16th Century

Schamloten schaube for Helga

Helga has asked me to fit her and then construct a new German boy short coat for her modeled after a garment worn by his Grace Duke Hauoc.

I am by no means an expert in German or German clothing terms used in the middle ages. That said, as best I can tell this would be called a “schamloten schaube” (direct translation is either “Camelot coat” or “shameless coat” it could go either way). This differs from the period examples in that the back of the period examples were much wider and had pleats. Per Helga’s request, this garment will be more fitted.

Late German styled coat fit to slightly below waist (she’s high waisted and is more comfortable with it fitted to lower)
Short standing collar
Not too full
Red/black wool
Soft leather binding/piping on front, collar and wrist openings
Soft leather accents in sleeve, along front buttons and on collar.
sleeves tight to forearm
Sleeves just like exemplar
Top of sleeves use tapes to keep the sleeve length
Body and collar will be red wool bound/edged with black leather.
Sleeves will be red and black striped with leather accents.
Cuff will be red with binding/edging of black leather.
Accented variously with gold/black piping
Double Buttons down the front (need reinforcement behind buttons)(She’ll use a lace between the buttons if she wants to close it)
Will not have eyelets for pointing pants
Will not be machine washable (hand wash, vacuum or dry clean only)

– (done) Pattern doublet, collar and sleeves
– (done) Determine plan with binding/edging/piping

– (done) Cut out wool for body of the garment
– (done) Cut out linen for body of the garment

– (done) Cut out wool for collar
– (done) Cut out interlining for collar
– (done) Cut out 2 interlining pieces for back collar portion
– (done) Cut out linen lining for full collar

– (done) Sew the front collar pieces together and clip the seams. prick stitch the seams open.
– (done) baste the back collar interlining onto the back pieces at the seam allowance
– (done) Sew body back pieces together
– (done) prick stitch the center back seam open

– (done) Cut out back decorative black wool strip (FS1)
– (done) Attach piping to both sides of the back wool strip
– (done) Attach the wool strip (FS1) to the center back piece.

– (done) Cut two leather strips for the center front 3.25″ wide (FS2)
– (done) Attach piping to the CF FS2 leather strips
– (done) Stack the center front (wool (right side up), leather (FS2)(right side up), lining (right side down)) Stitch 1/2″ from edge
– (done) Fold all the seam allowances at the CF edge back and herringbone them down.
– (done) Stitch the piped edge of the FS2 leather down to the wool with a back stitch.
– (done) Attach body front pieces to the back. prick stitch the side seams open
– (done) Attach the collar to the garment (in retrospect, this would have been easier to do by hand.). prick stitch the seams open
– (done) Attach the garment shoulders(in retrospect, this would have been easier to do by hand). prick stitch the seams open
– (done) Hem the garment bottom. Fold the wool at the bottom of the garment into the garment and prick stitch it into place.

– (done) Cut leather strip for leather accent on collar. (FS3)
– (done) Pink the FS3 collar leather strips at the right intervals
– (done) Stack the collar (garment (right side up), folded leather strip(FS3) (right side out), lining (right side down)) Stitch 1/2″ from edge
– (done) Fold all the seam allowances at the top of the collar into the garment, clip it, and herringbone them down to the interlining.
– (done) Fold the lining into the garment and with thread which matches the outer fabric diagonal baste the collar lining it at the neckline. Take care that the basting stitches do not pierce to the outside of the wool. Trim the lining to 1/4″ below the neck.
– (done) Fold the edge of the lining and stitch it at the shoulder into the garment over top of the collar.

– (done) Determine plan for sleeves
– (done) Cut out the wool and linen for the sleeve cuffs.
– (done) Cut leather strip and pink it for leather accent on cuffs. (FS3)
– (done) Sew end of the cuff together including the leather accent.
– (done) Hand sew cuff closed.

– (done) Cut out little straps linen and wool.
– (done) Sew little straps together (14 black, 14 red) and flip them

– (done) Cut out big stripes of wool (6 red, 6 black).
– (done) Sew big stripes together.
– (done) Cover seam with singe fold bias tape.
– (done) Cut out 12 leather reinforcement circles (1″ diameter).
– (done) Slit the bottom of the big stripes and then trim the red to 2″ wide at bottom.
– (done) Sew leather reinforcement to the top of the slits.

– (done) Follow the plan and sew the whole sleeve together.
– (done) Attach the lining to the inside.

– (done) Attach sleeves to body
– (done) Attach lining to garment


Helga contacted me to ask if I would be available to make her a doublet. I agreed.

