When is a hood not a hood? When it’s a bonnet and frontlet.. unless it isn’t.

A while ago I found myself fascinated with a hat. I blame Tullia. Happily the hat is limited both chronologically and geographically. As far as I can tell this headgear was popular from 1488-1515 in northern France/Brittany and the Netherlands. Even more happily that seems to coincide with my waisted kirtles which I like to wear so much.

I made this cap up for my elevation to the Laurel last year(and completely forgot to post about it). I believe this would be called a “Breton Cap”. I’ve found references naming the decoration “agrafe”.

What I did:
– My hair (which is down to the middle of my back) is braided into two braids behind my ears with a tape and then is laced on the top of my head. Tape purchased from Tudor Tailor’s Etsy store: Hairlacing Kit in Red with Cream Stripes for Tudor/Elizabethan Reenactment Featuring Bronze Bodkin and Ribbon.
– Over that I wore a pair of ear irons. Ear irons made by Louise Passe and ordered from her Etsy store Oorijzer, or Ear Irons**.
– Over this I wore a red silk taffeta coif I made. This is lined in linen and edged with some gold lace. A red ribbon is used to hold this on my head. I suspect I’ve made my coif too small. There’s far too much of my hair showing in front of it. I’ll need to remake this in the future.
– On top of this I wore a black velvet round bonnet (lined in black linen) and a black velvet frontlet (lined in gold silk taffeta) edged with some findings purchased from Joanne’s. The frontlet and bonnet were made following the pattern from “The Queen’s Servants”. I’ve tacked the frontlet to the bonnet and then pinned the whole thing to the coif and my hair with pins purchased from Historic Enterprises. Pins, Veil, pkg of 4 or 10
– The Laurel agrafe (gold decorative pin) was purchased from Etaine du Pommier who also has an Etsy store.

** I’m not certain that Ear Irons were used under the Breton cap. But, considering this is a style from Brittany (the northern part of modern day France) and Brittany is ~400 miles from The Netherlands/Belgium and Ear Irons were widely used in the low countries, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to use ear irons to tame the corners of my coif under the Breton cap. Besides that, they’re just cool.

Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild: English, French, and Burgundian Women’s
Bonnets in the 15th Century: One costumer’s exploration and recreation of historical headwear by Cynthia Barnes (Volume 12, Number 2 Mar-Apr 2014)

From “Anne of Brittany: The Story of a Duchess and Twice-crowned Queen”
“Francis himself, in ducal robes, received with the Lady Anne, who wore a quaint Breton cap and a rich gown whose train was heavy with gold embroidery.”

From “The Queen’s Library”:

From “Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne. Illuminated by Jean Poyer”:
“Poyer paints Anne wearing the Breton cap, which signified her ties to her homeland of Brittany, and dress in maroon, a favorite color of the queen.”

Johnson, Caroline, The Queen’s Servants: Gentlewoman’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII, United Kingdom: Fat Goose Press, 2011. Print.

Early tudor smock

Third (and current) iteration.

I need a new smock. Something appropriate to the dress styles I want to recreate from 1488-1515. I skimmed the books I have available and found that I really like the square-necked smock showing in The Queen’s Servant’s (p. 36). It turns out that this is also the same style as a smock shown in Patterns of Fashion 4 (item #75 pgs. 57 and 115) identified as belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots. Added bonus, the rectangular construction used in the PoF4 smock is spot on with the pattern I’ve been using for rectangular tunics cut to fit my body shape (ie, cut more narrow in the shoulders).

Notes about the original from PoF4:
– created using 38″ wide fabric. The selvage is used in the construction. I cannot find 38″ wide white linen fabric so I’ve decided instead to cut 60″ wide fabric down to the width needed and hem the edges.
– there is no shoulder seam. The body portion is made from one piece of fabric.
– pieces are connected with an insertion stitch (also called faggoting). The images aren’t terribly clear but it looks like an interlaced herring bone stitch. The connection points are directly across from each other (not off-set) and the twining forms a somewhat bulky cross in the opening between the fabrics.
– the sleeves were cut from one piece of 38″ fabric that was split down the middle (giving a selvage on the front of each sleeve). I don’t have access to 38″ wide fabric AND I’m big so I have increased the width of the sleeve.
– It appears that the gores on the original were made from the off-cuts from the upper portion of the body.
– If the neck opening is cut as one piece it would be possible to make the gussets from the fabric removed from the neck opening.
– the lace around the neck and wrist seems to have been recycled from a different garment(maybe a collar?). At this time I plan to sew a smock without lace.

The original from PoF4 is noted as belonging to Mary. It’s doubtful that this is something she was wearing when she was beheaded since there are several sources that note that all of the clothes Mary died in were burned after her beheading. I’m still digging to see if I can find out more of the provenance of this garment.

I’ve included the measurements I used to create a smock for me. This is slightly adjusted from the original (shorter in length, wider in the arm, excludes the cuff on the end of the sleeve, tapered the sleeve, more narrow at the shoulder, excludes the lace at the neck and wrist). It’s not as efficient at fabric usage but it does fit me. If you had smaller arms then the sleeves of the garment could be made from the ~22″ offcut left when the body piece is cut out.

The pattern for the smock is found in Patterns of Fashion 4 (item #75 pgs. 57 and 115). The book includes a lot of very nice closeup pictures and a measured drawing with construction notes.

I think the insertion stitch is the interlacing stitch/ orientalischer Flechtstich linked on Medieval Silkwork
or possibly the stitch demonstrated here: https://www.facebook.com/themodernmaker/videos/1417305521684461/

I’ve decided to do this smock in two phases.
Phase 1, make a smock and use flatfelled seams. This allows me to quickly have a smock to use and easily test out the fit and find any issues before I dump a lot of time into this project.
Phase 2, make a smock and hem all the edges of all the pieces and use the insertion stitch to connect the pieces.


Chemise belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587) at Fotheringhay Castle http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/135702

Facebook post by Barry Pearce in the group “Elizabethan Costume” has some additional fantastic pictures


Arnold, Janet, Patterns of Fashion 4 – the Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c. 1560-1620, London: Macmillian, 1985. Print.

Johnson, Caroline, The Queen’s Servants: Gentlewoman’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII, United Kingdom: Fat Goose Press, 2011. Print.

Erik’s Waffenrock

erik_waffePlanning began December 9, 2014.
Outfit first worn January 3, 2015.


While working on the outfits for Coenwulf, Katla and Kolskegg I was repeatedly struck by how very cute it would be if I dressed my son, Erik (13 months), in a waffenrock. Especially if he were walking. As fate would have it, Erik started walking about 3 days after his first birthday November 19, 2014. As soon as that happened I knew that I would have to make him a waffenrock that matched his daddy’s waffenrock for 12th night.
Continue reading Erik’s Waffenrock

Coenwulf’s Waffenrock

West Kingdom 12th Night 2015.  Front view.

West Kingdom 12th Night 2015. Front view.

Planning began December 2012.
Oufit finished November 22, 2014.


A while ago Coenwulf traded me a Kitchen Aid mixer for a waffenrock. For many different valid and invalid reasons this has taken a lot longer than expected. Many thanks to Coenwulf for his patience.

The body of the waffenrock will be modeled after the “Hauptman” image using black wool with burgandy speckles for the base and burgundy and gold brocade for the guards. The “noodly appendages” will be modeled after the waffe sleeves in the second inspiration picture. The fake-wam sleeves will be simple fitted sleeves made of a black and orange zig-zag fabric. A second set of undersleeves will be made up in another shocking loud orange fabric.

Normally, in period, there would be wams (a fitted doublet), shirt and hosen worn under the waffenrock. Because we live in California we decided to fake the wams by adding removable undersleeves. The faked-wams-sleeves will tie unto the waffenrock at the armseye hidden by the waffenrock sleeves.

I’m annoyed as heck that on the day that he first wore the outfit I totally forgot to get any pictures. Luckily he agreed to pose for pictures at 12th night(January 2015).
Continue reading Coenwulf’s Waffenrock

Katla’s Ärmelrock (sleeved dress)

Kolskegg and Katla at their stepping-down.

Kolskegg and Katla at their stepping-down.

Work began August 2014.
Outfits first worn November 22, 2014.


Kolskegg and Katla, the current Prince and Princess of the Mists, asked me to do their stepping down outfits. My work for her outfit consists of an Ärmelrock (sleeved dress).

The dress will be green wool with black wool slashed guards with white linen showing in the slashes. The bodice will be lined in black linen.

Continue reading Katla’s Ärmelrock (sleeved dress)

Kolskegg’s Outfit

Kolskegg at court.

Kolskegg at court.

Work began August 2014.
Outfits first worn November 22, 2014.


