Saturday, March 3, 2012

Regency Shirt: Part 6 (finished!)

I've finally finished the shirt!

I know it took a long time to hand sew, just fitting it in when I had time, but I'm glad I did it this way. I definitely learned a lot, and my hand sewing did get faster. I don't know yet if I really want to hand sew everything, or use a machine for parts, but as it stands this wasn't so bad.

Anyway, the last two steps were sleeve binders and side gussets. The binders go on the insides of the tops of the sleeves/armscyes, and are there I suppose to add a little strength, but mostly to enclose the raw edges left from attaching the sleeve to the shirt. The gussets go at the bottoms of the side vents, to strengthen the point where the vent splits.

Then all I had to do was sign my work. I embroidered my initials at the bottom of the shirt, using the period lettering provided with the pattern. Even though I'm making this shirt for a Scarlet Pimpernel outfit, I used my real initials - Percy Blakeney has enough shirts of his own.

You can see below how long the shirt is. I've read that men often wouldn't wear smallclothes, but would instead simply pull their shirts up between their legs. I can see how that would be possible - there's a lot of fabric! When Beau Brummel said it took him five hours to get dressed, much of that time was probably spent tucking in his shirt.

In the process of tucking in the shirt.

From the back. Good thing those trousers have a loose seat - plenty of room to fit the shirt tails!

The collar, turned up. Eventually I'll make a cravat to go with the shirt, but next up: some stitching primers.

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