the English partlet) - usually made of cords tied in a net-like fashion, and then beaded. I found a belly-dancers scarf that looks just the part.

Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait de la duchesse Eleonore
Galerie Narodni, Prague
The sketch below is from the Janet Arnold Book, Patterns of Fashion, 1560 - 1620 which I am using as the basis of my research.

Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici
Agnolo Bronzino, 1550: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Anonymous said...

I strongly suspect you would be happier if the result if you used the silk with woven in pattern, especially as you know that it is available. However, only you can decide if that makes it worth shifting that much of your budget. Is "happier" in that sentence only a matter of degree, and you would also be delighted with the results if you use the print? Or would you be dissatisfied with the choice every time you looked at the gown made with the print?

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

I have decided to get the woven fabric - I know it costs more but I may regret it one day.
Now my challenge is to make a gown that will cope with my fluctuating weight - I lost 20kg last year and then regained 10kg and am now trying to lose some again. Obviously my weight will play games with me for some time, so I need to watch how I make things - as there are a few Italian gowns in my collection at both ends of my weight that don't fit.

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

This gown will be scheduled for later this year. The fabric is on order, but in the meantime I have had a lot of people contact me to make them historical garments this year - its wonderful, but doesn't allow me much time for my own projects.
If all goes well I will make a start on this dress in either May or July.

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