Thoughts on patterns

Of course, there is no way we can know exactly how the german kampfrau or landsknecht clothing was made. I'm a newbie on the area and I know for certain there's some expert out there who knows a lot more than me :) I've been studying the woodcuts and images for quite a while now though, and I soon discovered that I immediately can spot possible inaccuracies in other reenactor's dresses. Such as slashing on the back of the bodice, which as far as I know only have been documented on men. It looks great though, don't misunderstand me! Just trying to make an example.


However, I think you shouldn't take the whole historical accuracy too seriously, since again, we'll never know... the camp followers were probably much more inventive and creative than we think, and watching the old images you can see that every dress looks pretty much unique. The variation in design and making was probably bigger than we'll ever know.


There's a pattern for a pretty basic kampfrau dress from Reconstructing History, the only one that I know of, I didn't use it myself but here's someone who did, and it turned out well!

I didn't use a pattern at all, I don't know if that was good or bad... simply because I didn't think I could afford it at the time and I was eager to get started. Instead I did a fitting on myself, pinned on two panels of cheap fabric and marked where I would cut. Then I cut the front panel in two and sew it all together, and continued to mark where I had to sew in more, until the whole thing fitted me perfectly. Then I transferred it to the wool. It was tough but I was too anti-social at the time to ask for help, and too stubborn to give up. Or too foolish.

Anyway, it turned out good in the end but it was hell of a job for someone who had only sewn three or four dresses before. I actually recommend this way because when you do all the job yourself, without asking for help, you learn so much more. You see all the mistakes and inventive ways and things you should have done differently. It's great!

Postat av: Felicitas/Malin

I've seen the RH's patterns and I'm not very impressed with the actual pattern itself. Lots of strange angles and stuff on the shoulders and in the waistline. The patterns I did that should fit me according to my size was totally off, had to take in 10-20 cm. In the end I would have been better off fitting a toile just like you did. (And I ended up doing anyway) So in my opinion it was a bit fucked up and I'm happy I wasn't he one that had bought it. ;)

But it obviously works well for others. :D

And as far as historical accuracy goes, as far as I know there are two female germanic gowns from ca 1520-1547 preserved, one was worn by a hungarian queen (Mary I think) and the other by the Anna Jagellonia that was buried in Prauge in 1547. The first has a cutting diagram published on the internet, the other I have a Czech conservators report on, in Czech, that I'm hoping to find someone to translate for me. :) I would say that basing a campfollowers outfit vaguely on those would probably be somewhat correct, but it must be remembered that these outfits were worm by queens that didn't have to work. So most else, in my opinion, is up for speculation and interpretation. :D

But based on those two, and based on other preserved garments from the region and the time and nearby regions and times I do come to some conclusions that doesn't agree with some of the most common seen styles of germanic female reconstructed clothes.

PS, I like your blog. :)

2009-12-30 @ 00:31:18
Postat av: Desirée

Great advice and input as always, Malin! :D

2010-01-04 @ 07:44:37
Postat av: Angelica

Hello, greetings from Denmark. just found your site, and it looks very nice. I am currently working on a kampfrau dress and did buy the Reconstructing History pattern. I am sad to tell, it just didn't work for me, no idea why. The only piece i've used as-is is the back bodice. Had to make my own sleeves and cuffs and change the front bodice quite a lot. It was just not flattering in any way, and the sleeves was 20 cm to short (!). It does come with a nice compendium with historic sources and stuff, but it's not worth the money.

2011-05-06 @ 20:33:41

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