Lately I’ve been loving the Instagram feed from a costumer from the Pacific Northwest – Midgaarb. She shows off a lot of Viking-inspired costumes, along with beautiful evocative photos of the beauty of the PNW. When I came across a piece of wool-blend plaid in my stash from the April 2017 Grandmother’s Fabric Sale, I immediately thought of Midgaarb’s hooded capelets, and crossed my fingers that the yardage (less than 2 meters) would be enough.
In early January I showed off a German Renaissance Gollar – a sort of cape/ collar/ partlet kind of over-garment/accessory. I made up my first version in teal wool suiting with black velveteen lining.
I wanted to try a different method for supporting the neckline, so decided to make a second version.
By early December I hadn’t yet started drafting a pattern for a Cranach gown, and was starting to feel nervous… when the Historical Sew Monthly posted the January theme, I could see an obvious item – and decided to make a German gollar for the challenge.
Historical Sew Monthly January 2017
What the item is: German Gollar
The Challenge: January: Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit.
Cathrin Åhlén (Katafalk) describes the gollar as a “common garment” for keeping warm; a short cape with “either a high collar or no collar at all, and it can be either short or it can be more of a cloak and go down to the hips”. She describes it as made in silk brocade with fancy clasps for higher social classes, but on “simpler women you almost always see no closure at all”. She speculates that those garments are closed with hooks and eyes, had no closures, or may have had hidden lacings. She notes that they can be lined in fur for extra warmth, and were often decorated with contrasting borders.
I found most examples of the border-decorated gollars on the ‘camp-follower’ (kampfraus, lower-class) styles, while when the gollar is worn with a Cranach-style gown, (court gown?) it’s almost always plain black. With that in mind I thought to make a semi-reversible gollar… though got a bit hung up on that when it came to the closure.
Since it’s a ‘top’ layer garment, worn over the dresses.. I would see it (and a hat) as the ‘last piece’ put on when dressing. In her “how to Frau” tutorial, Cathrin names the gollar as the last item (before accessories like purses, belts, etc). Funny enough, it’s the FIRST item I’ve made for this overall project, with the hopes that if I really can’t find enough time to finish the gown, that I can “throw” this over another gown and “pass” for an attempt at German. (Italian tourist perhaps?)