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Shirt, view number one

Shirt, view number one

Like a zombie, I’ve returned to the Historical Sew Fortnightly with an undead shirt. I was working on it in August 2012, and at long last, it is really complete. So I offer it up as the Re-Do for HSF #11: Squares, Rectangles and Triangles, as it has no curves at all. (Well, aside from any wonky cutting I may have done.) It would also work for HSF #15, White, as it is actually white. Things happened in the basket along the way to getting done, and the half-made body had to washed.

The thing about shirts is that they don’t look like much unless they’re well photographed, preferably on a human or a mannequin with arms. I lack the latter, and the former specimens were not worth asking, since they’d been made to work all weekend.

So, some facts are in order. right?

The Challenge: #22, Re-Do. (# 11 and/or #15)

Fabric: White Linen, 5.3 ounce, I think. It was a while ago.

Pattern: This would have been cut from the Kannik’s Korner shirt pattern, though more by using the pieces to mark and measure and make sure I had all the small squares and bits the pattern takes.

Year: 1770-1790, depending. At their class level, the guys can keep wearing this kind of shirt for a long time. (It will be the Young Mr’s.)

Notions: Two thread buttons, one bone button; all three from my strategic reserve as the new selection of thread buttons has vanished (I blame the cat).

How historically accurate is it? Well, let’s give it 75%. It’s all linen, but the selvedges aren’t right, the stitching is variable and the insides are not all finished correctly. Patience, Iago, patience…there will be time for the last felling over whipstitching. I suppose for the common shirt it is, the coarser linen and variable stitching might boost the accuracy a bit. 82% for intentions, points still taken off for knowing what’s wrong with it.

Hours to complete: Freaking endless. I lost count, but in the end, probably five hours to finish button holes, felling, hems, and side gussets. The problem is that it’s repetitive and boring: back stitch, prick stitch, slip stitch, hem, all in straight lines. And this was shirt number three (four is right behind for Mr S) so the thrill’s gone out a bit.

First worn: Rejected in nearly-finished but unhemmed state by the Young Mr at Fort Lee, thoughit would have stayed in his trousers better than his too-small-clothes, he’ll wear this shirt in February at a celebration of Washington’s birthday.

Total cost: $17.74 for the fabric, I forget for the buttons and there’s always thread in the house. Call it $20 all told.