Field Photo Shoot – Renaissance Princess

One thing I wanted to do after making my renaissance dress was to do a photo shoot in it. I finally got the opportunity to do it one evening in July.

I asked my sister to be the camerawoman – to which she agreed – so we walked over to an empty field after dinner. She took up her position behind the lens while I trotted around in the grass getting odd looks from the neighbors. It took a bit of effort to get over my nerves, but she was really supportive and her pictures turned out truly amazing. After a while I totally forgot there were people watching and I felt like a princess running around in a great dress.

Fourth of July and Renaissance 847

I’ll put the rest of them under a cut because there are quite a few, but they’re fabulous (if I do say so myself) so be sure to take a look! Thanks so much, sis!

Continue reading “Field Photo Shoot – Renaissance Princess”

The Renaissance Project – Lucrezia

So, continuing the series about last Halloween (just in time for this year’s)…
The dress that I wore – the Lucrezia dress:


 After completing my sister’s dress, I turned my attention to what I would be wearing. I searched and sorted through a ton of portraits and paintings, looking for just the right dress for inspiration. It happened when I came upon this image:
The Betrothal by Meister des Jahrhunderts, c. 1470.

I fell in love with the dress the bride is wearing. It was one of the few examples I could find of a dress that didn’t feature front lacing which was something that I desperately wanted to avoid for fear of not being supportive enough.

So I sketched out the dress to take with me to the fabric store. There I picked up some gold trim reminiscent of what the bride is wearing and looked around for a suitably shimmery red fabric, but couldn’t find anything that was within my price range.

Going home, I sorted through my stash and found just what I had been looking for: three and a half yards of a dark candy apple red satin (at least, I think it’s satin – I’m terrible at identifying fabric). I’d bought it almost two years earlier when it was on huge clearance at Joann’s. I believe I got it for around $2.50/yd.


I started working on October 18. I draped a bodice muslin on my duct-tape dress form, Barbara. I couldn’t really fit the pattern on myself so I had to approximate and eyeball the fit in the mirror when I tried it on.

When it looked right, I cut out two more layers – fashion fabric and some leftover sturdy plaid – and sandwiched it all together. The bodice had two pieces, front and back, that were almost identical. Both sides were left open for lacing.

When that’s done, I finish the seams all the way around.

At this point it’s lacking support so I add some zip ties on the front, back, and sides. I put five lacing rings on each side (jewelry toggle clasps) and cartridge-pleat the skirt front and back to the bottom of the bodice. Once it’s on, I sew up the sides until about four or five inches below the bottom of the bodice and hem the bottom so I can wear heels with it.
It’s finally to a point where I can try it on to check the fit and I’m incredibly happy with how it’s turned out so far. It was a lot of guess-and-checking up to that point but my estimates had been right on! I don’t have it pictured, but I was able to sew on the trim around the neckline pretty fast that night and the dress was done! Unfortunately, by that point, I had misplaced the cut of fabric I had set aside for sleeves so I had to skip them. (Of course, I found it in a bag about three days after Halloween.)
The other garment that I needed was a camicia, which was very quick to make. If I remember correctly, I followed this tutorial which was quite easy and straightforward.
It’s floppy and loose and long and flowy and I love it! I accidentally made it a bit too long so I’ll have to re-hem it eventually, but it’s great for now. The sleeves have ties on the cuffs but other than that it’s nothing too extraordinary.
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The final product. On Halloween – rolling up my sleeves to get some final decorating done.

Final Numbers

Fabric: Satin and cotton

Pattern: None

Year: c. 1500

Notions: Thread, lacing rings, white and gold trim, black ribbon

Hours to complete: Seven days.

Total cost: $15 for fabric. $2 for trim. Everything else from stash. Altogether, about $17.

Post Zero: Master Post

Part One: Background and Research

Part Two: Caterina (my sister’s outfit)

Part Three: Lucrezia (my outfit)

Part Four: Lorenzo (my brother’s outfit)

Part Six: Wearing it All (Halloween 2014)

A Passel of Accessories (HSM #7)

This is an extremely belated HSM post but I assure you that I did, in fact, complete these items back in July! I ran out of time to photograph and write about them…but better late than never, right?

1. Jabot

The first accessory that I made was for my brother. A jabot to go along with his pirate vest that will cover the gap between it and his neck stock.


It was quick and easy to make; one evening’s worth of work. I cut up some trim off of an old Victorian bodice and mounted it onto a rectangle of cotton. I read through this tutorial before sitting down to do my work, which helped a lot.


