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    The capotillo, or Spanish cassock, was an essential travel garment. Carmen Bernis points out that the capotillo allowed women to "travel on horseback, a feat which was difficult in a mantle (long cloak)” (Bernis 46). Queen Ana of Austria, on a visit to the monastery of las Huelgas in 1571, wore "a black capotillo and hat with colored feathers and white and yellow, bordered in gold, with collar and edgings of gems and many fine diamonds and pearls of inestimable value” (Bernis 46-7). Royal inventories of 1595 and 1611 note the presence of capotillos (Bernis 47) and the style is widely pictured in paintings and engravings like the following:


    Pietro Bertelli. Diversarum nationen habitus



    Since the capotillo is basically a shortened version of a male capo (cloak) and is frequently mentioned in extant tailor's manuals, the pattern drafting stage was fairly simple. I chose a pattern from the Freyle manuscript for my garment:

     Diego de Freyle. "Ropilla y calcon de pano de (bbt) bb."


    I also referenced Burguen's pattern #146: Calcon de seda, ropilla, y jubon al sesgo.


    The capotillo is made of lightly fulled purple wool lined with gold silk. The same gold silk is used for the border and the collar edging. The collar is interlined with hemp canvas to maintain the shape, but the rest of the garment is left un-interlined for comfort. The garment is fully handsewn with silk thread; each edge was finished with a whipstitch, the lining was stitched down over the outer shell, and each seam was whipped closed.

    The sleeves, like those of the Bertelli engraving, are left unstitched at the front armscye to allow the sleeve to fall decoratively behind the garment. The sleeves are stil functional, although quite snug, and are fully lined with silk.

    The decorative edging is loosely based on Bertelli's engraving above. The gold silk bands were applied to the garment after it was constructed, and were edged with black commercial braid that closely resembles braid patterns found in many Spanish portraits.

    The buttons are inspired by the extant images on Cathy Snell's website (Kate's Corner). Each button is constructed of black linen floss wrapped over a wooden core. Gold linen floss is then laid down between the black ribs and wrapped.



     Further plans for the capotillo include adding more rows of silk and braid, as well as added the distinctive diagonal bands on the sleeves. Finally, I plan to add tabs or wings to the sleeve cap to finish the look.



    Banyard, Jack. "Freyle Cassock and Breeches." Accessed online February 2009.

    Bernis, Carmen. El traje y los tipos sociales en el Quijote. Madrid: Ediciones el Viso, 2001.

    Bertelli, Pietro. Diversarum nationen habitus. Venecia, 1594.

    Burguen, Francisco de la Rocha. "Pattern #146: Calcon de seda, ropilla, y jubon al sesgo." Geometria y traca perteneciente al oficio de sastra, Valencia, 1618. hosted by Renaissance Tailor. Accessed online February 2009.

    Freyle, Diego de. "Ropilla y calcon de pano de (bbt) bb." Freyle Manuscript, 1588. hosted by Renaissance Tailor. Accessed online February 2009.

    Hoefnagel, J. Civitates orbis terrarium, Colonia, 1573.

     "Sleeved Cloak of Don Garzia de Medici." Extant garment. Image hosted by Annabelle Wake. Accessed online February 2009.

    Snell, Cathy. "Making Buttons." Accessed online February 2009.




    Very little is known about the travel hoods pictured in Hans van der Beken's Viaje de la emperatriz Maria desde Praga, 1601. Carmen Bernis, in her El traje y los tipos sociales en el Quijote, describes the garments as "a travel hood [that] resemble mens' hoods only in that they form a point” (Bernis 51).


     Hans van der Beken. Detail, Viaje de la emperatriz Maria desde Praga, 1601


    Hans van der Beken. Detail, Viaje de la emperatriz Maria desde Praga, 1601



    This garment is entirely hypothetical, since there are no extant patterns for a woman's travel hood that I have been able to find. Therefore, I had to look at closely related sources for inspiration.

    Several points are of note in the original image:

    1. The hood is pointed, but does not have a sharp crease at the top "ridge" that might indicate a solid structure underneath
    2. The hoods appear to be lined with a contrasting, sometimes patterned fabric that is then turned back away form the face in a cuff.
    3. Although most of the hoods are dark in colour, several are patterned or embroidered.
    4. Each hood appears to have a bead or button at the tip of the point.


    Since Bernis mentions that the women's hood is pointed like a man's hood, I examined several contemporary tailors' books to find a possible starting point. After much research, I decided to start with Alcega's balandran pattern, which is essentially a cape with a tall pointed hood:

    Juan de Alcega. Tailor's Pattern Book, 1589

    To draft the pattern, I first sketched the original in miniature onto scrap wool, cut it out, and stitched it into a doll-sized hood. I then unpicked the front mask to examine how the sides would fall open. I then resketched the original pattern into a longer, more rectangular shape. After sewing another doll-sixed version, I ended up with an item that had both the pointed tip and the somewhat rounded top of the original.

    Once I was satisfied with the shape of the miniature hood, I picked out fabrics. Since this is a travel item, I assume that the fabrics should be sturdy and warm; however, the original image also shows embroidered and decorated edges and linings. I chose to use leftover silk taffeta from the rostro project for the outer shell, pale blue silk for the inner lining, and an interlining of lightly fulled wool from the capotillo project.

     I stitched the layers together with silk thread and treated them as a single layer. The garment has one seam down the back from point to hem. To achieve the rounder shape, I added a gore to the back seam, which creates a rounded hem. The seam is whipstitched in silk. I added a piece of braided commercial trim and a filigree bead to mimic the decorative touches of the original image.



     Alcega, Juan de. Tailor's Pattern Book, 1589. Facsimile. Ed. J. L. Nevinson. New York: Costume & Fashion Press, 1999.

    Beken, Hans van der. Viaje de la emperatriz Maria desde Praga, 1601. Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, monasterio de las Descalzas Reales.

    Bernis, Carmen. El traje y los tipos sociales en el Quijote. Madrid: Ediciones el Viso, 2001.


    Trump, R. W. The Annotated Arnold: A commentary on Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620 by Janet Arnold. Self-published.



    Atlantian A&S 2009 : Persona Pentathlon

    This is a collection of documentation for my entry into the Persona Pentathlon at Atlantia’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition (March 2009). For the Pentathlon, an entrant must prepare five (5) entries in three (3) different areas, and those items should all relate to a particular persona.

    My persona focus was a 16th century Spanish noblewoman, of the court of Felipe II, and what she might carry or wear on a journey.





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