how to make an einheitsfeldmütze

next >>

when i first started learning about reenacting, my thoughts went like this:

  • "wow, that's cool"
  • "i'd like to get into that, i wonder how much a uniform costs"
  • ...loaded up atthefront and lostbattalions...
  • "oh jesus christ nevermind"
  • "hey i have a sewing machine, i wonder if i could make my own uniform"
  • "i wonder if it might also be a problem that i have no sewing experience"    * yes it was
  • "well at least i have the internet, wherein all human knowledge is contained, so i bet there's a howto on sewing reproduction german army uniforms somewhere"    * no there wasn't
  • "well christ i'll just buy a hat to start with and see if i can sew a copy of it"
  • ... about 6 months later ...
  • "aha, i think i finally sewed a hat properly"

    and now that i've made a few einheitsfeldmützen which look more or less right, i thought i'd do the socially conscious thing and share my knowledge of the process.

    this tutorial assumes a minimal knowledge of sewing and sewing machines, the kind of knowledge you should be able to get by thumbing through a sewing machine manual. just about everything else should be explained in the text and photos.
    i will at various points add a little annotation telling you about little variations you can put into the hat, so that they all don't look the same, and to give it a little more original "personality." i've noticed from lots of photos of originals that rarely do they ever appear cookie-cutter in design, as modern reproductions often do, so shifting little details around like thread and buttons can add a nice touch of realism.

  • patterns
    i drew up my own patterns and scanned them in, and they can be found here:

    i'm a little hazy on the ins and outs of precise printing, so i scanned them in with a ruler on them all and left the jpgs huge, and you may need to know that (i think) all the jpgs are at 200 pixels per inch.
    i drew up all the patterns on 8.5"x11" paper so i could make copies easily at home, so a couple of the big parts of the pattern are split across 2 pages.

    the patterns are based on a visual copy of a repro EM m43 hat from ATF.

    things you'll need
    to start off with, you'll need basic sewing supplies, like:
  • scissors
  • little pins with plastic heads on them
  • hand sewing needles
  • ruler
  • utility knife
  • and of course a sewing machine. it doesn't have to be anything fancy. i did all this on what was damn near the cheapest model at sears from about a year ago.


  • other supplies you'll need, which will actually be part of the hat, will be:
  • some fairly soft and bendable corrugated cardboard. this may be a little hard to find because most cardboard is very stiff, but i found some old stuff that had been sitting in my basement, and either through age or manufacture, it was rather soft and bendable. i should also note that this probably isn't the ideal thing to use in the hat, and i don't know how close it is to the original stuff they used. it's just the closest thing i found that seemed to work.
  • fabric for the liner of the hat. you'll need some tan colored cotton twill type stuff, should be found in any fabric store, as seen below and left.
  • thread, also easy to find anywhere. 2 colors, first being any old clothing thread that's the same color as the liner, and second being a greener type that more or less matches the background of the insignia you're using. (see the list below)


  • and here are things you'll need which are unusual items unique to german reproduction items, so you'll have to buy them from reenactor supply places:
  • insignia (the trapezoidial things in the pic below) can be found a few places online, such as in the german->headgear->heer/waffen-ss->cap insignia section, and in the insignia->cap insignia->heer/ss section.
  • buttons, one of two types as seen below. you can also get these at the above two sites, in the german->fabric and parts->german buttons and uniform hardware and uniforms->uniform accessories sections respectively. also you could probably find a pretty close approximation of the 4-holed buttons at any old fabric store. look for something between 12 and 14mm in diameter.
  • wool for the outer layer of the hat. this is the tricky part. see the right side of the fabric pic above. you may find wools of similar texture and weight at regular fabric stores, but you won't find ones of the right color hardly anywhere. the only place i found online that sold the stuff in a quasi-retail fashion was this place: (waaay down at the bottom)
        it's also not cheap, as you'll see. i highly recommend you try to find some "wool coating" or other thick coarse wool stuff which is tight and does not stretch at your local fabric store for your first 1 or 2 hats, to save money. (your first couple hats will invariably come out wrong. it took me no less than 11 before i had things worked out)
        i've also found that by asking around various reenactor web boards, you can find some people who get their own supplies of this wool and can help you out. such as,

  • next >>