Italian Renaissance Cinderella



Amanda Valtin


Outline the story …

My design was inspired by the Brothers Grimm version of 'Cinderella'; where each of three nights Cinderella wears a gown more spectacular than the last, with pairs of gold and silver embroidered slippers. I've always loved princess stories and ball gowns since as long as I can remember! When thinking of what style I'd like to make my gown in; I decided on the Renaissance which embodies the flowing, romantic style I associate with illustrated fairy tale books. I did extensive research on Italian Renaissance dresses and construction methods before adapting those styles into a somewhat more fantastical version for my Cinderella. The elements I was most drawn to were dramatic puffed sleeves, low square necklines, and the smoothly fit bodices I saw in many portraits of the time period. I was also quite keen on a trained skirt (the better for dramatically running down stairs in). I wanted a dress that would be elegant and graceful, something I could imagine catching a prince's eye in a crowded ballroom. The colors of my dress were decided by choosing fabrics from my stash that I thought would be suitable, including a thrifted curtain that ended up becoming my petticoat. I love repurposing odd materials into something unexpected! After my research was done and fabrics were chosen, I sketched out my design and began drafting my pattern for the dress. I ended up needing to build the costume entirely from the undergarments out, as I have never done the Renaissance before.

Outline the construction…

The first piece I made was the camicia, worn under the dress as a protective layer. I adapted an online pattern guide by Festive Attyyre to suit my own measurements, and decorated the neckline with hand embroidery and lace. I then flat patterned the gown from basic sloper patterns I had previously drafted for myself. I had a tricky time figuring out how to cut the bodice in a way that would shape and support my bust while also featuring the daringly low neckline, as corsets were not yet worn in this period. I stiffened the bodice with layers of canvas, stiff interfacing, and some light boning to achieve the look I wanted. I made mockups to test the fit, then flatlined my taffeta fabric to this base. I added eyelets for the side lacing, and hand stitched on silver lace trim. The skirts were mostly simple rectangular shapes pleated into the bodice, with some trial and error figuring out the correct shaping for the trained hem. The sleeves are made of a fitted base, with over sleeves stuffed with fiberfill to keep their volume. The sleeves tie together with ribbons, which are finished with small metal beads. I also made all of the accessories for the gown including the earrings and necklace which I strung, along with a latticed cap I hand stitched with pearls on each lattice point over two full days. In the end, I made every single piece I'm wearing with the exception of my slippers.




  1. Avatar Jocelyn Leung on March 11, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    I am in awe!! If I were a prince at the ball I would be absolutely starstruck :0

    May I ask how the cap was made? Was it knitted/tatted/crocheted, or sewn from long strips of fabric laid in a lattice pattern? It’s such a perfect accessory.

    • Avatar Amanda on March 13, 2021 at 1:37 am

      Aww, thank you!

      The cap is made of ribbons, sewn into a lattice with little pearls to keep it together plus some dangly beaded bits. I’m flattered you like it!

  2. Avatar Caroline Chwalisz on March 11, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Oooooo this is so pretty! I absolutely love the sleeves and the train, especially when it billows out when running down the steps. You did such a wonderful job, and I wish you the best of luck!

    • Avatar Amanda on March 13, 2021 at 1:37 am

      Thanks so much! Billowy skirts are quite fun!

  3. Avatar Kristen K on March 11, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Those sleeves are so lovely!

  4. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Wonderful job! The bodice is so smooth, the cap looks straight from a painting, and the fabric is beautiful!

    • Avatar Amanda on March 13, 2021 at 1:38 am

      Thanks so much, that’s really sweet!

  5. Avatar Kait on March 12, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Beautiful! I love the details of the trim and the cap. I would love to learn more about how you made the cap.

    • Avatar Amanda on March 13, 2021 at 1:39 am

      Thanks so much! The cap is made from ribbons stitched into a lattice pattern with small pearls to keep it together. I have a short series of videos on my youtube page (linked above) about how I made everything!

  6. Avatar Elowen on March 13, 2021 at 6:20 am

    This is so beautiful! Such a pretty design and you’ve worked it up flawlessly! Those corners on the lace! Exemplary!

  7. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 13, 2021 at 9:58 am

    So beautiful! I love how perfectly everything sits, and how smooth the bodice is.

    • Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:02 am

      Thank you, that’s very kind!

  8. Avatar Gabrielle on March 13, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Wow! This is deceptively complex! Part of its beauty is that it appears at first to be so simple, but it isn’t! The intricacy of the design and details are simply brilliant! It’s a dress I want to wear!

    • Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:03 am

      Thank you so much! I did discover the hidden complexity as soon as I sat down to actually make it, haha.

  9. Avatar Rebecca Olds on March 13, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Beautiful design, colour, fabric, construction – everything. What elevates it is how perfectly it suits YOU. You really look the part. Just wonderful.

    • Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:03 am

      Aww, thank you! That’s really sweet of you.

  10. Avatar Josefina-Luisa Jelínková on March 14, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    I am blown away! I had similar project in mind for years and this might be the right push I needed. Beautiful work, well done!

    • Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:04 am

      Do it!! The Renaissance is such a fun period!

  11. Avatar Tanaka on March 18, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    So gorgeous! I love that you took inspiration from the Brother’s Grim, and chose your own era to set the dress in!

  12. Avatar Katie Hernandez on March 19, 2021 at 3:02 am

    Beautiful! I love that you chose Brother’s Grimm for inspiration.

  13. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 21, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Well done! Great execution, and those puffy sleeves are to die for <3

  14. Avatar Suzanne Egan on March 23, 2021 at 3:53 am

    For your first foray into Renaissance Italy you have done an amazing job! Well done.

  15. Avatar Sue (sue-mcfluzen) Assenmacher on March 29, 2021 at 5:56 am

    Absolutely stunning.

  16. Avatar Nina Martin on March 30, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    What a lovely version of Cinderella!! Absolutely beautiful.

  17. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    This is a beautiful traditional depiction of Cinderella. Amazing job!

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