Gamurra construction notes

As I mentioned on my facebook page, I’ve started going through my Cathelina Di Alessandri blog and have been putting up construction notes for all my clothing. For most of the posts this has involved going through my old live journal posts and re-writing them which has been interesting.

But now you can read about how I cut and sew my gamurre skirts here.

You can read about the construction here of my yellow gamurra

You can read about the construction of the jaffa dress here.

You can read about the construction of my red gamura here.

Once I do my blue gamurra and my brown gamurra that will be all the gamurre done!

I have also, FINALLY put the fazzoletto page, which I thought I would share here in full text also.


This item, known better by it’s English name partlet among many costumers, is what a modern person might refer to as a ‘dickie’. Among the lower classes it would likely have been linen (or possibly wool) and worn for practical purposes.

The story goes that the upper classes often wore them in response to sumptuary laws that determined their necklines must not be below a certain level. With a fazzoletto they could have their gamurra neckline as low as they liked and used a sheer silk fazzoletto to bring their neckline in line with the rules while flaunting them at the same time.

You can see the fazzoletto worn either under the gamurra or over it in period art but you might need to look close– sometimes they are hard to spot.

1475-1477 Domenico Ghirlandaio Annunciation of the Death of St. Fina (detail) .jpg

This detail from Domenico Ghirlandaio’s 1475-1477 Annunciation of the Death of St. Fina shows lower class women wearing a simple cut of opaque fabric.


Leonardo Da Vinci’s Portrait of Ginevra Benci dated 1474 shows the fazzoletto worn tucked into the bodice.

1400s bghirlandaio.jpg

This portrait by Ghirlandaio suggests that if the fazzoletto was worn over the gamurra bodice it was worn under the outer garment.

1485 dghirlandaio woman.gif

Domenico Ghirlandaio’s  Portraitdated 1485 shows the fazzoletto was sometimes held closed with a pin or button.


Agnolo e Donnino del Mazziere’s Portrait of a Young Woman shows a very sheer fazzoletto over the bodice of the gamura.


Domenico Ghirlandaio’s  Portrait of a Lady dated to 1490 also shows a sheer fazzoletto over the bodice.

1490 Sebastiano Mainardi Portrait of a Woman.jpg

Sebastiano Mainardi’s  Portrait of a Woman also dated 1490 shows a thicker, but still sheer fazzoletto edged with a decorative stitch.

My pattern is below:

Picture 16.jpg
Fazzoletto pattern by Cathelina di Alessandri

It’s not a pattern you can print and use, but hopefully it will help with the general shape.

Fazzoletto by Cathelina di Alessandri

I have only made one fazzoletto which I made in silk, and hemmed it with silk thread using a decorative stitch.






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