Still no hem! I wasn’t kidding about this constantly being pushed back. However, I do have pictures! Finally found the camera cord to upload. I’m hoping to get better pics once it is done so you can see the stomach wrinkles clearer (yes it is supposed to do that).
This project always seems to be what gets pushed back in favor of other stuff (much of which I forget to post here). The side lacing is now done! I had the sides pinned in to about what the fit would be for the tightness of a 14th century dress, then folded in about 3/4 more to make a hem. It worked out that I fit the part that was on my middle, then extended that line for the extra body length so it would do the wrinkle thing, and tapered it out top and bottom to avoid weird lumps. Then I sewed a braided string to the edge of the hem, tacking it about every 3/4″ and keeping it tight with the hem. Running spiral lacing through, it seems to close nicely and wrinkle how it should. Now I need to finish the hem and see if it all stays in place for a day of wear.
This project is a bliaut as seen in 12th century statues. I am attempting side lacing for the first time, as well as a keyhole neckline. I had actually intended to do a slit neckline but I wasn’t brave enough for the length of slit required to get it over my head, so I cut a neck I am more comfortable with for this first attempt. The pattern I am using is the rectangular construction of a tunic, with front and back gores set in, long draping sleeves, and about a foot added to the body panel in the section that will be laced. If all goes well with the added body length and side lacing to create the horizontal wrinkles seen in the sources maybe the next attempt will have the slit.