The Lansquenette Hat

I found an old hat project I started on a couple of years back, which I never finished because it kind of failed… Now, three years later, I realized that it might be able to get something out of it anyway.

The Lansquenette hat is a kind of unique, as in that its not one of the most common ones to be seen , the concept and construction is popular, and I have seen a lot of trossfraus all over the world wear something similar.

Anonymous, La Lansquenette, 1567

As you can see, the hat has its slashing slightly shifted, creating a spiral slash pattern.

The first tryout I made was just a rectangle with straight slashes, since I had the idea of then sew them into a tube, flatten it, shift it, to make it look like the woodcut, and then simply stitch it in place. This didn’t work at all…

So my next try was this;

I instead cut the slashes diagonally and sew it all into a tube, fold it…

And tadaa, it worked!

This is when it kind of failed a couple of years back; the fabric I have use is to light weight/thin and it’s just hang there like a sad starfish.

So *drums* …years later I suddenly decided to try to reinforce the fabric, by simply adding a thick linen on the backside of each slash, which made the construction much sturdier and less floppy.

I then added silk on the inside


Stitched it in place and fold everything back and sew the inner side together.


The next problem is though that the brim is still to floppy;

So I decided to add some stiffness by sewing a simple stitch around the inner edge and pulling it tighter

I got the idea from the woodcut by Erhard Shoen, 1535

Which hat looks like its a piece of fabric, simple gathered in the middle by a pull string.

Next step is to figure out the top of the hat, since the woodcut doesn’t show any of that part, I kind of thought of adding the popular folded square (that makes it looks like a square with a flower pattern.

…here I use a quarter of a paper to get the idea of what size I needed, but the size I wanted to have, didn’t have me any good way of attach it to the hat without stitch it through the slashes, and that wouldn’t give enough sturdiness and would make the hat pull weirdly when wearing it.

So I decided to make a basic 16th cent construction, and was inspired of the pattern from this woodcut (which is about 50 years to early, but decided to be a bit anachronistic and ignore it …just to finish the three year old hat project) as you can see, the hat is worn by a male person, but since I have seen so many examples of unisex hats, I it feels kind of okey anyway)


Trying out the paper pattern.

20130819-123951.jpg20130819-124002.jpgcut out two round piece, one with the pattern of my choice, and one with a whole in it (this is the one that connects the top to the brim)

Attach your silk (or fabric by choice)
-silk puffing
-top piece with decoration
-middle piece

Turned everything and finishing the sides, then attach it to the hat;




Improvements to be made for the next one;
– use a thicker wool
– use wider and lesser amount of ‘bars’
– make the width of the bar rectangle a little more narrow, maybe around 20 cm instead of 25 cm

Landsknecht Wams

We are going to Sweden for the Medieval Week in Visby, and the husband need a jacket for those chilly nights that can occur even during the summer up there in the north. Since he already has a pair of hosen, I basically just used the left over fabric to create the bodice in yellow wool. I didn’t had any red wool left, so I decided to line it with red linen instead.

I started to cut out the bodice and the lining
Then sketch the pattern, cut it out and hem the slashes both back and front. (After slashing the front, I was a bit unsure if the slashing might be too big, so I made smaller on the back side) I might have to adjust the front some way …if they hang to much …but I will solve that after I have assemble the outfit and try it on him)
Back and front with the red lining.

To fit the bodice correctly, lacing wholes was made on the front piece two by two, I use silk thread and button hole stitches20130723-223321.jpg

The sleeves are suppose to be HUGE according to the woodcuts, but he didn’t wanted too big sleeves, so the arm hole is about 76 cm all around; and since I’m in a bit of a hurry of finish it, I didn’t wanted to much work and therefore decided that about 6 cm for each band was the biggest I could make it, and it still look good … And 76/6 is about 12 …so 12 for each arm it is.

The length of each band is calculated by measuring his arm length, then I marked the length on the iron board (because its the perfect pinning surface), and then I took one piece of fabric and pinned it to the right bulginess. The final length is 1 meter per band. I usually sew each slash, but due to the short time to finish, I instead cut every hole into the right shape (which is perfectly period an the wool is nice and non fraying). Before cutting I measured and calculated a good distance between each slash and made a template in a thick paper, so I could draw each slash fast and easy


Each band has 13 slashes, and it took about 4 hours to cut 12 band …then I wanted to line it with white silk, and each band takes 1-1,5 hour to sew. *Wohoo* …good thing with wool and silk is that it is at least very easy to just cut and rip, so that didn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

The silk ha the same width as the wool, but is slightly longer so it will bulge out of the slashes.

