Making a shirt

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Rodney Johnson, Sep 17, 2019.

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  1. Sep 17, 2019 #1

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    with "rustic" hand stitching.
     

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  2. Sep 17, 2019 #2

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    So far looks good...
    Show us some Cuff! ;)
    LD
     
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  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Thanks Loyalist Dave! Finished putting on the collar today and got the arm gussets sewn in the sleeves. They actually look fairly decent. I have to rip a little bit of the bottom of the sleeve at the cuff, as I forgot to leave a slit there. Sewing this all by hand. Can't see too good anymore, so some stitches are really tiny and some are a bit bigger, lol. Next up - either cuffs or gather the arms and then sew them to the body - not sure which to do first though. "Instructions" say cuffs first.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    The one part I think went fairly well and doesn't look like a 1st grader sewed it.
     

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  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Yeah that's the way they are supposed to look. :thumb:

    LD
     
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  6. Sep 19, 2019 #6

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    One cuff
     

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  7. Sep 19, 2019 #7

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Both cuffs finished.
     

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  8. Sep 19, 2019 #8

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Most shirts would have the tiny stitches, but since you can't see as well as you used to, then I have no place to comment on that.

    Depending on time frame, cuffs should be wrist bands of about 1" for 1750 / 1760. AWI and later the wrist bands become cuffs and yours are fine. Fold your cuffs over and they will be fine for F&I.

    Congratulations for hand sewing your own shirt. Good job and really well done.
     
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  9. Sep 19, 2019 #9

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Thanks Grenadier1758 for the kind words. I'm enjoying the "build". I wanted a more "authentic" (sewn by hand with thread and needle - not modern sewing machine) shirt to wear when shooting my BP rifle. BTW, when did the "colonial" shirt evolve into the "frontier" shirt? And what were the major differences? From what I've gleaned from combing the web, it seems that this style of shirt was worn (perhaps with minor differences) all the way up to the RMFT era and a little beyond in some remote places? I noticed the evolution away from gathered shoulder seams and the addition of three more buttons on the slit at around mid 19th century? I'm not sure about the gathered cuffs though. And it sure seems like I saw some CW shirts that were almost like the shirt I am making (I've been using the "generic" instructions that I found on the web - attributed to Dorothy Burnham from 'Cut My Cote' 1973).
     
  10. Sep 19, 2019 #10

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Its the proprietor of William Booth, Draper, that always chides me about the width of my shirt wrist bands. Get this set of patterns from him. https://www.wmboothdraper.com/Patterns/mens_patterns.htm

    I have a book of men's shirt patterns that is now out of print and very expensive if you find it. That book does have all the answers to you questions.

    Wrist bands become cuffs. Collars change. The front slit changes. The sleeves become less blousy. The slit becomes open and buttons close the front of the shirt.
     
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  11. Sep 19, 2019 #11

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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  12. Sep 19, 2019 #12

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Grenadier1758, thanks or the link. I made my cuffs to kind of match the width of the collar. Not too wide, not too narrow. But I didn't know if it fit any particular time period. With this shirt, I just used muslin that was on sale at Joann's - it is fairly nice muslin though - it looks like the type one would use to make a shirt - relatively fine thread count. I intend to continue my study of the clothing and accoutrements - across eras - haven't really settled on a narrow time to recreate. But I'd like to be more and more authentic in my kit as I progress.
     
  13. Sep 19, 2019 #13

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Cool. That looks like a really interesting book. I'll have to check it out. Thank you for the suggestion. I will also keep my eye out and check locally too for it - might even get lucky and stumble upon a copy.
     
  14. Sep 19, 2019 #14

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    A detailed set of instructions on shirt making can be found in Beth Gilgun's book, "Tidings from the Eighteenth Century ". She has instructions on the specific stitches, button making and patterns for other clothing.

    Best price is from Scurlock Publishing.

    Shirts are easy to make.
     
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  15. Sep 19, 2019 #15

    Angie

    Angie

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    That is looking really good.
     
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  16. Sep 19, 2019 #16

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Thank you Angie!! :)
     
  17. Sep 19, 2019 #17

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Thanks Grenadier1758 - I remember seeing the name Beth Gilgun as I was searching the web for information - I "borrowed" a couple of diagrams with the simplest of "directions" - and it actually may be info from Beth Gilgun, but I had forgotten the name until you posted the reference - sounds like another "must have" resource! And thanks for the source from Scurlock Publishing too! :)
     
  18. Sep 25, 2019 #18

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Finished shirt
     

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  19. Sep 25, 2019 #19

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    The collar looks good!
    You can also opt for a single button and a loop to close the collar as well. Hemp is a good choice for the loop.
    COLLAR 1.jpg

    LD
     
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  20. Sep 25, 2019 #20

    Rodney Johnson

    Rodney Johnson

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    Thanks Loyalist Dave! It can't be seen, but there are two buttons on the collar (button holes to match). Also, last night I sewed two "plackets" to the neck slit (from the bottom of the collar to the triangular reinforcement at the bottom "V" - the plackets are a later period look, but I didn't like how the single layer of fabric whip stitched edge looked and felt in comparison to all the heavier finished openings (cuffs, collar, bottom hem). I plan to add a couple of buttons on the placket in case I want to close the opening for warmth. I understand that most folks wore an "ascot" or "cravat" that was pretty much just tied and the ends stuffed into the large slit opening (thus providing warmth? or just "fashion"?) Either way, I didn't like that big gaping hole in my shirt, lol. It just looked sort of out of place. I tried tying a bulky winter mohair scarf and poking the really short ends down in the slit - but it looked like I had a giant bulging tumor on my chest (or a center "moob", lol). I'll post a pic of the plackets in a bit - no buttons or buttonholes yet. The buttons on the collar and cuffs are just some cheap white plastic buttons from JoAnn's - meant to imitate bone or ivory (really clean, new, highly polished bone or ivory?) And as well, I understand that the shirt was seen (in earlier periods) as "underwear" - and that any respectable person would not be seen in public without some kind of coat (whatever was customary for the era and region) or coats over the shirt. Except "work" shirts? Perhaps worn by field or farm - or common laborer? I think of this shirt more in a "work" tradition. It may be some time before I am able to fashion an over the shirt coat - and I don't know what style or period it may be in - though I lean toward 1840-1850ish era (which the plackets and additional buttons should reflect).
     

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