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European Noblewoman

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This costume is from the Norman, or Romanesque, time period in the 11th and 12th centuries. (Movies set in this time period include "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and "Tristan and Isolde")

I have had trouble finding much historical reference to tunics of this style; most references I find are pictures associated with modern patterns for sale (such as one image below). Most popular at the time was the bliaud (also "bliaut"), which this may have been copying to a degree. The bliauds, though I have read they could be short and split up the sides for men, were typically floor-length for women. They did have the large sleeves, and were generally worn with a belt over a chainse. According to one book the chainse would have been made of linen and white, often finely pleated. The slit on the neckline is an illusion created by trim, but in use it was called an amigaut.

The veil (simply a large oval shape) was made without having to hem such an unstable fabric by the use of "stop fray" (see the "Must Haves" page). Use piece of trim for the band. Then I used straight pins to hold it on her hair.

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1. A variety of similar Norman costumes

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2. A short Norman bliaud over chainse

"O Fates, come, come, Cut thread and thrum" -Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream