Landsknecht Waffenrock

Picture by Bianca

Diary started Jun 26, 2006
Outfit Finished on August 25, 2006.


landsknecht n.
from Landsknecht “servant or soldier of the country or land”: a European mercenary foot soldier of the 16th century, armed with a pike or halberd.

Fearghus is on court for TRH Rolf and Aurora. They are stepping up in Germans (Landsknecht) and have requested that their court wear german’s as well. This is 4 weeks away.

Research and Background

My research normally centers around 14th-15th century French outfits. So all of this is pinch research. Do your own research. If you don’t like my conclusions, good. Go find better ones.

I think the fabrics should be velvet or wool with probably cotton or linen brocades for contrast.

My goal is to create a garment that is consistent with the fashions portrayed in the woodcuts of Landsknecht from about 1550 Germany.

Details to include:

  • High necked linen under shirt with neck ruffles and ties.
  • Black waffenrock with green guarding. Lined in green linen. Waffe at above waist level to just-above knees.
  • Strumpfen (cloth hose) with Kniebänder. Tight pants with two ruffles at knees. Possibly with garter between the two ruffles.
  • ?? Gartered knee high socks Possibly not necessary if Strumpfen are full length.
  • Tellerbarret (pizza hat) with ostrich feathers.

I believe the -actual- outfit should have a fitted doublet beneath the waffenrock. Because of time pressures (and because I think it’s going to be stinking hot at Purg) I’m leaving that out of this iteration.


I found a lot of nice information here: http://www.st-max.org/redesign/costume-male.htm
Patterns for 16th century Men’s Costume from Germany by Michael de Lacy. Nice patterns for hose, linen shirt and doublet.

Inspirational Pictures

Found at http://www.st-max.org/todesengel_woodcuts.htm



JULY 24, 2006

After looking at lots and lots and lots of pictures I’ve finally started on this project. The first piece I’m making for him is the undershirt. I’m making a neckline as is seen in this woodcut.


I cut out two panels of linen 60″x60″. At the center of one I cut the front neck slit. I then sewed these together at the shoulders. That is at the top-right and top-left of the fabric I flatfelled the outer 10 inches* (leaving ~40″ at the neck opening). Then I went around and cartridge pleated the neck. I did three strands of thread and will cover this inside and out with bands that are about 1″ wide (it’s about 1/2″ from the selvedge edge of the fabric and the first strand.. then it’s about 3/4 inch from the top strand to the bottom strand). This leaves a nice finished ruffled edge (selvege) at the neckline.

* it’s about 9″ from his neck to the point of his shoulder. 9″ plus ~1″ for seam allowance.


JULY 25, 2006


Last night I added the inner band to the collar. I really like the way it’s looking. I cut out a strip of linen about 2 1/2 inches wide by 60 inches long. I ironed it flat and then ironed edge folds into it. I think it’s about 1″ wide once the folds were added. I cut off 23 inches of that strip for the inner band. That gave me about 1″ to fold under at the ends (1/2″ for each end) and left 22″ for the finished band. His neck is 21″ around and I wanted to make it roomy so it doesn’t feel like it’s choking him.

I attached it at each end of the inside of the collar and then pinned it at the center, and 1/4 marks. Then it was just a matter of pulling on the cartridge pleat strings and evenly distributing the pleats around the collar.

The band is attached to the pleats with a combination of blind-hem stitch and whip stitch. Most of the stitches are invisible.. and those that aren’t, it’s white thread against white linen. I’m OK with that.

In the picture, the blue dots were my guide for putting the cartridge pleating into place. They were made with a water soluable fabric pen so they should wash out the first time I throw it in the wash after it’s finished.

JULY 26, 2006

Last night I finished the outer band for the collar. It looks like a collar. It fits around his neck and does indeed look like it’ll close without choking him. He’s a little amused because at the moment the shirt resembles a poncho with a fancy collar. I’ll fix that tonight by adding sleeves. Progress is good.

JULY 27, 2006

I added the sleeves 26×30 (30 is the length of the arm) and gusset (8.5″x8.5″). Because I started with 60″ wide linen it’s plenty roomy. No need to add gores.

The sleeves are about 10 inches longer than his arms. This is on purpose. I added cuffs and gathered (knife pleated) the sleeve into the cuff. This gives the shirt nice poofy sleeves. I’ll add laces to the cuffs so they stay around his wrist.

I fingerloop braided a nice long 5-strand braid in white silk. I used this to make the ties at the collar.

The shirt is done except for the laces at the wrist and finishing the neck slit. I’ll do the laces tonight. I want to wait until the Waffe is finished before I finish the neck-slit opening. Just to make sure it’s long enough.

I wanted to get a picture of this last night.. but he insisted that he should shave before any pictures were taken. So no pictures yet.