Kolskegg and Katla, the current Prince and Princess of the Mists, asked me to do their stepping down outfits. My work for his outfit consists of a high collared hemd (white linen), knee length hosen (orange linen), waffenrock (black wool with green wool guards), and fancy fake-wam sleeves (strappy sleeves made of black and green wool).

The waffenrock, hemd and hosen will be modeled after the “Hauptman” image using black wool for the base and green wool for the guards. The fancy-fake-wam sleeves will be modeled after the sleeves shown in “Bartl zalt micht vil”. These will be black and green wool straps.
Continue reading Kolskegg’s Outfit

Link: Cranach Digital Archive

Of immense interest:

Cranach Digital Archive


Diary started Feb 23, 2010.
Gollar first worn Sunday December 4, 2011.


German dresses are lovely.. but if you leave your tata’s uncovered they’re going to get cold. I’ve wanted to make a Gollar for a long time. A Gollar is a short, sometimes fur-lined cape sometimes with a collar worn over many of the German dresses. A few years ago for Valentine’s Day my honey got me a full pelt of sheared beaver. I am totally going to use that to line my Gollar.

Research and Background

Textiler Hausrat mentions that Gollars can be seen as a component of feminine clothing in Durer’s costume study of 1500. While primarily a fashion of the first quarter of the 16th C, it does continue until 1570’s. Even women of lower middle class standing were permitted gollars made of “Atlas, Damaskat, or other silk fabric” and were noted in inventories as damask or atlas and fur lined. (pages 80-83 translated by Katherine Barish, located in the Yahoo Group files of Jutta Zander-Seidel’s “Textiler Hausrat, Kleidung und Textilien in Nurnberg von 1500-1650”, ISBN 3422060677).

My goal is to create a garment that is consistent with the fashions portrayed in the woodcuts of Landsknecht from about 1520 Germany.

Details to include:

  • Capelet. Should go to the points of the shoulders and down low enough in the back to cover my back. Smooth fit that still allows use of the arms.
  • Dark wool outer fabric
  • Lined in fur (sheared beaver)
  • Hidden buttons for closure (should be able to be buttoned closed)

There’s some hint that the standing collar is a fashion of Saxony(ie both the “Woman aged 27” and the black and white next to it are wearing Saxony style dresses). I’ll need to look into this more.

Inspirational Pictures

The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550, Max Geisberg ; rev. and edited by Walter L. Strauss, New York : Hacker Art Books, 1974.
Niklas Stoer – Schuldthos c.1530

Guarded Style:

Paumgartner Altar (detail of right wing) by Albrecht Durer, 1503

c. 1514
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528). Melancholia I, 1514. Engraving. Approx. 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (24 x 18.5 cm).
© Konrad Liebmann Foundation, Stiftung Niedersachen, Germany(link)

c. 1520 H. Holbein, Baseler Bürgersfrau beim Ausgang
Nach der Handzeichnung. Oeffentliche Kunstammlung, Basel

Hans Baldung

Saxony Style:

Unknown c. 1525 Woman Aged 27

c. 1528

From the Back

Edhard Schoen G.1235-1238. Army Train 1532


Pearl and Coral Gollar Project


– 11/28/2011 I’ve contemplated this for a few years. This coming Sunday I’m supposed to wear my German dress while walking in a parade. It’s December.. in California.. so I don’t expect to freeze.. but I do expect that a gollar and gloves will be welcomed additions to the outfit. So on Tuesday night I finalized the gollar pattern (based on the bottom portion of my hood pattern) and finally cut out the wool and fur. I had to cut the fur out in two sections in order to be able to get the pattern to fit on the pelt. Even then I will have to patch in a triangle to make up for a bit where the pattern ran off the edge of the pelt. I stitched these two big pieces of the fur together. The seam is obvious.. but the pelt will be on the underside of the gollar so I’m not worried about it.

– 11/29/2011 Started stitching the wool to the fur along the neckline. The plan is to stitch the two pieces together inside-out and then flip them around so the right-sides are on the outside of the gollar. Stitching is going faster than anticipated. That said, I need a thimble. Ow.

– 12/1/2011 Acquired a thimble.
– 12/3/2011 Finally finished sewing the gollar together.
– 12/4/2011 Trevor gave me a set of hooks to use to hold the gollar on. Sadly it wasn’t until I sewed the first hook/eye on that I noticed that the right front and the left front are different length. I’ll need to shorten one side to even them up. Other than that.. I wore this in the parade. It was nice and toasty. Gollars are made of win (even badly uneven ones).

