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Brown Bliaut Progress 2/20/11

March 14, 2011

I have wanted to make a bliaut style dress for a long time.  This is a graceful style of medieval gown, typically worn by upper-class women in the second half of the 12th century.  It is characterized by its long, flowing sleeves.  There is much debate over the structure of the bliaut, with various costumers arguing for side lacing, back lacing, no lacing; belt or no belt; and the ever-controversial pleated-on skirt.

Being an inherently lazy person and inspired by the version worn by Her Excellency Ceinwen, lately Queen of the Middle Kingdom, I have chosen the simplest design – basically a slightly shaped T-tunic with added gores and long bell sleeves.  I went to a Cynnabar garb workday in February for patterning help from Mistress Melisant, who gave me a full set of measurements and drafted a basic pattern drawing for me.  Yes, I’m posting this a bit late, but that’s the way it goes!

Since I am HORRIBLE at drafting myself, luckily my husband was also there to translate the measurements and small drawing up into a full-size paper pattern!  Yay, husband!

I already had a mental vision of what I wanted the finished dress to look like, and so had ordered fabric that was pre-washed and ready to go.

Both are from On the left is the Jade color in 3.5 oz linen, and on the right is the Coffee Bean color in 5.3 oz linen.  This color combination is probably a bit modern, but I liked it!

After getting the paper pattern drafted and cut out, we left for the day since it was snowing heavily and we had what would normally be a 2 hour drive home.  Ultimately, it took 3.5 hours – ugh.

Here are the two pieces of the paper pattern.

This will also have gores at the side seams and maybe in the back, depending on how it flows.  We’ll see!

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