July 27, later that evening


I attached lacing rings on one of the sleeves. Then Fearghus and I both decided that it’d be better if it used buttons. Removed lacing rings. Added buttons and loops. Much nicer. Don’t you agree?

At this point I’m going to call the shirt 98% done and move on to the next project. I still need to do the following:

  • finish neck slit
  • open sleeves a little bit further so they an be rolled up
  • cut to final length and hem

I’ll come back to the shirt and finish the above.. probably after I make the Waffe.

AUGUST 2, 2006


Started on the pants last night. After 20 minutes of frustrated pinning of fabric Fearghus suggested the he has some ratty cloth pants that could be sacrificed to the pattern. It took all of 5 minutes to get the seam lines drawn in the right place and cut it out. It took much much longer to lay out the new pattern pieces on some linen for the first attempt. This involved a lot of scrabbling around on the ground.

Finally I got both legs cut out. This is a new pattern to me. I’ve never put pants together in this way. They went together very quickly. Possibly more quickly than my normal “Quasi-peri-oid Pants” that I usually use.

I’ll need to adjust the initial pattern a little bit. I think the waist of the cloth pants were stretched out when he had them on.. so when I sewed the test patten together the gap for the codpiece was -huge-. We’re talking 8-10 inches across. Much larger then it needs to be. (especially when you consider that he was kinda iffy about the whole “codpiece” idea to begin with) I’ll add a bit of fabric and bring it back down to a reasonable size. I think I also need to raise the waist a little bit. Otherwise when he sits the pants will dip alarmingly. All-in-all I think it’s going very well.

Based on the size of the single piece leg pieces I can definately see why you would make this out of different colored stripes. If I have time I’ll definately try this.

AUGUST 14, 2006

After an initial “God, I don’t know how to do this” it turns out the Waffenrock is relatively easy to pattern. I have a basic pattern worked out for the doublet portion and expect to have that sewn together this week.

Hell, if I have a better-than-average night I might even have it sewn together tonight. Boo-ya.

AUGUST 15, 2006

Pattern pieces (not entirely to scale). Because he wants a green triangle to show when he unbuttons one side, I’ve marked one side in green.

I had a slightly-better-than-average night last night. His Waffenrock is sewn together except for the skirt and the sleeves. I need to add 3 more buttons and 6 more button holes. It’s going -very- quickly.

How it works: The pattern shown is wrapped around him with the straps in the back. Each strap has 3 buttons on the end of it. The green piece is wrapped around and then the strap on the left buttons through the outer corner of the green side and then the armpit corner of the other (black) side. The right hand strap buttons through the armpit corner of the green and then the outer corner of the other side. The bottom half will be held in place by the skirt (and possibly a pant hook and eye).

AUGUST 16, 2006

Ugh. I hate button holes. I think it’s more the fact that they look messy and take a terribly long time. In the post above I said “I need to add 3 more buttons and 6 more button holes”. It’s official, I can’t count. There’s a total of 12 button holes, not 6 like I miscounted. Last night I attached the last of the buttons (yeah) and finished 3 of the button holes. That only leaves 9 more to go (oy).

But I have pictures! (that’s got to make up for the pitiful progress, right?).


AUGUST 21, 2006

5 days until PurgTwo more button holes left (I hate button holes). Friday I made a sleeve (lined) and attached it. Then ripped it off and reattached it correctly *sigh*. Saturday I attached the other sleeve. If I’d known what I was doing when I “designed” the Waffe I think I could have eliminated at least 3 (possibly 6) of the button holes. Oh well. I’ll know better next time.

Sunday night I started on the guards for the skirt portion. It’ll have two guards (2″ and 3″) that are 1 inch apart and about 2 inches from the hem. They’re going well. Oh, minor gripe: Fabric marking pens for making white marks on black fabric SUCK. By the time I got done drawing the lines down the length of the skirt (375″ worth), the lines at the beginning of the fabric had faded to the point I almost couldn’t see them.

At this point I need to finish the guards, pleat the skirt, attach skirt to doublet, add hook/eye to bottom corners of doublet, hem the skirt, add guards to sleeves, and bind the sleeve seam allowance. Then I’m done… with the Waffe. (wheee) Still need to complete the shirt (minor stuff) and make the pants. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get it all done though.

AUGUST 23, 2006

3 Days until Purg
I finished the guards, attached the skirt, adjusted the fit, and added a button (instead of hook/eye) to the bottom corner of the doublet. I also tweaked the pattern for the pants.

Minimum left to do: Hem shirt, open sleeves of shirt a little bit, wash shirt(to get rid of the blue fabric pen marks)(grrr). Make Pants. Hem Waffe. Finish last two button holes. At that point it’s wearable for Purg.

Additional to do: Bind seam allowance for waffe sleeves, applique the bottom of the waffe guards, add a guard to the waffe sleeves.


Everthing was wearable. He looked -fabulous-. Here are the pictures to prove it: 


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