If you followed me for a while or read my older blog posts you probably know that I was in venice when Covid broke out in europe and I had to go home early because of that. I wasn‘t able to visit any museum in venice because they shut down on the day I planned to go – but guess what? I was finally able to do that – 1 1/2 years later and it was great! 😀
I was starting to write this post while sitting in the train on my way back home and I was thinking about all the things I‘ve seen and done this time and I‘m going to use the time to talk a bit about it. Oh and before I forget it: make sure to check the opening times of the museums! Due to the pandemic they are only open 4 days a week – that might change in the future, but better be safe than sorry and disappointed.
Museo del merletto – Burano
The first museum I visited was the Lace museum in Burano, an island you reach by vaporetto and if you ever visit venice please do yourself a favour and go there even though the vaporetto takes 40 minutes to Burano. You could make a little round trip and visit Murano and the cementery island on your way home.
I personally liked Burano a lot more than Murano because it‘s so small and colorful and not overrun by tourists.
The museum was very small but it had a nice exhibition with amazing pieces. In the first room you have a piece of handmade lace in different stages and if you have time you can sit down and watch a short film about the history of venetian lace and how they saved this craft from extinction.
Next you go upstairs and please be ready to see the most beautiful bridal veil you‘ll probably see. Ever. I got goosebumps all over my arms and I start to get them again just thinking about the veil.
I tried so hard to take good pictures but a camera can‘t catch the beautiful details of the lace.
What I particularly liked in the exhibition were the big display tables with drawers. You can slide them to the side to see the laces which are underneath and it‘s a lot of fun to discover cuffs, collars, fichus and trims, all made by hand from the 16th century onwards.
Here and there you also have modern pieces of lace, made for exhibitions or just as a piece of art.
This is a museum many historical-dress-enthusiasts know and talk about. It‘s known for the room full of male vests and also a lot of original 18th century outfits for women and men you can see pretty upcloase because they are not behind glass.
I was a bit underwhelmed when I got there because there was some kind of modern fashion exhibition which I was not really interested in. There were one or two nice dresses but nothing groundbreaking and as a seamstress I wasn‘t impressed with the workmanship. There was only one dress I thought was really well made but I‘m a sucker for everything which looks a bit like mermaid scales so this dress had an easy game 😀
There still was the room full of vests and I think I stood 20 minutes in this small room and gasped at every single one. I tried to take some pictures but you can‘t really catch the details on camera because I didn’t want to use the flash on my camera and the light was not the best. The gold and silver threads, the beautiful and accurate silk embroidery and also the beautifully woven fabrics…just amazing!
What the museums in venice seem to have in common is that they don‘t really have information about paintings, exhibitions and all that stuff. I would have loved to learn more about the objects but there was little to no information, even in the online folder.
And now I want to talk a little bit about my new dress I made for venice. I wanted to make a totally different dress because I fell in love with a painting, but I wasn‘t able to find a similar gold lace which I would have needed for the dress itself and also the Balzzo. So I had to make something else.
But let‘s start talking about the fabric. I bought it from Sartor and it‘s a viscose/silk-velvet. I was not impressed at all when I got it in the mail because the picture on the website and the fabric doesn‘t really match…yes both are red, but that‘s it with the similarities. I expected a much darker red and for the price I felt a bit knocked off.
The shipping costs to austria are also crazy. I paid € 22,10 for shipping but it would have been cheaper if I would have sent it to a friend in germany for €7,20 and then send it to austria for € 9,- but I was tight on time so I had to get the expensive shipping. At least it was really fast.
The fabric itself has a wonderful drape. It‘s light but not too light and it was very nice to work with and it was very flowy in the wind and looked great.
What I also *loved* was that I had almost no lint when using it. For the skirt I was brave and ripped the fabric and I had not a single velvet nub in the air. Not. A. Single. One!
I only had some lint flying around when I cut the velvet with my scissors which I 100% expected because you can‘t really cut between the pile of the velvet.
So even though I was not happy with the color and shipping costs I can recommend the fabric itself but please order a sample beforehand.
The dress itself was made pretty fast. The skirt is made with three fabric widths. The hem is faced with a 10cm wide strip of silk Organza which gives it a bit more body. The bodice is made with two layers of coutil and fully boned on the front and partly boned in the back. The whole bodice was then covered in ice wool and then covered by hand with the velvet.
If you plan to make a similar dress do not use ice wool! The little hairs are coming through the velvet and this does not look nice. Instead use a thicker flannell or molton. This should also get rid of the boning channels showing through the fabric.
Underneath the dress I only wore a chemise, or a camicia, as you call this piece of clothing in italy. My rings were from Aliexpress and one from the museum shop at Castle Ambras in Austria.
The small gold band I used was from my lovley aunt who always collects stuff like this for me when she’s at flea markets. I had exactly 1cm of it left when I finished the dress. 😀