Trained Italian Gown

Spring 2002

One day Sabrina asked Aaron if he’d set her up to “surf” the internet. She wanted to browse for costume- related stuff. She didn’t have a computer of her own, and happened to be spending some time at our place, with nothing else to do. As far as I know, this was the only time she searched out material on-line. I wasn’t sewing back then, so was of no help in locating resources. But after a bit of looking, Sabrina did find something that caught her fancy. I have no idea where she found it, but I do remember it was another costumer’s work. So she printed it out, headed straight home, and began draping a new gown on her dress form. When I came by to check on her progress, she told me that she felt terribly guilty for “copying” someone else’s design. I thought this was pretty absurd, as the only “copied” part was the cut of the bodice.
It’s made up in a very Sabrina-like color: silver-blue brocade. She added a charcoal and beige colored trim. The trim, she thought, was a very unlikely choice, but it somehow “worked.” She made a pearl and crystal girdle and matching necklace, and a bag. A silk charmeaus chemise was sewn. A pearled snood, and a sea-foam green veil topped the whole thing off. (The resulting costume now reminds me of those low-cut gowns from early 1600s Italy).
She wore the entire ensemble to the Renaissance Fair that summer, with Aaron and I in tow. None of us took any pictures. But trust me, Sabrina was absolutely stunning.
Sabrina was very specific about what was to become of her costumes. They were to be worn. She did not believe in storing things away and “saving” them. But since she was so petite, few actually fit them. This gown though, with it’s unusual cut, is a different story. Beth here is five inches taller than Sabrina, but was able to don it for an outing in 2005. She even whipped up this coordinating costume for her husband. With her fair skin and gorgeous strawberry blond hair, we all agreed that she was an excellent model for the dress, if not the prettiest girl at the Faire that day.