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My friend Renika has made an awsome dress, and one of a kind that I've been coveting for a while, Now she's graciously agreed to help me get mine going, i.e. kick my butt in gear. I need/want a new dress after spending most of my spare time on sewing for the man in my life : ) After having made him a complete viking outfit, and summer wear to survive a week long event: 4 shirts, 3 pants and a bunch of braies I deserve to make myself something new, don't I?

So here are an image of what I'm going for:
Nuremberg virgin in dance dress by Durer

Pleated front panels

Getting started with the pleating of the panels. The heavy wool backing has been marked for the strings to be sewn in, and awaits basting to the front panel piece.

I'm alive!!

I have not disappeared...just a lot has been going on since my last post. A short summary:
Got into a relationship, found lumps wich turned out to be benign but still needed major surgery, then it has been a slow return to normal life and recover from what the myoma had done to my body and mind. Now I'm back on track and thought it just might be time to resurrect my blog. I love making stuff, and I also like to share my experiences into recreating historical garb.

My current project is a housebook dress, just got started on the first pleated pieces, and the plan is to photograph and describe what I do, my mistakes and all ; )

Knock on wood?


I love flea markets, yard sales, antique and kurio shops. Every summer I spend a lot of days driving around the island with my mother and checking out whats on offer. Close to our village there's one that I've found lots of good stuff at during the past years. Today I found something I've been wishing for, considering trying to make or get someone to make for me: A wooden head for hat or wig making. I've seen ones to buy but they tend to cost more than I'd want to spend. Now I found one:

I paid 100 SEK for it! (I've seen them on the web for $150) I just need to glue the top back on since the former owner has sawn it off and hollowed it out a bit. I also want to remove the sad face....

The greatest thing is the head is actually in mu size!!! I've got a good size head and rarely can by hats because they're always to small. This block head is a size 60 - me happy!!

A slashed hat

This hat I made to be worn sort of crashlanding on top of my Wulsthaube and to sport a lot of feathers. It was my first adventure into german 16th century hats other than the Wulsthaube.


This is how I made it:

First I made a mockup in a stiff cotton fabric similar to those Indian beadspreads. The first thing to get right was the top part: How big a square would I need. Then it was the hole for the head. After a few trial and errors I came up with a pattern that was likely to give me the look I wanted. This is what I came up with:



  • First cut two squares 33by 33 cm (add seam allowance) in two different colors. Mine are black and burgundy.
  • The black square will be the outer layer and in this I cut a hole to fit my head (17 cm diameter). Then I proceeded to make the slashing. This is what the black piece looked like after I hemmed the slashes:

  • Then put your two squares together, right sides facing and sew them together all the way round. Turn and press.
  • Fold each corner towards the middle so that they all meet and stitch them down.
  • The top’s done, now onto the brim.
  • With a little experimentation I made squares 16 by 8 cm. One black and one burgundy for each of the “flaps” for the brim. I needed 11 to go around the hole.
  • Sew two squares together, one of each color, along the long sides. Turn and press. When all are done pin them to the edge of the hole and secure them by sewing
  • Cut a long strip to cover the edge of the hole. Mine was ca 5 cm by 63 cm. line the edge of the hole with this. Add ties if needed and you’re done!

And of course lots of feathers:

The Big Floppy Hat


The way I made these bits were pretty much identical to how I made Pattern A and Pattern E. Big pieces of paper or cardbord to get the right size for the look I was going for. The Hat is made in 8 parts instead of 4. the reason is that 4 gives me a square top and I wanted a more rounded outline, hence 8. Then I proceeded the same way as I did when making Pattern piece A.

