16th Century

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.

Inspirational Pictures


– I’ve used the term Ärmelrock which translates as “sleeved dress”. I’m not 100% certain that this term would have been used in our period of study to refer to this specific type of dress, but I liked the term and I’m taunted by the convenience of having an exact name to refer to a style of dress.
– I’ve tried in my inspiration pictures to avoid the sin of mixing dress styles and locations. That is, I did not include pictures of the Saxony style dress or square necked closed front dress in these inspirations since this style is distinctly different from those. Although those may be contemporaries to this style of dress I don’t feel comfortable using them as a source of inspiration.
– To conserve fabric and because I don’t see a lot of pleats at the waist I’m going to use a gored skirt. This does lead to the interesting side effect of needing to fit the guards to a curve. I guess I’ll just have to figure that out.
– Katla would like a “strappy” sleeve. Although these dresses look like they usually have solid sleeves I did find one example (“Mascarade” watercolor in Inspirational Pictures) that shows a strappy sleeve.
– The sleeves are decorated with “hedgehogs”. “Hedgehog” is a term which I learned from Mari. I don’t think it’s an “official” term and I doubt it was used in our period of study. These cuts on the hedgehogs are unfinished. I tried finishing a test piece and it took a VERY long time to do it and I didn’t like how it looked so I decided to leave them unfinshed. As much as possible I’m keeping the cuts on grain. The wool is fairly fulled so it shouldn’t ravel much.
– After I’d made the bodice, the sleeves, and all the guards for his outfit I used all of the remaining fabric for the skirt. I took all of the remaining fabric, cut it into 4 equal width panels and then followed the cutting plan below to make the skirt panels. The panels are sewn together with french seams(1/4″ SA and then 1/2″ SA) with straight edge to straight edge on the center front seam, bias to bias on the center back seam and bias to straight on every other seam.
– At final fitting (a week before step down) we noticed that the outfits were a bit loose. Katla and Kolskegg admited that they had lost some weight. This meant her dress was not supportive and she did end up having to wear a bra under the dress. On the day of her stepping down Katla confided that she had lost a total of 40 lbs from the time of our first fitting to step down. Luckily although the outfit looks loose it doesn’t look bad.

Progress pictures

Todo List:

– (done) Drape the body portion to make a pattern.
– (done) Drape a fitted sleeve pattern.

– (done) Wash wool and linen.
– (done) Cut out wool outer fabric and linen lining for body of garment.
– (done) Sew together body portion along sides and sleeve cap with 1/2″ seam allowance. All seams are enclosed between the fashion fabric and the lining fabric.
– (done) Sew 1/4″ around the armseye, neck opening and front opening (flatlining) (makes the linen and the outer fabric act as one piece of fabric).
– (done) Cut out and slash guards.
– (done) Add backing to slashed guards.
– (done) Trim backing to slashed guards.
– (done) Attach the guards to the body of the garment.
– (done) Add lacing rings.

– (done) Figure out pattern for sleeve.
– (done) Cut out sleeves.
– (done) Sew sleeves together.
– (done) Attach the sleeve to the body of the garment.
– (done) Finish inside of sleeves.

– (done) Cut out skirt.
– (done) Sew skirt together.
– (done) Attach skirt to body of garment.
– (done) Finish skirt closure.
– (done) Hem skirt.


16th century German Ärmelrock http://textiletimetravels.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/armelrockfinal.pdf
1512 Blue German Dress http://amiesparrow.wordpress.com/dress-diaries-2/1512-blue-german-dress/
Whilja’s Corner: Slashing http://whiljascorner.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/making-slashes/
The German Renaissance of Genoveva: Gold Haube http://germanrenaissance.net/german-goldhaube-cap-of-silk-gold-and-pearls-pattern-instructions-documentation-and-notes/

2 thoughts on “Katla’s Ärmelrock (sleeved dress)

  1. Pingback: Five Things: Holidays and stuff « Results Typical

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