12th Century Style Bliaut

I’m finally getting around to that detailed post I promised.

I decided on a whim that I would make a bliaut for an upcoming SCA event.  So I dug around online and found a few exceedingly helpful sites.

And really,  it all started with this trim:


I inherited it from a friend of mine and have more than I know what to do with.  So I thought “why don’t I use this for my next project?’  The only problem was that this trim is an extremely unusual color combination and I had to find two colors that would complement not only the each other but also the trim.

So I got out the swatches I have from fabrics-store.com and held the trim up to each color until I found a match.  The lucky winners were Tawny Port and Sphinx.  Sphinx goes with just about everything.

So I got to work and altered an existing pattern that I happened to own.  I took the under gown pattern and altered it so that it laces up the sides (spiral lacing), added triangular gores in the front, back and sides of the skirt and gave it a notched neckline.  Thus we have my under gown in Sphinx:


Then I took that same pattern and changed the neckline to a wide v-neck and gave the sleeves a hanging bell shape characteristic of the bliaut.  I used the Tawny Port for the over gown.  I lined the over gown sleeves with the Sphinx linen and trimmed the neckline, sleeves and hem with my nearly-impossible-to-match trim.  I mean really, bright turquoise and copper…..almost nothing goes with that combination.

Except this:


Boy does it pop!  The belt I got from my favorite trim supplier.
Here’s a close-up:


Only he would have something that would complement my impossible to match colors perfectly.

Love it!

So here are some full length pictures of the gown:


I’m just really pleased with the way this one turned out.


The linen is super comfy, the skirts are huge, and its pretty!

Eventually I’ll get better pictures of me actually in it, but for now this will have to do.

Blackwork, a doublet, a Robe à l’Anglaise and a bliaut

I’ve been remiss in my posting but not in my projects.  Here are a few that I’ve completed since I last posted:

First is a blackwork sampler that I completed in the fall.

The patterns are stitched on ivory silk dupioni fabric using black acrylic DMC floss and a little bit of metallic gold floss.  The patterns come from Paula Katherine Marmor who runs this fantastic site.   All of her patterns are free to use and there’s a ton of them.  Her generosity  and talent is astounding.

I also created a 16th century style doublet for the Renaissance faire for my fiancé.

The doublet was created using a commercial pattern that doesn’t seem to be in print any longer.  The doublet is made of black cotton velveteen with a black satin lining.  The trim is from Calontir Trim which is by far one of my favorite trim vendors.  His stock is fantastic and his prices can’t be beat.  The undershirt is made from ivory medium weight linen from fabrics-store.com.  I used images and diagrams from Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold for inspiration when I placed the trim.  The front of the doublet is closed with hooks and eyes.

For Halloween I created arobe à l’anglaise for a friend of mine.

The fabric for the over gown is a synthetic that I’ve had for a long time so I’m not entirely sure about it’s content.  The petticoat is a striped silk that my friend had.  There is a muslin chemise, a lightly boned pair of satin stays, and a bum roll, as well as a heavier petticoat that is not shown to give the garment a proper foundation.  The pattern comes from J. P. Ryan.  The center front of the gown is closed with hooks and eyes.

And finally, I created a 12th century style bliaut for myself.

Sometime soon I’ll be doing a post with some more detailed pictures on this.  The fabric for the over gown, under gown and sleeve lining is medium weight linen from fabrics-store.com (linked above).  The colors are Tawny Port and Sphinx.  The trim on the over gown I received from a friend several years ago so I don’t know its original origins.  The trim for my belt came from Calontir Trims (linked above).  Even though you can’t see much of it, the under gown is a complete and separate garment with full skirts.

That’s all for now.  More will soon follow!