On to making the hat:


  • Cut 8 pieces of D and 4 pieces of F, remember to add seam allowance!
  • Sew the four D pieces together along the sides. Fell the seams. This is the top part of the floppy hat. Now onto the brim:
  • You need some sort of stiffener to insert into the brim. A straw hat would be ideal. Reading about other peoples efforts here are some other options; Cardboard (don’t like water), Parchment (period and expensive), Plastic sheeting (non period but weather proof), placemats, starched fabric. A straw hat and cut away the top will also work. Depending on the stiffness of your fabric there are the possibility that vlieseline might work for you. You can also sew a piece of milliners wire into the edge to stiffen it. My options were limited at the time so as this was mostly intended as an experiment I landed on the option of two plastic placemats. I cut out the brim in two pieces – pattern F. I proceeded to cut out the fabric, 4 pieces with seam allowance added.
  • Put 2 pieces together with right sides facing each other. Sew along the ends and the outer edge. Trim the allowances and corners and turn. I put some decorative stitching close to the edge.
  • Insert the stiffener and secure it by putting a seam along the inner edge. If you don’t mind itchy wool on your forehead you may turn in the edges and sew it shut that way instead.
  • Make the second half of the brim in the same manner.

The brim beeing made, and I've got help...sort of...

  • Put the two halves together with an overlap. Try it on and adjust it to fit your head.
  • Sew the two halves together along the inner edge where they overlap and along the edges about 4 cm on both sides.
  • Pin the top of the hat to the brim, if the top is slightly large you can just make pleats evenly to adjust the fit. Sew the parts together.
  • I decided to put a few stitches from the inside of the hat securing it to the brim about 8 cm from the inner edge so it wouldn’t flop around in the wind, since my fabric isn’t that heavy.
  • When this is being written I still haven’t gotten around to lining the inner edge. This is still to be done with something soft, either silk or velvet. I’ll get a strip roughly the length around my head , ca 65 cm with added seam allowance which I’ll fold and tack down then securely sew into place. I will also be adding ties so I can secure it to my head. Since I often visit a certain windy island…


The “Schlappe”

This is a type of headwear I've so far only seen worn by men, if anyone out there has proof for this beeing worn by women in period please share!

To make a pattern was a bit more tricky: this is what I came up with:


 and of course, some other little bits that are square.

I had a pattern for a scullcap made from 6 pieces. I wanted 4 so I quickly made a mockup from the old pattern and cut it into 4 pieces. Traced one and made another mockup. It fit just right so then I added the strips at the bottom edge. Mine are 7.5 cm long. The Earflaps I also experemented a bit. It's great to have those boxes of toile fabrics (old sheets and bedspreads and leftovers that really cant be used for anything else). Trial and error is so much easier on the mind if the fabric's inexpensive. My earflaps just barely meet underneath the chin when tied together. My earflap turned out to be 17 cm long. The square pieces were just trial and error as I went a long.

So this is how I made it:

  • Cut two of B1-B2 pattern piece. Flip pattern piece B2 over for the second piece which will create a left side and a right side. Cut out the linings for the earflaps (B3) in a nice contrasting colour. Cut a strip of fabric 38 cm long and 8 cm wide and another 20 cm long and 12 cm wide. (B4 and B5)
  • Pin and sew the four pieces together. Alternating the pieces B1 and B2. Make sure that the Earflaps end up where you want them!
  • The earflaps: Pin the lining right sides facing each other. Sew as close to the edge as you can. Trim the edges and turn. Press the flaps flat. You now have something looking like this:

  • Take the longer of the two strips (B4) Start pinning the slashed edges to the strip. Make sure they are pinned as close together as you can without letting them overlap. Stitch them all together and back to the ironing board! Press and fold the strip so it looks like a brim. Sew the edges together on the wrong side ( the side that goes on the inside of the cap). Pin the ends into each earflap. Do the same with the neckslashes. As you’ll notice I’ve made the back strip wider. This is to make it fit better. When both front and back are pinned to the earflaps:
  • Put a stitch in along the inner edge at each slit. This makes the strips/slashes bulge nicely on the outside and the brim to stay put.
  • Try it on and adjust the fit by angling the back strip, depending on the shape of your head you may want to adjust the front strip as well. I had a steeper angle on the back and none on the front one. Use chalk to mark the edge. Cut away the excess fabric and fold in the seam allowance and sew it shut.
  • Put ties at the end of each earflap.
  • Done!
This is my first "Schlappe"

In trying it out I thought I needed to move the earflaps forwards wich I've since adjusted accordingly so the pattern you've got above is the new and improved one!

