Monday, 3 September 2018

Early 18th century shirt #2

I finished this shirt over a month ago and I'm just posting it now, oh dear! (I did manage to submit it to the HSM album on time though.)
But it's extremely similar to my previous 18th century shirt, so there isn't much to say about it.
 At the beginning of this year I had grand plans to finish a coat for the "Sleeves" HSM challenge, but didn't get started in time, and I didn't want anything to do with coats in the disgustingly hot July weather anyways.
Since linen undergarments are something one can never have too much of, I made a second shirt for the 1730's suit I will have someday.

It's cut to exactly the same dimensions as my previous one, but in a coarser linen, and with different cuffs. There's also a lot more machine sewing in this one, and it doesn't currently have any lace ruffles, though I intend to add some.
The shirt fits the theme of the challenge because the sleeves are huge, but also because they represent a new thing I've learned about 18th century shirts.

I shared some pictures of my other shirt in an 18th century sewing group on facebook, and got some good constructive criticism about the cuffs. It seems that sleeve buttons were the way cuffs were fastened for most of the 18th century, and I had no idea! All the pictures I'd been looking at were of guys with big ruffles which were hiding the sleeve buttons, and it didn't occur to me to investigate the cuffs further!

(I'll still use the regular sort of button for my everyday shirts, because they're less of a hassle, but the 30's suit is going to be a Fancy outfit.)

I found some cheap plastic buttons at Fabricville that looked very similar to some extant 18th c. sleeve buttons, so I bought them and put them onto two large-ish metal jump rings which I bent and squashed into a more oval shape.
Ideally the cuff would be narrower, but with this coarse linen
I feared it would be even more wonky and lumpy.

Nowhere near as fine as the originals that inspired them, but at least they're very similar in shape and colour.
18th century sleeve buttons found at an archaeological dig.

What the item is: A man's shirt
How it fits the challenge: This shirt is extremely similar to the one I made for the February challenge, but the main difference is in the sleeves. (See above.) The sleeves are also very large and noticeable, but I think the learning part is more important to the challenge.

Material: White plain weave linen.
Pattern: None, just a set of dimensions.
Year: Early to mid 18th century (though my end goal is for this to go with a 1730's suit)
Notions: Linen thread, cotton thread, silk thread, 2 bone button blanks. (and 2 small metal rings & 4 plastic buttons for the sleeve fastenings, though technically they are not part of the shirt)

How historically accurate is it? Maybe 75-80%? Most of the sewing is by machine, but otherwise the construction is pretty accurate. The sleeve buttons are cheap plastic, but aesthetically very similar to extant ones.

Hours to complete: 21:40 (This includes time spent hand hemming and applying some terrible lace, which I promptly removed because it was horribly itchy and cheap looking.)

First worn: I think it was on July 21st or 22nd, just to see how it fit.

Total cost: I forget where the linen came from, but I'm guessing less than $10 if the linen was given to me, but probably closer to $25 if I bought the linen. It's rather hard to tell plain white stash linens apart.

 Instead of a heart shaped reinforcement I did a little bar with buttonhole stitches across the bottom of the bosom slit. I was trying to make it look like this one, but for some reason I didn't look at the photo while I was doing it, so it could have turned out better. But it's nicely sturdy so far!
Black speck is cropped out of this one.
The buttons on the collar are the same sort of Dorset knob as on the previous shirt.
 Back when I took the photos of me wearing the shirt there wasn't really anything wrong with my little digital camera (Aside from it being picky about lighting, and generally unflattering in perspective), but a couple days ago a black speck appeared in the lens. I think it moved there when I dropped my camera, but I'm not sure how it got inside. Just like the long dust speck that has been in there for several months, I can't seem to shake it out of place, and it's definitely inside because it won't wipe off. The camera also seems to be getting gradually worse at focusing.

Perhaps I should get a better camera? I am uncertain, as the good ones are quite expensive, but it would be great to be able to get higher quality photos of my projects.
Out damn spot!
 One last difference in construction is the underarm gussets. I turned the seam allowances inward on all my previous shirts, but for this one I finally realized that turning the edges of the gusset outwards is both easier and sturdier. Since I've had problems with the underarms ripping on several of my shirts, I'm very glad to have learned this.
Why was I not doing this before?!
All those little weak points at the corners could have been avoided!
 And here's a picture of the cheap, crappy lace I added and immediately removed. It's not a well lit photo, but rest assured everything about it was bad. I thought it would look at least somewhat nice because the design on the lace is swirly and pretty, but no.
Scratchy, stretchy, heavy, nearly opaque lace.
I will post again soon! This past Friday I finished my entry for the August HSM challenge and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. I just need to get a few better photos of me wearing it.

1 comment:

  1. Vince, I'm just reading your post just now and think your shirt turned very nice. Too bad about your camera acting up. Perhaps you could get some use of Nicole's camera. It needs a battery and I don't have instructions with the camera but I'm sure you could get your dad to download the instructions. Just let me know if you're interested to have a look at this camera. I'm sure Nicole would want you to have it. She used it for taking photos of her travels.
    Hugs, Mamoo