Wool band; 100 cm x 8 cm (including seam allowance since I have to hide the silk to prevent it from fraying)
Silk puffing; 150 cm x 8 cm

Back and front of each silk lined wool band.

Note that the each band is slightly smaller in one side to fit around the much smaller wrist (compare to arm hole). I might even remove two bands underneath the arm …this will make the cuffs even tighter and also take away some uncomfortable bulging in the arm hole. I can’t tell exactly how to do until I have had a fitting with him though.

Update July 25;

3 things needed to be fitted;
1) the sleeve
2) the front side lacing
3) the bottom of the wams so they work with the pants




The sleeves is in three layers; the black bands, the red puffing and the lining that will keep everything in order.

I mark every 10 cm with a pen on the lining

Then I pulled a thread on the same amount of lines on the puffing fabric so I had a straight line to follow.

Then I sewed rows, following each line an pull it so it gathered into nice puffs

Then I sewed the puffing onto the lining, and then started to add the black stripes on the top of everything.


Note that I add all the layers on the sleeve while the sleeve is still not sewn together, my idea was that this might be easier to assemble. It was easy to handle the sleeve, but it was a bit tricky to sew it together later, so I guess both ways has it’s perks…

This is the progress of today anyway;

And the good news is since I had to take it in slightly on the sides, the black stripes ended up slightly bigger and though the sleeve has 8 stripes at the top, it only has 7 around the wrist (one stripe is folded like a V at the top) …which means I only need 7 stripes for each sleeve. So I only have to make another 3 *wohoo*

Update 27 July;
Second sleeve is finished and they both are attached to the bodice


After attaching the sleeve to the outer layer (yellow) I fold and sew the lining (red) to hide the seams. The black thread is my horrible fast-attachment-of stripes viewed from the inside. (Did I mention I’m a bit stressed to have the wams done in time?)

I also hemmed the backside of the bodice, but my markings on the front has disappeared during the last days, so I need one more fitting to finish that part, including the lacing holes on one side.

So until then I finished the strings needed to close the wams.

I can’t seem to learn how to make lucet strings even under gun point, and can’t seem to find anyone to trade with, so 5-fingers braids it is …even though it’s a bit old fashion for the period. They still is elastic and will therefore not snap under pressure (well… Not too much pressure of course), which means that they will work as I want them to do. Each string has two small brass aiglets on each end, to make the lacing easier. (and a Landsknecht can’t have to much bling, right?)


The side seams is also finished by stitching small “invisable” stitches, this is the period equivalent of ironing the seams flat (as you would do on modern cloths) and since the seams are folded to one side, it also gives some extra strength to the seam …and the small dotted pattern is what (for me) gives the dress that extra look of completeness.


Update July 29;
It’s finished!


Things I would probably change for the next one;
-make the stripes for the sleeves same size from top to bottom, and instead put some extra around the armpit. Since I calculated the phasing to fit around the wrist, I had to make some ad hoc solutions when I used lesser amount of black stripes as I planned to.
– the front should probably be two square pieces (mine is a triangle, the tip of the triangle is we’re you can see the lacing in their front), since there is wood cuts that shows a lacing on both top parts (right next to the shoulders) on the front.
-the slashing in the front didn’t worked as I thought, so I had to stitch it to the lining, so no diagonal slashing (well, unless you stitch it to the lining of course
-a bit bigger piece of fabric for puffing; ratio 2:1 should probably give a bit more puffiness.
-line the backside of the stripes; this will keep the white silk puff out more in the front.
– when you look at the woodcuts you usually just see only 3 visible strings for lacing in the front, I’m not yet sure of how the front would stay in place, since that would make it bulge between the top and the bottom. I have therefore six strings on the side …so that needs to be look into a bit more.

I still want some more slashes on the bodice, but there is no time for it, but it is still possible to add someday in the future.

Total time of making the wams is about a week …give and take some day.