Category Archives: Construction

Make Your Own Custom-Sized Garment Bag with All Natural Materials (with Optional Carrying Strap and Pockets for ID and Accessories)

With all the travel I’ve been doing lately, I need reliable garment bags that protect the clothing I make. After much research into the features I want (breathable fabric, long length, fold-over design with shoulder strap) and those I do not want (zippers and obviously modern touches), I’ve developed a pattern. If you’d like to make your own garment bag,… (more…)

Rolled Pleats Photo Tutorial and Pleat Spacing Calculator

Rolled pleats are a technique for neatly gathering a large amount of fabric into a small area to create long, tubular pleats from the pleated point to the end of the fabric. I like to use rolled pleats on my German gowns (skirt) because they produce the right look. Sadly, I cannot find any evidence that this type of pleating… (more…)

German Gown Pattern. Assembly Notes, and Instructions (Dorothea Meyer’s Gown)

I’ve had several people ask for the pattern for my dark red German goldwork gown, which is based off Dorothea Kannengiesser Meyer’s gown as painted by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1516. To make a basic version of this gown without any fancy embroidery, you’ll need the following: 6.5 yards of outer material, such as wool (60″ wide) 1 yard… (more…)

Progress on the Schaube/Rocks (German Men’s Coat) – The Beauty of a Good Pattern

Sometimes, when things come together, it’s just beautiful! Now that I have the actual pattern and method of construction for the schaube, and I know how it all fits together, I’ve been assembling the pieces. What was a jumble of weird shapes that didn’t work together is now a very well-designed coat. A thing of beauty! And I love that… (more…)

German 16th Century Men’s Rocks/Schaub (Dress Coat/Cloak) – Notes on Construction

Last summer I came across a photo of Prince Elector Moritz of Saxony’s Parade Cloak, which is an extant mid-16th century garment lovingly preserved and restored. Here’s a photo of it: Sadly, this was the largest photo I could find. I found a closeup of the collar area at the Staatliche Kuntsammlungen Dresden museum, which had it on display in… (more…)

German Woolen Hosen of the 16th Century: Source Images and Pattern Ideas

Among the many other bits of attire appropriate to a German male of the 16th century you’ll find a good pair of woolen hosen (pants). I’ve actually been trying to make a pair of good hosen since April. My first pair, which were based off a Reconstructing History pattern and “draped” to my guy’s leg, looked “ok” but promptly ripped… (more…)

Draping a Lederwams: Step-by-step photos of draping and pattern drafting a leather vest (ledergoller)

It’s time to pattern a Lederwams (German leather vest) by draping it on a real person! My son gets to be my guinea pig because I want to make him one and because he’s available! (Note: I don’t recommend you use a young child unless you have no other choice — kids don’t like to stand still!) So what is… (more…)

Lederwams/Leder Goller: The Leather Vest/Jerkin/Doublet Jacket of Coolness

A Lederwams or Leder Goller (leather vest) is a quintessential item for a Landsknecht (German mercenary soldier), judging by how often I see men wearing them in woodcuts. And they look pretty cool, I must admit. I mean, come on … it’s a leather jacket! With slashes! Lederwams seem to exist to provide some protection to the fighter, although I… (more…)

Honeycomb Pleatwork Collared Smock: Simple, Easy Pleatwork

Yesterday I discussed how I constructed my favorite high-collared smock which I wore through most of Pennsic. Today I will explain how I finished the collar with honeycomb pleatwork (smocking). (For those looking to make the honeycomb pleatwork apron, check the Patterns page for the instructions!) Pleatwork is a very common method of gathering, sizing, and embellishing cloth in 16th… (more…)

My Favorite Pennsic Smock: Pattern For a High-Collared Unterhemd with Honeycomb Pleatwork

For Pennsic this year I packed seven smocks for myself — some call them chemises or white linen underdresses, the German might say unterhemd (underdress) or Wäsche (the wash). My smocks are in a variety of styles and weights of linen, all worn before with success and all in good repair. Did I wear all seven over the course of… (more…)