The Challenge: Accessorize (HSM #7)

Fabric: Cotton and lace

Pattern: Followed the aforementioned tutorial

Year: Early/mid 1700’s

Notions: White thread

How historically accurate is it? Uh, it looks accurate, overall. Not the fiber content, though. 75%, I’d say.

Hours to complete: 1 hour or less.

First worn: Early August for a photoshoot.

Total cost: $0. All from my stash.

2. Pocket

Next up was an 18th century pocket for my sister. I did a fair amount of research leading up to it and found that styles really ranged according to personal taste and materials available. So, I went with a period technique of re-using fabric from other garments and used up more of the old bodice from the Jabot project.


I drafted a quick pattern on a piece of notebook paper and it was all done over the course of two lazy, summer afternoons.

I bound the edges with red bias tape and stitched a waist-tie to the back. Here is the final product, using my hand for scale:


front back

The sides look weirdly curved in the photos but I promise they’re straight in person! And you’ll probably notice that there’s a buttonhole halfway up the back; it’s to accommodate an insulin pump.

The Challenge: Accessorize (HSM #7)

Fabric: Floral fabric of questionable content from an old bodice

Pattern: Self-drafted

Year: 1700’s in general

Notions: White thread, red bias tape, waist tape

How historically accurate is it? Well, it shares the spirit of 18th century pockets. Probably only around 30%.

Hours to complete: About 4-5.

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost: $0. All from my stash.

3. Silver Shoes

I was content to leave the month’s challenge with what I had already done, but on the second-to-last day of the month I did a bit of shopping at Goodwill and came across just the pairs of shoes I had been looking for. I snatched them up and cleared my schedule the next day so I could get them both done. I did some hasty research and read through this, this, and this tutorial before starting.

First up: a pair for my sister.

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This is how they started out: dyed pink pumps probably worn once for an event and then donated. There’s no wear on them at all! I tore the sole off and used shoe glue to cover the upper with silver fabric.

Then I sliced a couple inches down on both sides of the toe and used duct tape to make a template for an extended tongue. I cut it out of some leftover cotton duck and glued it onto the upper using some shoe glue before covering it, too, in the silver fabric and held it down with with bobby pins.


While it dried I cut out tabs out of the same blue duck.

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Finally I sewed across the bottom, attached the tabs, glued some leather on the heels, reattached the soles, and bound it all up to dry overnight.


Ta da!


The Challenge: Accessorize (HSM #7)

Fabric: Silver fabric, blue duck, black synthetic leather

Pattern: None

Year: 1700’s in general

Notions: White thread, grommets, shoe glue

How historically accurate is it? Like 25%. It’s in the ballpark of 18th century shoe design.

Hours to complete: About 5.

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost: 4.99 for the shoes. Everything else from stash.

4. Mules

The same day I made a pair of shoes for myself. Here’s what I started with:


I cut away the sides to make mules and used some more duck to extend the tongues. I stiffened them with shoe glue and then glued and sewed them on so there was no danger of them coming loose.


Lastly I pulled off the soles, glued some fabric on the uppers, and then sewed across the bottom. I left the heels green and, as one final touch, sewed lengths of cream trim across the tops.


I bound them up to dry overnight alongside the first pair.




The Challenge: Accessorize (HSM #7)

Fabric: Blue/gold fleur-de-lis fabric

Pattern: None

Year: 1700’s in general

Notions: White thread, black thread, shoe glue, cream trim

How historically accurate is it? Maybe 35% this time. The shape is more accurate.

Hours to complete: About 5.

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost: 4.99 for the shoes (with extra 30% off, I think). Everything else from stash.

So there we have it! A busy month with a lot to write about…but I finally got it done!

Life Lately | Welcome to the Blog’s New Home!

Like the title says, welcome to the new space for Trumpets & Trimmings!

A little while ago I decided to do a little renovating which ended up leading to a move from blogger to wordpress. It took a while to learn the new format, but I’ve pretty much got the hang of it now. A bit of sprucing up and playing with the template and don’t you just love the outcome?

Now, as for more of a personal update…

I accidentally took the summer off from blogging. I accepted a job right at the start of June which ended up monopolizing most of my time and energy. I stayed there as long as I could and, very recently, took a different job which is a much better fit. So for those months I was able to get a little bit of sewing done but, between work and moving my blog around, there just wasn’t time to sit down and write about it all.

Which means I’ve got a lot of good stuff saved up!

Here’s a sneak peek:

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Fall fashion, first forays into corset-making, photoshoots, more HSM, and shoes!

Thanks for sticking around!