Helga, Hans, Jared and Dominique(?) stopped by to drop off boxes of wool and to chat briefly about the project.

The same crew stopped by again. We fed them dinner and I did a fitting for Helga. I’m going to make this up as a mock in some linen to try out the fit for Coronet this weekend.

Because it made me chuckle: I was skimming my “Drei Schnittbucher” looking for the “real” name for the thing I’m making for Helga.. Originally I thought it “wams” but that’s the doublet.. and in order to be a doublet it should have pants tied to it.. so I skimmed a few pages and figured it would be a “schaube” ie, German coat. Skimmed a few more pages and Drei Schnittbucher has “Schamloten schaube” which is listed as a short coat with functional (tight and usable) lower sleeves. BINGO.. that sounds the closest to the thing I’m making. So I wondered, what does “schamloten” translate as… Pop it into Google and then google translate.

Schamloten EITHER means “Camelot” OR “shameless”

I kind of think Helga will be tickled to call it her “shameless coat”

I spent a while cleaning up the pattern pieces from the draping and realized we forgot to mark the hemline. This is me, furiously facepalming.

Regardless the pattern pieces are looking pretty good and I just need to tackle the collar and sleeve and I’ll be golden.

I knew I wanted a collar on the schaube but I have only done a collar a few times before.. and it has never been the most successful thing I’ve done. It worked but I was kind of bullishly faking my way through it and mostly surprised it worked in the end. I mulled this over for a while and then remembered that the doublet demonstrated in “The Modern Maker” has a collar. Honestly this Schaube is cut very like a doublet.. and I can’t see any reason why I can’t use that pattern for this garment. When Helga was here I got her CWL measurements and I used those to measure out and add an integrated collar onto the back piece of the pattern and then used the collar pattern posted here to draft the rest of the collar. Considering that the body portion was draped the collar made using Helga’s measurements almost exactly fit the neckline on the mockup.

I will copy these new pattern pieces and make a new mockup which we’ll try on her this weekend.

The fitting was damned sexy. The collar is fabulous. This is a go as soon as I finish a few other “have-tos” on my project list. ETA is February.

“Have-tos” are all now dealt with. On with the show.

I reviewed the exemplars to confirm the details. I identified three different spots with binding/edging/piping that I’ll need to figure out. It’s like doing origami in your head. Normally I can do it but this time I am suddenly inspired to make examples of my three different scenarios. After a bit of experimenting I came up with the following.

Fiddly Scenario one(FS1): Black back stripe with piping
After the body of the garment is sewn together a black stripe will be laid down over the center back seam. I plan to run some gold/black piping along the edges of the black stripe. Challenge #1: I’ve never used piping before. This should be fun. I’ll run the black stripe (and the piping) all the way up to the top of the collar and all the way down to the hem of the garment.

This strip doesn’t add or remove anything from the actual garment. It’s strictly surface decoration.

Method: Cut a strip of black wool 5″ wide. Attach piping to both long edges of the black wool strip. In testing I found out that there does seem to be a right and a wrong side up when the piping is attached. When I do the real thing I’ll need to be careful to make sure I attach the piping the right way. To be fair the “wrong” side up is pretty nice. They’re just different and I’d prefer it all looks the same.

Fiddly Scenario two(FS2): front opening/button reinforcement
This is the hard one. The one I’m not completely sure how to do. To be honest, since it’s hard I wanted to call it “scenario three” and leave the hard one for last.. but in kicking this around in my head I’ve figured out that I have to finish this one before the (much easier) next one when putting the garment together. It’s just the way the edges fold together.

At each side of the center front I want a wider strip of leather. Challenge #2: I’ve never worked with leather before. This should be fun. This strip won’t be slashed but I do want to hide all the raw edges. It will (eventually) have buttons sewn onto it (once we find some decent buttons to use). Next to the wide leather strip I’ll attach the same gold/black piping that I’m using on the edges of the back stripe. This will run from the hem of the garment up to the collar but not onto the collar.

Method: For each side, cut a strip of leather 3.25″ wide by the length of the front of the garment. Attach gold/black piping to one edge of the leather strip. Attach the other edge of the leather strip to the center front of the garment. By hand, attach the piped edge of the leather strip to the body of the garment.

Fiddly Scenario three(FS3): Collar/wrist with leather piping/accent
Not sure of my words here. I want to add a leather accent/reinforcement on the cuff edge and the edge of the collar. Piping has a cord in the middle. I’m not planning to add a cord to the middle of the leather. So this isn’t piping, but I’m not really certain what it’s supposed to be called. Anyway. Leather strip folded on itself, sliced, attached right at the edge of the garment between the outer and inner fabric. I think the slices will open/close in an interesting manner as the strip goes around the edge.

