German Tellerbarret Make-and-Take Class This Saturday, November 2 at RUM

This Saturday I’ll be teaching my German Tellerbarret Make-and-Take Class at RUM (Royal University of the Midrealm) from 11-1 pm. This year, Royal University of the Midrealm is located at Cleveland Central Catholic High School and St. Stanislaus Church Social Hall, 6550 Baxter Ave., Cleveland, OH 44105 — there is a $12 entry fee ($17 for non-members). If you’re not… (more…)

Honeycomb Pleatwork Apron Tutorial Video

As I promised my students at Coronation and the folks on the German Renaissance Facebook page, I’ve made a short video of how to make do simple honeycomb pleatwork. This is made from the video I took while I was making the white apron with the 1″ pleats, so it’s quite easy and I was able to complete it in… (more…)

Mary of Hapsburg’s Hemd: Chemise Pleatwork and Pattern Darning Notes

One of the few extant pieces of early 16th century female garb (1521) remaining today is Mary of Hapsburg’s wedding dress. Mary was the granddaughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian. The gown and chemise are housed in the Hungarian National Museum. The hemd (chemise) may or may not go with the gown (according to museum docents), but it is believed… (more…)

How to Apply Pearls and Beads in Smooth Lines

German women in the 16th century were partial to putting pearls on their garments and accessories. My research indicates that this has a lot to do with the fact that pearl-producing mussels (pearlenmuschel) flourished in the Saxon streams and rivers of Germany in the 16th century5. Unio margaritfera is the principal pearl-bearing mussel in this part of the world. The… (more…)

German Landsknecht Beret (a.k.a. The Starfish Hat)

Of the many hats worn by Germans in the 16th century, the beret — often called the Starfish hat by enthusiasts — is one of the more iconic. It’s nickname comes from the broad loops that are arrayed around the hat like, well, a starfish I suppose. Another version of the beret, known as the schlappe, has ear flaps as… (more…)

Honeycomb Pleatwork Apron Giveaway!

It’s my birthday! To celebrate, I am giving away a honeycomb pleatwork linen apron, in your choice of colors (white, gold, red, etc.) and your choice of sizes. I’ll make it just for you and ship it to you anywhere in the world. Anyone can enter. To be in the running, go to the GermanRenaissance page on Facebook and comment… (more…)

Cranach Saxon Court Gown: Pattern, Materials, and Construction Notes

The lovely 16th century Saxon court gowns, made popular by Lucas Cranach, his son, and his workshop, are a study in feminine charms. They are curvy and luxurious, emphasizing the swell of the breasts, flattening the midriff, and creating gracious, flowing lines to the ground. The Saxon court gown is also one of the more complicated German styles to create,… (more…)

A Place for Conversation about German Renaissance Garb and Accessories

I keep seeing requests to “be a part of the conversation” so I’ve created a new page on Facebook just for this site, its followers, and fans of German Ren at This Facebook page is not just for me to post my articles and photos; it’s a place where we can all talk about creating, and re-creating, the German… (more…)

Saxon Gown Brustfleck: Study Guide and Construction Notes

German Saxon court gowns of the first half of the 16th century, made famous by painter Lucas Cranach’s ladies, have one particularly defining feature: a plastron (brustfleck) with a decorative band at the top and a laced-over bottom (usually white, but not always). I’ve been studying this style for more than a year, trying to work out the construction. After… (more…)

German Ren Dress Guards: Cut Straight or Cut to Shape?

I get asked about the guards on German dresses with a fair amount of regularity. I distinctly remember the good gentle at Gulf Wars who saw me from a distance in a German dress with a double guards at the bottom and yelled out, “Love your dress! How did you do your guards?” First, what are guards? Guards are the… (more…)