Forgot your hat? Make a new one!

The Pillowcase Hat

This is the most basic of all the hats. Pattern's dead easy, just one big square, the only finicky stage is when you fit it aroud your head but otherwise i'ts just straight lines and not that many of them to make this type of hat:



  • Cut two pieces 35cm X 70cm. Put the right sides towards each other.
  • Sew along the edge with your usual seam allowance. Leave an opening so you can turn it inside out. Trim the corners and turn. You may want to iron it flat depending on the fabric. Fold it in half.
  • Here comes the trickiest part of the construction, and the hardest to describe in writing: You are now going to prepare the hat for the side seams. What you need to figure out is how high your brim is going to be. I folded mine so it’s 14cm high. Put a pin as a marker on all side edges. That will mark the bottom edge (the fold) of the hat. If you’d sew it together along the sides it’d be way to large and if you look closely at the pictures the brim looks likes it overlaps. So adjust the size of the hat by overlapping on both sides. I chose to let the front piece overlap on both sides. Pin it along the edge both on the inside and outside. Sew it together both on the inside and the outside with as invisible stitches as you can manage. Fold the brim into position and continue to stitch the brims together about 4-5 cm. This will help the brim to stay up and not flop down even without some nice pin to adorn the hat.
  • The hat is ready to add the bling!

I think it looks a lot like this one too:

  • If you’re working in heavy felted wool you can just make a cut midway on the brim and tie it together and get a brim in 4 parts or cut more as shown below:


  • Cut the pattern piece E in half and make it in 4 parts instead of 2 to get an overlapping effect

  • Put an interlining in a contrasting color and make slashes to make it more “landsknechty”. Do make the slashing before you sew all the pieces together!

  • There’s a rather odd looking variant that has a brim that doesn’t come all the way around: The front part is missing and to keep the brim standing up ties has been attached and tied on top of the head: odd looking but adding ties to drooping brims can be seen in a lot of images so if your fabric doesn’t have the thickness or stiffness, just use ties!

This is the hat that started it all! Me and Renika cooperated and made one each. Very good to have during classes to show that the same hat can look very different. To see Renikas hat check out her blogg: www.renika.se

The Brim: To make pattern piece E:



This is based on a semicircle, but to get the brim to stand up you make a circle lots bigger that the actual hat. Mine is based on a circle that the inner edge has a diameter of X and the outer x cm. The difference between the inner and outer circle decides the height of your brim.  By making the circle way too large then cutting away the excess you’ll get a brim that will stand up but not be straight like a chimney. The larger the circle you make the closer to a flat brim you’ll get, and the opposite applies – the smaller the circle the more upright your brim will be. To determine how much of the semicircle to cut away for a two piece brim just measure the circumference of your basic hat made from pattern piece A witch should be approx. X cm and add ca 4 cm (the overlap). The circumference of your head divided in half +4 adding allowing for the extra created by the fabric of the hat. Cutting the excess away will give you pattern piece E:

 The Green Hat: Use pattern piece A + E: Instructions:

  •   Cut 4 pieces of A, remember to add seam allowance! Cut 4 pieces of pattern E
  • Sew the four A pieces together along the sides. Fell the seams. Fold the hem and sew it down.
  • Take two pieces of the brim and put the right sides facing. Sew along the side edges and the outer edge. Trim and turn. I put in a decorative stitch partly to decorate, and partly to keep it nice and flat. Make the other part of the brim.
  • Pin the brim to the hat. The pieces should overlap some. Fold the inside edge of the brim into the hat and sew it down. I also did the dot-stitch here to help secure it. Where the brim overlap you can sew a short line of stitches to hold them together and help the brim to stay up.  If your fabric isnt stable enough you can use a stiffer fabric as interlining or do as they did: add ties/bows!
  • Add the bling!