lunedì 20 ottobre 2014

My Bliaut inspired dress (XII-XIII century)

Hello there!
Today I'm here to talk you about one of my last sewing projects. I was a reenactor years ago and I 've always been in love with the medieval dress for excellence, the Norman "bliaut". It's the typical, feminine, medieval dress with long sleeves and V neckline, the fitted waist and the flattering skirt. This model was very popular during Norman period in Europe, around XI and XII century. 
I never had enough money to buy a good bliaut so I chose to sew one by my own. It's not accurate (as my other costumes) 'cause good historical dresses need lot of money I don't have at the moment. I try to do the best I can with my own resources. 
For my bliaut I used about 4 mt of burgundy linen and 6 mt of embroidered trim. The pattern has been designed by myself, using an old medieval dress which I bought online years ago as reference (very similar to the historical model). I did some variations: my original dress has lacing on the back and I substituted it with a more accurate side lacing with hand-sewn round eyelets. The result is more or less this one (see photo below).
I'm not a great fan of linen (especially if it's not soft) and I try to avoid it every time I can. A good bliaut can be sewn in silk as well for a very noble look but I wanted to give to linen another chance and so I bought it. I found the woven trim at a local market for a very cheap and affordable price. 

After cutting the fabric I pinned both sides and sleeves obtaining this result: 

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The dress was too tight on the hips for my tastes and so I added the side lacing to adjust it (I'd like to thank my friend Cristiano for his precious suggestion about side lacing! - he saved this project). The solution was simply perfect and the dress fitted me perfectly. So I started adding the trim on sleeves, neckline and hem. I had enough trim enough for a belt too.

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Some photos of the finished dress: 

I love, love how it turned out! The sleeves could be more fitted and the skirt wider, but I don't care. I'm planning a matching veil for a more accurate look. 

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