East Kingdom Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Chiaretta_di_Fiore
Full Documentation: https://www.kitsclothingcollection.com/1350/
The veste (pl: vesti) is a style of gown worn over the square-necked sottana in the second half of the sixteenth century. In Florence, the veste is typified by a fitted bodice and full skirt, partially closed at the waist to reveal the ornate decorations of the gown beneath. The veste could be worn in summer or winter and could be layered beneath an over-gown or coat for extra warmth. As with other noblewomen’s garments in 16th century Florence, vesti were made of fine materials and richly decorated to demonstrate status and wealth.
The intent of this project was to construct a veste in the style of 1560s Florence using available period-style needles. The veste was chosen for this project due to the logical progression of skill building from under-gown to over-gown. Prior to the start of this project, I had no experience with this style of gown, having focused primarily on perfecting the construction of the sottana in previous projects.
Unfortunately, the period-style needles that I was able to locate were larger in diameter than a modern needle, which caused difficulty sewing through the tightly woven silk. The diameter of the needle left a large hole in the fabric with each stitch. In addition, the needles were not strong enough for the force required to stitch through such dense fabric and the needles bent so easily that it felt like I was sewing with wet spaghetti. About halfway through the construction of the bodice, I noticed pain in my hands, wrists, and arms from the effort of sewing with the soft period-style needles.
Ultimately, the project was only partially successful, as the period-style needles were so poorly suited to the needs of the project that they had to be replaced with modern needles in order to complete the gown. However, the resulting garment is one that I am very satisfied with and the overall success of the veste encourages me to explore the style further in the future.