Camicia

A camicia is the undermost layer a lady would have worn. They were usually made out of linen and were designed to be comfotable against the body as well as absorbing sweat and oils from the body to keep the outer garments clean.

As it is underwear, it can be tricky to find images of the camicia but there are some.

1476-84 Allegory of April (detail) COSSA, Francesco The Vintage and Drunkenness of Noah (1469-1484) by Benozzo Gozzoli The Vintage and Drunkenness of Noah (1469-1484) by Benozzo Gozzoli

The first picture is a detail from  the Allegory of April (1476-84) by  Francesco del Cossa and the next two are details from The Vintage and Drunkenness of Noah (1469-1484) by Benozzo Gozzoli.

 

I developed the pattern from that used in “Nockert Type 1” kirtles, with the exception of leaving out the front and back gores as I don’t need the fullness. In absence of an extant camica matching what I see in portraits with archaeological finds of items found prior to my time period is as close as I can get. This pattern is easily cut in a way to minimise waste of cloth.

I choose this simpler style of Camica as the gathered and pleated ones start appearing in portraits of the nobility in the late 1480s when we see them peeking out of sleeves and bodice fronts.  The simpler one is more versatile as I can wear it for a variety of classes and locations from 1460-1480.

 Camicia from Cathelina di Alessandri's 1480 wardrobe

My camica is made from linen. I’ve hemmed the edges then whipstitched them together.

This is a method I learned from Archaeological Sewing.

Detail of interior stitching on th camicia from Cathelina di Alessandri's 1480 wardrobe

This finishes off the raw edges nicely but also makes a very firm seam. If I ever need to replace a piece (such as the underarm gussets) then I can remove that piece and insert a new one without having to unpick anything else.

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3 thoughts on “Camicia

  1. Pingback: Camicia | Cathelina di Alessandri

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