Friday, October 11, 2013

12th century bliaut construction notes

It occurred to me as I flipped back through the posts of my livejournal that I never posted any construction details of the bliaut I made.  As I start out on my next venture making 12th century clothing for a guy friend of mine, I should share the notes I remember about it (mostly to avoid making the same mistakes for a third time).

I started by making a bliaut for a man at his request.  He supplied the fabric, which was a navy blue (popular color choice) canvas type fabric.  Not the right type of material for a project that replies on draping and softness to work properly.  I trimmed it out with some red home decor fabric I had on hand.  It was absolutely horrible! I have no pictures of it, thank God!

Then I took his instructions that were printed out from this website and attempted to make one for myself after he convinced me to join SCA (I never did go to an event or anything).  I spent a small fortune on a very very wonderful navy wool gabardine and was surprised with a gift from him of a woven silk trim in a sort of blueish silver color.  I ended up making two versions of the bliaut using the directions from the above link.  The first, I followed them exactly.  It does not drape correctly.  Splitting center front and center back to insert a gore makes for some really unattractive skirt lines.  The second version I made, I put all the gores on the sides, a total of three per side.  It worked amazingly well.

Sadly, the only photos I have were taken with the webcam of my old MacBook and the dress has since been deconstructed.
This is the second version with side gores rather than splitting center and back.

Sort of a profile view focusing on the sleeves and the skirt drape.

Not really a helpful photo, but shows the color in a truer light.

What the bliaut became.

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