Trossfraus and Waffenrocks

An updated handout on patterning Trossfraus and Waffenrocks as well as Tellerbarrets from my class in the Shire of the Isles (Goleta, CA)

trossfrau and waffenrock


Epic Project of 16th Century Epicness (or Landsknecht-ing for Royalty) – part 1




At Highland War XXIII (September 2015), Their Majesties of Caid, Athanaric and Sigridhr told me they would like to step down in full Landsknecht. They asked if I would head the project with the support of some Laurels (eak!). Of course I said yes, but keeping in mind:

  1. I have a hard time saying “no”
  2. My school semester is August-December and I work full time
  3. TRM live 350 miles away

Once I overcame the initial excitement/panic, it was time to start brainstorming. As with anyone who tells me they want a Landsknecht outfit, we started by discussing color s,fabric, and looking at various  woodcuts from the time period. Her Majesty told me way back when (ok – more like in May) that she wanted to step down in her colors of green, yellow, black, and white. Check! As far as fabric, we decided on 100% linen because it would be cooler (OMG, Great Western War) as well as easier to obtain at a reasonable price.

Due to TRM being 350 miles from me, I started a Pinterest board so both Her Maj. and I could add and discuss ideas… I highly recommend this in the future

from this we chose our inspirational pieces


Once we decided on the direction we wanted the project to go, I began calculating how much fabric to buy:

  • 10 yards of green (5 for adult trossfrau, 3 for girl Trossfrau, and 2 for guards on boys and His Maj.)
  • 10 yards of black (5 for two boys Waffenrocks, 4 for His Maj., and 1 for guards on Trossfraus)
  • 3 yards of yellow for guards
  • 10 yards of white for 5 chemises and accents on Wams and Trossfraus

Next up… patterning and measuring

What’s in a name?


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Ok, here’s the part where we wax poetically about a topic that isn’t really of relevance, but might be of interest:

Kampfrau vs Trossfrau


The typical go to name of a German Landsknecht woman in the SCA is a Kampfrau, however essentially you are calling this woman a prostitute… ok, let me back up. In German, there are often two words for one English concept. For example studieren (to study) and lernen ( to learn) are concepts that are interchangeable in English, but not in German. You “lernen” a topic, but you “studieren” at a place… going back to SCA stuff, a Kampfrau is literally a camp woman (ie. a camp follower/prostitute). On the other hand, a Trossfrau is literally a bag woman, but not really in the modern sense.  “Tross” is the German word for “baggage train”. Landknecht women were the keepers of the purse. After the men killed people on the battlefield, the women went and took the valuables from the dead and put them in their purse. When a Landsknecht man wanted money, he went to the woman.

Maybe it’s a little point of German grammar that doesn’t matter, but take pride in your German power ladies!

Hagerock for Her Majesty


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After becoming Crown Princess of Caid, Sigridr wanted me to “bling up” her orange linen Hagerock (Viking apron).


I don’t know much about Hagerocks, so I did some research. From some images I found, I decided I would need some card weaving, some solid colored trim, and some embroidery.

1. The card weaving – I used 80% merino, 20% silk sock weight yarn to make a 10th century Finnish pattern from Applesies and Fox Noses. I chose to use a dark blue and bright yellow because these were colors naturally available in period as well as Caidian colors


2. The solid colored trim – I used yellow linen the same color as the wool in the card weaving to create 1/2″ trim. I then added 2mm river shell beads to the trim

My cat, Olivia, “helped”       11329913_10103923548404377_1047604257793905724_n

3. The embroidery – i found a few pieces of documentation that noted metal thread embroidery on Norse garments, so I decided this Hagerock needed silver colored threads. The embroidery pattern is based on a find from the Ural Mountans


After a lot of fretting and stressing over weather I was going in the right direction for my friend/princess’s dress, I finally finished and gave the newly “blinged up” Hagerock to Her Royal Highness at her coronation


Largess banners for TRM Athanaric and Sigridr


I am 1 of 2 largess coordinators (or Royal Looters as we like to be called) for the reign of Their Royal Majesties Athanaric and Sigridr, King and Queen of Caid. As such, one of my primary duties is to assemble and coordinate largess being given by TRM to Barons & Baronesses through out their kingdom. For the most part, this royal largess is made up of hand crafted items generously donated by the populace.

TRM have a Varangian/Norse themed reign and I really wanted their largess to reflect this, so I have undertaken the some what daunting task of creating Norse style heraldic banners for them to give to each barony they visit during their reign… that’s 9 (possibly 10 if a new barony is created), hand embroidered banners to make in the next 6 months. Not sure if this is a great idea, or a crazy one.

The inspiration:

mjravenbanner01 Nwbrd

Traditionally made of metal, these banners/weather veins were put on the ship’s bow and could tell you the direction the wind was blowing. The fringe on the bottom could tell you the speed of the boat.

The finished banner is approximately 2’x 2′ and sits on an 8′ x 2.5′ pole. My husband has been nice enough to make the copper fittings using plumbing supplies

So far, we’re one month in and 3 banners have successful been completed and given to the Baronies

20150619_161340 Nordwache

11693880_10153149189383821_7609384902366852133_n gyldenholt

Wool Pouch


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Trying to figure out exactly were to start this blog. I guess I should start with my most recent project, a wool pouch for an A&S exchange.


This pouch was not made in any particular style, but inspired by 15th and 16th century German belt pouches

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These bags were primarily made of leather like modern purses, but as I have little experience with leather and was on a budgetary constraint (no more than $25), I chose to make it out of teal wool and line it with silk. I used my recipient’s heraldry as inspiration and appliqued yellow and green felted wood on the lid using a button hole stitch. Black glass beads were used to make ermine spots and metallic gold thread was used to back stitch two crossed sewing needles.

The lid was made using a 5″ diameter circle of cardboard covered on both sides with cotton batting and whip stitched in place. The belt strap is an 8″ x 4″ rectangle of fabric sewn in half, turned right side out then sewn in two places to the body of the bag 4″ from the top edge and 1/2″ from the edge (leaving 1.5″ between the top attachment and the edge of the lid).

The body of the pouch was machined sewn (eek!) using 2- 8″ x 8″ pieces of wool and a 1/2″ seam allowance. The same was done with the silk lining. The eyelets and tassels were hand sewn using cream colored cotton to match the lining. Finally, I kumihimo’d  an 18″ cord using cream cotton and metallic threads to create a drawstring capped off with brass aglets I previously purchased for a hat I made for a friend’s laurel ceremony.


Overall, I’m very pleased with it and my recipient loved it. I will have to add it to the list of things I want to make for myself and remember to take more pictures!