Method: Cut a strip of leather 1.75″ wide. Cut slits in the leather 0.75″ apart 0.75″ long in the middle. Fold the leather over on itself and line up the raw edges with the edge of the collar/cuff. Stitch the leather to the wool. Fold so that the seam allowance of the leather points into the garment. prick stitch the leather seam allowance into place on the wool. Lay the lining over the edge of the leather and stitch it in place.

I was right. Scenario two is the much harder one.

Last night I banged out Scenario one and Scenario three. Boom! One and done. I left scenario two for tonight. So far I’ve made three attempts at it and I think I have a way to do it.. it’s not easy and it seems that it has the most hand sewing. I am REALLY not looking forward to hand sewing a bunch of leather. Wheee! Oh hey! Look at that.. sitting here mulling over the vastly unsavory prospect of having to somehow hand sew the lining into place through leather and I just figured out a less hand-sew-y way to do this. I guess I’ll make a forth attempt.

Yup, forth time’s the charm.

Ok, cut a leather strip 3.25″ wide. Attach gold/black piping to one edge. Line up the front edge of the garment, and stack fabric wool (right side up), leather (right side up), lining (right side down). Sew through all 3 layers. Fold the wool and leather to the inside. Use the herringbone stitch through the seam allowance of the lining and the wool to hold the leather and wool fold in place. Hand stitch the other edge down.

Fri 2/23/2018
And we’re off.

I’m actually a bit hung up trying to figure out the sleeves. Isn’t that always the way? Regardless, since the sleeves get attached nearly last I figured I could table the discussion and start working on the body of the garment first. Helga says she can get one of the exemplar’s and lend it to me to look at the sleeves. If so that would significantly simplify figuring out the sleeves. In general I know what I need to do for the sleeves.. and it’s not like there’s a right or wrong way to do it.. but since she wants the sleeves to be like the exemplars I’d really like to have a closer look at one of them.

Sat 2/24/2018
Today I cut out the garment (wool, linen and interlining) except for the sleeves. I stitched the front collars together and prick stitched the seam open. I basted the interlining into the back piece at the collar and then stitched the back pieces together.

Sun 2/25/2018
Prick stitched the center back seam open.

Mon 2/26/2018
Added piping to center back black stripe and then hand stitched the back black stripe down with a backstitch.

Tue 2/27/2018
Made up the CF leather/piping for both sides. Attached it to the front sides and started herringbone to hold down the seam allowance on that side.

Finished the herringbone and did the backstitch to hold down the other edge of the leather strip.

I sewed up the sides, added the collars and sewed up the shoulders. Then I tried it on. I’m bigger in the hips/thighs/boobs than Helga but I can still get this on and model it. Damn. This is one hot, sexy coat. Shameless. Utterly, unrepentantly, shameless. I love it.

Okay okay. So I machine sewed the sides, collar and connecting the shoulders. It worked but it was difficult. I think it would work much better to hand sew these seams. On the machine the layers pulled funny making it difficult to keep both the top and bottom layer of fabric at 1/2″ seam allowance. Honestly they’re all of 10 inches long at most. It would be best to hand sew them next time.

Sat 3/3/2018
I prick stitched all the seams on the wool open. Stitched the collar lining together and prick stitched that open. Cut the collar leather and pinked it. Sewed the leather and the lining onto the end of the collar.

Then I really looked at the collar and realized I had not eased it enough into to body of the garment well enough and it was not properly lining up with the front edge of the garment. So.. 3 steps backwards. Removed the leather/lining from the collar, removed part of the collar from the garment. Stretched the collar to fit it better to the body of the garment and then re-sewed that by hand. Need to re-prick stitch the collar seams. *sigh*

I also need to try this on again and decide if I want to cut the collar down a little bit. It seems especially high even after the 1/2″ SA is taken off the top. Especially when I consider that it will have an added leather accent on top of the very high collar.

Note to self, next time I sew with leather I need to get a full box of little bitty binder clips. Pinning leather to fabric doesn’t really work and only having 7 binder clips in the whole house is.. inconvenient.

Re-prick stitched the collar seams. Hemmed the red portions of the bottom of the garment. I still need to do the black.
I tired it on again and I’m convinced the collar is too tall. If it wasn’t getting a leather accent it might be ok.. but the leather adds about 1/4″ above the level of the collar and I think that’s just going to be uncomfortable. I also think I’ll round the front corner of the collar. That should make it easier to attach the leather accent piece.

