Red Wool Antwerpen Jacket

Red wool antwerpen jacket started March 6, 2018. Not yet finished.

“My hand to God, I will never be cold again.” – Me at my last camping event (and frankly a bunch before that but this time I really mean it).

So ok. I camp. I get cold. It’s a normal consequence of staying up late in the night when it drops down the 40s and 50s F. The answer to this is obvious: put something else on. For a few events I wore my brown gown from my Laureling. This was made of two layers of velvet and could be put on a lot like a coat (hook and eye down the front). The good is it (for the most part) kept me warm, the bad is it weight forty million pounds and took up a whole box all on its own schlepping it to and from the event. It was not convenient to take it to events. That and it had a very wide open, very deep neckline which led to very cold shoulders and tatas. So okay. Project “Never be cold again” went back to the drawing board with new parameters.

I want something that will keep me warm, take up less space than the brown gown, be high necked, close completely, ideally with a collar. So of course, I started a pin board and pinned every late period picture of a woman’s waistcoat. After a very short while I noticed that a lot of these were working class women from the Antwerp market. I pulled these out onto their own collection and started digging into the details.

I’ve never really studied this period. It just wasn’t on my radar. A while back a friend suggested “let’s do a farmer’s market” at Golden Beltane (when my Laureling happened) and sadly I was way too busy (and stressed out) with moving and my preparations for my ceremony to participate. Then, recently, that same friend suggested “Let’s do a dairy market”(FB event) and it’s scheduled to happen at this year’s Beltane (May 2018). So there you go. More reasons to study this style. These have the added bonus that the Antwerpen dresses with very wide front openings that are widely laced look like they’d be very forgiving of weight fluctuations (like if you lost 65 lbs in a year). The dress is on my todo list. The jacket is at the top.

Lately I’ve been working on a German boy coat for Helga. It turns out the pattern for that and the pattern for this are very similar. I was able to add some length to the pattern (taking it from modern waist length down to hip length) and minorly tweak the collar to be a bit shorter to end up with a good version to use. Note that the collar pattern was totally cribbed off of the collar in The Modern Maker vol 1.

I dug some red wool out of my stash. It’s a light weight (probably gabardine) wool that previously I’d used to make a half-circle cloak and a hood.
In thinking about this I’ve decided to interline the body. Since the wool is so light I was worried it wouldn’t have enough body to be a good jacket. That and it seems that interlining (and then later lining) this will make it that much warmer. I’m using some gold 4C22 (7.1 oz linen) from which I had in my stash.
Because I’m getting the “real” lining later, after the first wearing of this, I plan to use the same wool to line the collar, cuff and front edge so it will be immediately wearable.

The “real” lining will be some heavy silk I bought from a friend. I’ll be picking the silk up at March Crown and hope it will work as a lining for this. So since my first wearing of this is planned for March Crown I’ll plan initially to wear this with no lining (except for the front edge, collar and cuffs) and then fully line it later. [note: after I got the silk I decided it was too nice to be a simple lining so instead I’m going to use some “sand” colored medium linen from

Joachim Wtewael -“The fruit and vegetable seller” 1618
Although I can’t see what was used to close these jackets in the pictures I suspect they were pinned closed. I’d rather not chance scratching my friends/family so I’m going to add tiny hidden hook/eye instead.

While reviewing pictures looking or “how is the end of the sleeve cuff finished” I visited this picture (detail to right) which was painted by Joachim Wtewael at around 1618. It’s a bit post period.. but I’ll take it. This Joachim at least had the decency to paint something along the front of the seller’s jacket that looks close enough to hook and eye for me to take it and run with it. Added bonus, it looks like the sleeves might close the same way. So hook and eye to close.. but open them if you want to roll the sleeves up. I will totally take it.

I’m actually a little bit bugged that I can’t figure out the proper Dutch name for this. I assume there is something, even if it’s a word that just means “jacket” or “waistcoat”. I’ll keep looking.

I know that later garments like this are made with inserted gores. Looking at the images I’m not seeing those seam lines. That doesn’t mean they’re not there.. but I don’t see them. I decided to simplify the construction of this and make this using solid panels by simply flaring the bottom edge (instead of using inserted gores).

Inspirational Images

Primarily Joachim Beuckelaer. Also Pieter Aertsen, Jan Van Horst, Huybrecht Beuckelaer and Joachim Wtewael.

