To Make a Red Gamurra

You can read the full write up about this dress in The Fifth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge.

I usually make my gamurre bodices by cutting out the lining the finished size, the fashion fabric including the hem allowance, hemming the pieces and whip stitching them together. For my red gamurra I tried something a little different in response to reading about quilted bodices and also having a VERY fine red wool for the dress.

I cut my white linen including seam allowance, then brown linen and red wool without seam allowance. Finally another layer of red wool with seam allowance. The white, brown and first red layer I quilted with tinny running stitches. Then I basted the final red wool layer over the top.

Then treating all layers as one I sewed together with a small running stitch, ironed seams to one side and sewed down.

Here is the pattern I used for the bodice. I’ve been using the same pattern over and over since I had a friend draft me a Flemish pattern as a teenager and I’ve just altered it over and over again.


In the picture below a quilted front piece (left) is ready to have the fashion layer (right) basted to it. You can see how fine the red fabric is in this photo and just make out all the layers.


And a closer up picture of the quilting


And an inside view of the quilting


Here are the back pieces finished (but not sewn together) you can see how sheer the fabric is and why I wanted to have a layer of red wool under the red wool.


Here is the bodice at a try-on able stage.

Picture 30.JPG

and the inside for posterity. My stitching is nothing to write home about, but it does the job.

Picture 31.JPG

Here are photos of me doing the final fitting the bodice and ‘hemming’ the skirt. As you can read in how I cut and sew my skirts I hem them first, but this skirt did need balancing from the waist—I lengthened the bodice dramatically so I had to make sure I pinned the skirt at the waist so it hit the ground straight. Because I am not straight up and down this means my bodice waist seam isn’t straight when I have a lower waist. This isn’t such an issue with a higher waist.




The brown hanging down was the left over linen that I used to reinforce the skirt top, I have since cut that off.

Click here to go back to the finished gamurre page.

2 thoughts on “To Make a Red Gamurra

  1. Pingback: Gamurre | Cathelina di Alessandri

  2. Pingback: Gamurra construction notes | 15th Century Sewing

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