I decided I needed a new camicia for my new Italian gowns (okay I didn’t get them made in time). This camicia is based on a very specific style from the first quarter of the 16th century.
I drew from a number of portraits of women, specifically:
See my paper on Camicia here: Evolution of the Camicia
I used the full width of the fabric (60 inches). I removed the selvage as it was much stiffer than period fabrics. Normally I would use the selvage and whip stitch the edges. As it was, due to the fraying edges, I ended up doing french seams.
The gussets are placed depending on the drape of the camicia and neckline you wish. I chose to have a camicia that would be more rounded.
Because the sleeve is pleated down to a small width (about 6 inches) and they are fairly narrow they created excess fabric at the head of the sleeve. This actually is ideal for a garment that you want lots of fabric for poofing at the top of the sleeve.
The embroidery was done with a silk pearl thread (Soie Perlee). The stitch was a chain stitch. I pleated up each panel and each chain was done picking up one pleat.
Gathering threads were removed and a backing band was put on so the pleats would not move or the embroidery would not break under stress.