The evolution of the bumla

Bumla is a modern created word that is connected to the women that followed the 16th century landsknects, german lego soldiers. The women was a part of the tross, the mobile military household, and they did almost everything except the actual fighting. In many cases they were women who followed their husbands or women who made a contract for a campaign or two. When they joined the tross they needed comfortable clothing that wasn’t in the way when they worked so they often took their normal clothing and shortened it and slahes the armes for more mobility. Simple, useful clothing.

In my case I wanted to make something more generic 16th century german. There was a lot of the same shapes and trimmings in the first decades of the century.
The first things I did the first year that I joined a landsknecht-group was the under garments. As a student I didn’t have a lot of money so I couldn’t do all of the garb at the same time. So the first year I wore a shift (the shirt), an underskirt, a headscarf and a hat. Me to the right, without the hat though. But I felt fabulous!


The skirt and the headscarf was in the same linen fabric and the shirt was made in a red raw silk, not very HA, but oh so pretty. I didn’t make the smock myself (and I still don’t) and the sleeves was to short, but I still love and wear it anyway.

The next layer was the dress itself. When I looked at paintings and portraits of the ladys I wanted to look like I saw a lot of dark colours and black trimmings and when my favourite fabric retailer had a sale I bought a dark grey wool with discrete red narrow stripes that I’ve got a lot of compliments for over the years.


I also made a new matching hat, but I didn’t have time to make sleeves. And a new white headscarf.
It took some time to actually get around to make some sleeves and in the time I bought a couple of shifts from friends and had one made for me.

When I made the sleeves I decided to do them like separate, to tie on the dress, so I can decide if I want to wear them depending on the weather. I also decided to make them with cuffs, which is quite common in the paintings.


Tied on sleeves with cuffs. And one of the bought shifts. White with black narrow stripes. Lazy reenactor girl with the braids hanging loose…

The last layer I’ve made is a short jacket, inspired by the Flemish 16th century jackets. Made in dark blue wool and lined with a golden yellow raw silk. Closed with hooks and eyes. Picture taken by my good friend Jan-Erik and I was cold and tired, thereof the strained smile.


I fold the dress sleves cuffs over the jacket and I also had a fur gollar made for me by a friend.

The next plan I have for this outfit is a wool underskirt for those cold events. And my intent with this entry is to show that you don’t have to do everything at once, for the first time you wear it. You can do it in steps, one thing at a time, over a long amount of time. The first items I made the summer of 2011. And the last thing I finished was this spring.


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