FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
"The secret history: a novel of Empress Theodora", by Stephanie Thornton.
Story: The book tells the story of the main character, Theodora, who climbs her way up from being a dancer and actress to marrying Justinian and thus becoming Empress of the Roman Empire. Amalasuntha seeks refuge at Justinian’s court. She convinces Justinian to send Belisarius to Amalasuntha to assist her in Rome. Amalasuntha sets sail for Rome with Belisarius. Her plan to regain power, co-ruling with her cousin fails, however. A wedding gift of her husband-to-be, an amethyst necklace is used to strangle Amalasuntha in her sleep.
Outline the construction…
Designing/Patterning: Style heavily influence by Roman style. In drawing my pattern I keept close to the tunic style of the Romans.
Amalasuntha lived betweenc. 495 – 30 April 534/535. A formal dress of Amalasuntha, could consist of: a tunic with long sleeves, possibly floor length as undergarment, or an overdress/coat, split in front, long sleeves with ornamental edgings at neck, cuffs and hem. A historically accurate version requires: Silk Samite, imperial purple/red, possible gold embroidery-A stola or palla. I decided to sew an overdress/coat, split in front, long sleeves, embroidery on the cuffs.
Challenge: Ideally, I wanted to make a historically accurate coat of a Queen of the Goths living in the 6th century. But these fabrics were too expensive or not available in the required shade. So I decided to use what I had.
Outer fabric: purple polyester taffeta
Inner fabric: beige calico, hand dyed with Dylon plum purple
Neck edgings, band for embroidery: grey klona cotton, I hand dyed with the same purple used for the calico to achieve a darker shade.
Edging center front: Dyed calico
Embroidery: Gold thread, Beading wire.
Seams: running stitches, backstitches
Edges: running stitch on right side and felling on the inside
Raw edges of the calico: wipping stitch
circles of beading wire, couched;
inner circles: backstitch, wipped
outer circles: running stitch
straight lines: backstitch
Founded research on academia.com, studying textile uses, techniques, grave finds, embroidery stitches and motifs helped me make confident design decisions.