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I have a friend who lives in the wilds of Oklahoma, her local medieval fair runs for only three days. She has needed a costume to attend just for fun but being a fellow history nerd wanted something that would work. Her fair set in 1360, it has a different flavor than my local fair that tends toward the 1540’s which means my go to comfy bodice and skirt kirtle wouldn’t really fit.

A few years before we got some lightweight wool suiting in plum color from Fabricmart and then I sat on it like an egg as we went back and forth over what style of dress she wanted.

  • Bliaut? (which we started to call a blablahblu because we were never sure of how to pronounce it..) It is earlier than the fair timeframe, but she liked the look of them (Possibly watching too much Brother Cadfael at a young age.) Buuuut large flappy sleeves can get in the way and being able to get dressed by yourself is a good thing.
  • Go for an Elizabethan kirtle anyways cause I can make those in my sleep? Fashion forward!

We pinned a lot of photos, used historical doll makers to share ideas and when she came down in 2014 for my wedding I got her measurements, drafted a block, and fitted a mock-up.

The best-laid plans…

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Originally published at Centuries-Sewing. You can comment here or there.

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