1517: Landsknecht Reitrock

Fearghus at Beltane 2012

Diary started Nov 13, 2011.
Outfit first worn Jan 7, 2012.


Fearghus is on the guard for TRH Uther and Kara. They are stepping up in “late period” and have asked their court and guard to match their colors (black and grey). Fearghus mentioned he would really like a new Waffenrock for 12th night. After looking over the images he decided he liked the look of the “Master Bear Hunter” outfit from the The Triumph of Maximilian.

Inspirational Pictures

Master Bear Hunter

Details to include

– Base fabric is dark grey herringbone will use red and grey slashed guards.
The waffenrock will be split front and back to lie correctly when riding, ie a Reitrock aka: riding coat. Decided not to do this.
– The doublet “sleeves” will be about 2 inches long around 3/4 of the armscye and have hidden attachment points around the inside for “fancy” sleeves.
– I’m going to make this with removable fancy sleeves. That way if he gets overheated he can remove the sleeves and still wear the waffenrock.
– Fancy sleeves will be fancy. (still working out what they’ll look like).
– He’s asked for sleeves similar to the sleeves I did for my blue dress.
– The back of the doublet will have 2 vertical guards and one horizontal guard (top edge). The vertical guards will go up, over the shoulder straps and then down each side of the front. The front of the doublet, will also have one horizontal guard at the top edge.
– skirt will have one guard 3-4″ wide 3-4″ up from the bottom.
– The guard on the skirt portion doesn’t look like it lies flat to the skirt. It’s sewn bubbled and this looks like it would cause the slashes on the guard to open wider.
– Guards are red base fabric with grey slashed top fabric. Grey will need to be cut on the bias and sewn on “bubbled” to give the proper appearance. The grey will need a turned edge.. the red may be ok w/o a turned edge.
– Where possible I’m going to use the buttons I have which have bear paw prints on them.
– new black hat with lots of feathers
– New shoes. (on order from Boots by Bohemond)
– New pants (I cut up his old pants to take a pattern)


– 8 yards of black herringbone wool. It feels like wool flannel.
– 4 yards red wool for the under layer of the guarding
– 4+ yards of grey/silver/green fabric for the top layer of the guards
– 4 yards black linen for lining.


– Pull old Waff apart. Use that for a pattern with noted alterations.
– cut down width of back piece by 1 inch
– cut down shoulder straps to a total of 12 inches (not including seam allowance)
– Add to bottom of the front placket 3 inches + inches lost from the straps
– Skirt is good length and fullness. Use the same.


– (done) Pull old Waff apart. Use that for a pattern with noted alterations.
– (done) Make guards.
– (done) Cut out doublet exterior and interior.
– (done) Sew doublet together around all edges except sides and armsceye.
– (done) Sew sides of doublet together with a 1/2″ seam turning the seams to the interior of the doublet.
– (done) Hand finish armsceye with tabbed mini sleeves
– (done) Add attachment points for fancy sleeves.
– (done) Add guards
– (done) cut out skirt
– (done) Add guard
– (done) Pleat skirt to a band
– (done) Attach band to bottom of the doublet.
Fancy Sleeves
– (done) cut out a red linen sleeve
– (done) cut out the grey herringbone wool (the wool is twice as long as the red sleeve but the same width)
– (done) Add ties on the slashes to hold them in place

Re-jiggering the Blue

Note the lack of support of my girls. Must fix.

In May I wore the dress to my brother’s wedding. It worked out wonderfully.. but I noticed that the bodice fit a bit more loose than I’d like. Add to that, the velvet ribbons I used for the guards on the bodice seem to be shredding and in some cases tore when the dress stretched under the guards (I’m not seeing this same problem on the sleeves so I’ll leave those alone).

In June, when I got home, I made a mockup of my bodice pattern out of some heavy cotton I had for patterning and I fiddled with it until I got rid of the looseness. BUT then I had to prep for Pennsic.. and as much as I love the Blue dress, there’s no way that I’d be able to wear a heavy wool dress at Pennsic (90+ F degrees humid in Pennsylvania). So the blue dress went on the back burner.

Jump forward 3 months.. it’s now post-Pennsic and I’ve decided I want to wear the blue dress at October Crown.
Continue reading Re-jiggering the Blue