To get a reference for the slightly "higher and shorter" puff of the sleeves, as well as the "open under the arm" look of Lucretia's red dress I had to go look for a slightly later period. So, second reference:
Portrait of a Lady, by Bernardino Licinio (1489-1565). Cross-referencing with the portraits by Paris Bordone I found when researching for the open-front dress I did in 2014, I'd say this is about 1530-50. Underbust look is long gone, and the poof has crept towards the shoulders. If you combine these two, however, you get fairly close to the dress Lucretia wears above.
Materials: I found cotton velvet cheap enough to try things out on, and got started. Cotton velvet is far more forgiving (and easier to shape) than the polyester variety. Next time I'll perhaps go for viscose/rayon, hoping it will combine the less-than-airtight feeling of cotton and the slightly more silky light reflection of polyester. As usual I kept trying for the perfect way to achieve support without a corset, so bodice front is two layers of very sturdy linen, plus lining (linen) plus outer fabric. No boning whatsoever, not even zip ties along the lacing - if you look closely at the Licinio painting, you can see the fabric pulling towards what I think is side-lacing.
Design choices: The velvet frayed terribly, and not only frayed but left small red loops of pile everywhere. Therefore I chose reluctantly to not slash the sleeves as above. A maybe-next-time-thing. I also left out the butterflies. Butterflies. I kid you not, look again. There are small fabric butterflies or bows all over the bodice and skirt front. I'm sorry, but I couldn't make myself do them.
Construction: More machine-sewing than usual. I was short of time and well... lazy. Velvet is no fun in a machine, though I ended up doing more or less everything except the long seams in the skirt by hand. I'm sure I took pictures as I went, but I can't find them now. Not a lot of new things compared to earlier projects, though. The sleeves are attached at the shoulder and then the poofed part is added on top. This keeps the poof from stretching/the sleeve to slide down over the hand. Spiral lacing in the side-seams. The skirt is cartridgepleated in the back and side front, with a box- and a few knife pleats in the actual front. I did pad the pleats first, but that did not work out well at all - the pleats became far to big and the silhouette of the skirt became far too square. The skirt itself should likely have been shaped panels, but rectangular skirts save a lot of time when hemming.
I ended up sewing the hem on site the hours before the event, but I was done on time and the dress worked apart from the neckline being too low in the back = left shoulder of dress sliding down. That's what I get for being assymetrical.
The finished dress was never on photo with me in it, since it was dark and no-one had a camera, but I Took some photos on the mannequin. This makes the bodice part less flat, obviously, since the mannequin doesn't squish the way I do, but still.
Front. I'm reasonably pleased.
Back. Still ok, but the a-bit-too-low neckline hints toward the 17th century in a way I didn't intend.
Close-up of the bodice. Note the visible shift under the arm.
The Challenge: 1, Procrastination
Material: Outer fabric: cotton velvet. Lining: linen (in bodice only). Interlining: thick linen/canvas
Pattern: Taken from earlier dresses and reshaped, so mostly adapted from Patterns of fashion. Sleeves drafted from scratch.
Year: First half of the 16th century. Say 1530-ish or possibly 1540s.
Notions: Polyester thread, lacing cord and aiglets borrowed from another dress.
How historically accurate is it? Sort of...? References are legit, my execution and the materials, less so. It'll pass from a distance, so I'll say 75%.
Hours to complete: Far to many, I'd say 30 minimum.
First worn: 30th of January, 2016 (so I know I was done in time :) )
Total cost: About 40 euros. The fabric was really cheap.