The Latin saying goes, "vestis virum reddit," or clothes make the man. But I've found with Renaissance costumes the hat makes the dress. You can tell the serious reinactors from the ones who just like swishy skirts by whether they have a hat to complete the outfit. And boy, howdy, are there plenty of hat styles to choose from! In weeding my library last year I came across an older copy of this book: The Mode in Hats and Headdresses by R. Turner Wilcox, published in 1946.
Of course I replaced my library's copy with a new version and snagged the old. It has plenty of black and white drawings from all different times and cultures and is a really good overview. But I was looking for more, namely actual patterns and instructions. Through some good 'ole internet searching I found a blog by a Swedish tailor/reinactor named Catherine with instructions for the German utilitarian headwear called a wulsthaube. You can see this headpiece worn by almost all classes and regions of German Renaissance ladies in paintings and drawings. However, very few examples survived, and certainly none that would tell us modern costumers how best to recreate one. Possibly, women with long hair braided and pinned it into this shape, but the "fake hair piece" is called a wulst. The fabric it's attached to is called an unterhauben, and the whole thing together is a wulsthaube. There. German language lesson (almost) over. The veil worn over it is called a steuchlein, and is sometimes embroidered, sometimes long, sometimes stitched with beads, and sometimes very short.
So, I cheated. The wulst historically was likely shaped with reeds, and instructions online recommended a tube with stuffing. I found a styrofoam wreath form at JoAnn's and seized the opportunity. Cut in half, tapered at the edges, and wrapped with quilt batting and fabric strips and it was the perfect shape! Honestly, it only took about an evening to put together and will be GREAT with Kate's costume. I can still wear the steuchlein under the black hat for my outfits, and it really does complete the costume. I promise I'll get completed pictures soon!
And for those wondering - I have short hair and this headpiece ties on with as much security as any modern working women's bandanna. Costume success!
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!