Red Wool Antwerpen Jacket Todo:

– (done) Figure out body pattern
– (done) Figure out sleeve pattern
– (done) Cut out wool
– (done) Cut out interlining.
– (done) baste body and collar interlining to wool and iron flat.
– (done) Sew collar pieces together and prick stitch open.
– (done) Sew center back seam.
– (done) Sew collars to front pieces.
– (done) Sew side seams.
– (done) prick stitch everything open.
– (done) Sew shoulder seams and prick stitch open.
– (done) Fold collar edge, front edge and hem seam allowance to the interior and herringbone it down.
– (done) Cut out collar lining in wool.
– (done) Line collar. Herring bone the raw edge down.
– (done) baste sleeve interlining to wool and iron flat.
– (done) Sew sleeve seams. Stop 6-7 inches short of the wrist.
– (done) prick stitch sleeve seams open.
– (done) Cut sleeve cuff wool.
– (done) Add wool to cuff using a backstitch.
– (done) prick stitch cuff seam allowances into sleeve.
– (done) Herringbone the wool cuff inside the sleeve.
– (done) Finish the edges of the cuff with slip stitch.
– (done) Attach sleeve to body.
– (done) prick stitch armseye seams open.
– (done) Add hook/eye on sleeve cuff
[Wear the jacket for the first time March Crown 3/24/2018. I closed it with pins down the front.]
– (done) Cut out front edge facing in wool.
– (done) Mark 1/2″ on the facing for the front edge. Fold that under and then attach the facing to the front edge with a slip stitch.
– (done) Herringbone the raw edge of the front wool facing down.
– (in process) Add hook/eye on front edge
– Line with silk linen.

Progress pictures:


Red wool from stash (no idea when I bought it or for how much)(Note: I found a picture from 2002 which used the same red wool.. so it was well aged in the stash)
Gold cotton canvas for Interlining body from stash
Hook/eyes from stash(again, no idea)
100% silk taffeta, heavy weight, maroon & pale gold shot. 3 yards, 54″ wide. $30
Sand IL19 Linen from stash

Lessons learned:

– I think this is the first time I’ve done a garment with an interlining. Okay, maybe the second. But this is the first time I’ve had a lot of success with an interlining. That said.. lesson learned, when you cut out the interlining piece, use the outer fabric you’ve already cut out as the pattern. This will result in an interlining that is the same size as the outer fabric including any subtle stretch that got added when the exterior fabric was cut out. It will also end up with an interlining that is subtly bigger than the outer fabric so that when the outer fabric is basted onto the interlining it will apply a bit of stretch to the outer fabric. When I cut out the interlining for the sleeves I used the pattern piece instead of the already-cut wool and the interlining was slightly different from the wool.. making it more difficult to get them to play nice together.
– Collars are still the devil. Ok.. maybe just the collar lining. I need to spend more time doing these to get better at this. I think I massaged it to work.. but it was not simple and not painless.

What others have done:

Morgan Donner: The Jacket Problem and Wool Jacket
Drea Leeds: Working Womens’ Dress in 16th Century Flanders
Wasted Weeds: Late Period Blue Wool Waistcoat/Jacket
Annika Madejska of Textile Time Travels The Frauenwams from Lübeck: A 16th century working waistcoat for a Master’s widow


Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol. 1: Men’s Doublets. Charleston SC: Printed by, 2014. Print.
Leed, Drea. The Well Dress’d Peasant: 16th Century Flemish Workingwomen’s Clothing. Trinidad CO: Costume & Dressmaker Press, 2000. PDF.
Sturtewagen, Isis. “All together respectable dressed: Fashion and clothing in Bruges during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries”. Antwerp Belgium: Printed by University of Antwerp, 2016. PDF.

Hook and eye:

4 thoughts on “Red Wool Antwerpen Jacket

  1. I am wondering if jackets were called bodices with a sleeve as a distinction, but I’m not 100% sure. An inventory item from the 1578 translation I did says “- een graue lijfgen mit mouwen mit 3 boorden om den hals (a sad sheep’s wool colored bodice with sleeves with 3 rows of trim around the neck) ; ” but it does not designate a sleeve length. Hope that helps.

    1. Maybe. It just feels off. I guess it’s a modern mentality. I want things to have distinct names. At least in my view a “bodice” and a “jacket” are different but I suppose they’re essentially doing the same thing.

      Thanks for the comment!

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