Guard Uniform of the Majorette Funkenmariechen
(Text: Thomas Tollenwerk /koelner-karneval.info, Photo: Rote Funken, Kölsche Funke rut-wiess v. 1823 e.v.)
Majorettes “Funkenmariechen” (also known as “Tanzmariechen”) exist since the beginning of the modern carnival in Germany. Since the end of the 19th century, they are known as “Funkenmariechen”. Historically, they go back to the sutlers in the Thirty Years’ War, who went around with the soldiers and sold them goods and sometimes even themselves. In the equestrian corps of Jan von Werth the Funkenmariechen is still called the marketer, in other societies she is called “daughter of the regiment”. Strictly speaking, Funkenmariechen only exists at the carnival association called “Funken”. But since the name has become established, it is also used as a collective term for all the spirited dancers, who swing their legs while dancing at the carnival celebrations in Germany.
“Funkenmariechen” were personated by men (just like the carnival figure of the “Virgin”). Women took on this role only slowly until it was common for them to join in the 1930s. The typical outfit of a Tanzmariechen or Funkenmariechen consists of a white wig, the garde uniform, a usually short skirt (often pleated or with a petticoat) and lace or frilly panties (in the cologne dialect: Spitzebötzje).
The costume also included boots, mostly in red and white or blue and white, as well as a matching hat – usually a tricorn. How the pattern for the costume of a Tanzmariechen is constructed you will learn in the following article. For sewing a guard costume we recommend fabrics that are comfortable and do not restrict the acrobatic dance movements. At the same time the fabric should be robust, easy to wash and, if possible, breathable. To ensure that the costume will last for many years, it should always be sewn with high-quality material. The best fabrics are gabardine, special uniform fabrics or other high-quality fabrics made of cotton or polyester.
Pattern Making of a Guard Uniform for a Majorette Dancer (Funkenmariechen)
Guard Uniform Jacket
1 Front and Back Pattern
Basic jacket block in size 38, adjusted as follows: Lower the neckline 1 cm at the centre front and at the shoulders. Lower the neckline 0.5 cm at the centre back and draw the new neckline. Relocate the bust dart to the armhole and close the shoulder seam. Measure 3 cm from the front armhole notch along the armhole curve for the position of the front princess seamline. Draw the front princess seam from the armhole to the hemline with 1 cm distance to the bust point.
Draw the shoulder tab parallel to the shoulder seam 1.5 cm wide and 9.5 cm long. Draw the shoulder tab 10.5 cm long at the tip. Measure 4 cm from the neckline downward along the centre front and square out half the width of the buttoned front panel to the right. Measure the pointed tip from the waistline downward as shown in the illustration. Now draw the button front panel and trim the centre front around half the zipper width. Draw the pocket 15 cm long on the waistline.
Mark half of the pocket length and square down for the pointed pocket flap. Draw the pocket flap 4.5 cm wide at the sides. Relocate the shoulder dart to the armhole to get a closed shoulder seam in the back. Mark the pocket position on the back pattern. Measure 2.5 cm from the back armhole notch along the armhole curve for the back princess seamline. Relocate the back waist dart 1 cm towards the centre back and draw the seamline from the armhole to the hem. Draw the jacket 42 cm long at the centre back. Connect the new length with the waistline seam. Draw the shoulder tab just like on the front pattern.
Trace and combine the front and back piece for the peplum. Add 2 cm to the front pattern at the waistline and 3.5 cm at the hemline. Join the front and back pattern together. The hem corners are sewn back for better freedom of movement for the dance formations. Mark the pocket 15 cm long. Blend the waistline and the hemline.
Adjust the basic two-piece sleeve pattern as follows: Adapt the position of the upper sleeve seam to the back princess seamlines.
4 Preparation Cuffs
Trace a copy of the upper sleeve and the under sleeve. Draw the seamlines for the sleeve cuff on the upper sleeve and under sleeve.
Trace the cuff pieces from the upper and under sleeve patterns and adjust the cuff pattern as follows: Join the pattern pieces together. Add 0.2 cm to each side of the cuff and draw the new seamlines to the sleeve hem. Blend the hemline.
Develop the matching collar with stand as follows: At the centre back, measure 3 cm for the collar stand and 4 cm for the collar. Mark the collar stand 1.5 cm wide at the centre front. Mark the collar point 0.5 cm away from the front edge of the collar stand. Draw the collar 6.5 cm wide at the front. Mark ½ of the zipper width parallel to the front edge on the collar stand. Draw the collar shape as shown in the illustration.
7 Finished Pattern Pieces
Guard Uniform Skirt
Draft the circular skirt pattern for the guard skirt as follows: 1-2 Draw a vertical line and square out to the right from point 1. Measure 1/6 of the waist girth minus 1 cm downward and draw a circular arc to the right with pivot point at point 1. 2-3 Measure the skirt length downward on the vertical line. Draw a circular arc and transfer the length to the right. The pattern piece is one quarter of the skirt. Cut this pattern four times out of fabric. Mark the zipper length at the centre back. Draw the waistband 3 cm wide and with 2.5 cm underlap.
Finished Pattern Pieces
Spitzebötzje – Lace Panties
Front and Back Pattern
On a vertical line, measure the body rise downward. From this point, measure 1/10 of the hip girth minus 1 cm downward. This line is the centre front and the centre back. Square out to the right from both points. On the bottom line, measure ¼ of the hip girth minus 2 cm to the right and square up. On the upper line, measure ¼ of the waist girth to the right. Measure the hip depth from the horizontal line downward and draw the sideseam to this point.
Lower the waistline 8 cm at the centre front and centre back. Lower the waistline 6 cm at the sideseam and draw the guideline for the waistline curve as shown in the illustration. Mark the side length of the lace panties. Measure ¼ of ½ the hip girth minus 1 cm from the centre front and centre back length upwards and downwards for the crotch seam. Measure 3.5 cm for the gusset width to the right from both points. Draw the gusset seamlines slightly curved as shown in the illustration. Draw the guidelines for the leg seamlines.
Draw the waistline curve 1 cm above and below the guideline according to the illustration. Shift the sideseam 1.5 cm to the front. Divide the guideline for the leg seam in half and draw a perpendicular line. Measure 4.5 cm for the front leg seamline and 0.75 cm for the back leg seam. Draw the front and back leg seamline as shown in the illustration. Mark the gusset lining 8 cm long parallel to the crotch line.
Finished Pattern Pieces
Copy all pattern pieces. Mark the positions of the lace on the front and back pattern. Trim the gusset pattern 2 mm at the edges. The gusset is made from a cotton lining. Gather the lace as preferred and sew it on the finished panties with an elastic stitch.
Guard Uniform for Men
You can find the pattern construction for the men’s guard uniform in the german-speaking book Historische Schnitte HAKA.
Guard Uniform of the “Rote Funken”
- High-necked jacket with zipper, lying collar and front part trimming
- Sleeves with cuff
- Lap with flap pocket
- Buttoned lap part for more freedom of movement
- narrow shape without riding trimming
- made of elastic material
- relocated side seam
Instructions for the pattern construction of four different dresses for latin dance.
Many more pattern instructions and patterns for sewing costumes for carnival can be found in our online shop.