Waiting for Helga to get the example schaub to me. I will use the example to gauge the collar height and to work out the exact pattern for the sleeves.

I’m starting to get nervous about the timeline on this. The deadline for this is Beltane. I’d like to have it done way before that. I’m still waiting on Helga to send me the sample jacket so I can use that to work out some of the details but I’ve decided to start working on the pieces that I can. To that end I cut out the sleeve cuffs outer fabric, lining fabric and leather accent. Sewed each layer into a tube and prick stitched the seams open. Then I tried to line up the inner/outer/accent layers to sew them together. After struggling with it for a while I ripped out all the stitching I’d done tonight and laid the layers out flat and sewed them together that way. This went together much more evenly. It should be relatively easy to sew these into a tube and then finish it by hand. Next up strappy bits.

Helga sent the sample jacket home with my husband. I’ve spent a bit examining it. This is a fabulous thing.

I finally finished prick stitching the black on the hem and can call the wool part of the hem done. I measured the sample coat and that collar is just a high as this one so I’ll go with the current size. So I attached the leather accent to the wool and lining.

Using herringbone stitch on the collar edge seam allowance in the collar to hold it down. Use a big basting stitch to hold the collar lining down.

I finally sat down and worked out the sleeve plan. Then almost immediately I realized I don’t have enough wool to follow the exact plan and modified the plan. The new plan is only slightly different from the old plan. Now to make it so.

I finish attaching the lining at the shoulders. Cut out all of the sleeve bits. Started sewing the little straps. I could have done these as one long tube.. but that would have required me to have more contiguous fabric than I had.. and it would have actually been harder to turn than these little straps. So I guess it’s a good thing.

Finished sewing the little straps and ironed all of them. Sewed up one of the upper sleeves and covered all of the seams with double wide bias tape. Started cutting out leather reinforcement circles. I’ll be using my teaspoon measuring spoon as a template for the leather reinforcement circles. They’re about 1″ diameter and will be attached at the top of the splits on the upper sleeve to prevent it from ripping further into the sleeve (this was on the original and it’s INGENIOUS!).

Sewed up the other upper sleeve and covered all the seams with bias tape. Finished cutting out the leather reinforcement circles. Attached these to all the splits in the sleeves.

adjusted the split on the sleeves so that the red ends up at 2″ wide at the bottom. Made up the rumpled leather bit at the elbow. Finished one sleeves top to bottom. The other sleeve is at 50%.

I finished all the stitching on the second sleeve.

Attached the sleeves to the body and finished off the lining.
Done is beautiful.

I delivered the coat to Helga on Saturday morning. She did not wear it that weekend so I didn’t get any pictures of her in it. On Sunday morning she was offered admittance to the Order of the Chivalry. She decided to wear this at her vigil. I’ll plan to post the diary about this after I get pictures of her wearing it.


Barich, Katherine, and Marion McNealy. Drei schnittbucher: three Austrian master tailor books of the 16th century, 2015. Print.
Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol. 1: Men’s Doublets. Charleston SC: Printed by creativespace.com, 2014. Print.

Binge list

When I sew I tend to have something on TV in the background. I’ve decided it amuses me to record what I watched with the item.

Me before you – Touching, made me cry.
Battlestar Gallactica Season 4 – Finally finished this off. Damnit, I think I need to re-watch it from the beginning. I’m still a bit puzzled about what happened on Earth, Caprica, New Caprica, New Earth(?) and the timelines. Still.. good background show.
Little Hours – Raunchy good fun riff on Boccaccio’s Decameron
Nicholas Nickleby – Ugh.. ok.. nice costumes.. but Charles Dickens is such a mood kill with all the abuse and neglect topics.
Star Trek Discovery – Nice sci-fi. I’ll be interested in seeing where the series goes in season 2.
Terminator Salvation – Why? Why do I need to be a completionist?
Dark Matter Seasons 1-2-3 – Or “Firefly season 2-3-4” as I like to imagine.

2 thoughts on “Schamloten schaube for Helga

  1. I love this dress diary outline, discussing and telling everything that happened, both good and bad, as your notes to yourself.
    And I love the addition of the movie list!

    1. Thanks! The blog for me is 50% sharing what I’ve done and 50% reminding me what I did in 2-3 years when I try to do it again 🙂

      Everything doesn’t always go right.. The important part is working around adversity (such that most people won’t even notice the issue) and recovering from that. AND documenting it so that next time you don’t make the same mistake again.

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