Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Victorian Shirt: Part 6 (collar and cuffs 3)

The collar is finished. I need to starch it, but I'll wait until I've finished the cuffs, and do them both together. Still, it stands up nicely on its own. The starch will help that, and will give it an almost papery sheen as well. I'll press the seams nice and crisp too. It isn't clear from these photos, but one thing I did to help alleviate some bulk in the buttonholes was to give the front holes a...hmm, I'm not sure how you call it. It isn't just a straight flat hole, but a round punch-out where the stud rests, and then the slit for the rest. I'll post an image later of what I mean.

In any case, here are some close-ups of the collar front and back. As always, you can click the images for a larger view.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Victorian Shirt: Part 5 (collar and cuffs 2)

I decided to start with a collar from the Cutter's Practical Guide. The first thing I did was measure between the buttonholes on my shirt's collar band to figure out the actual measurements. Then I chose collar pattern #1 and scaled their dimensions to mine. I've actually made a set of scaled measuring tapes, but for this it was actually easier for me to just scale it by eye.

(I'm sure I'll make a post in the future about scaled tapes, but basically you get your real measurement, let's say for example 9.5" from the back centre of the collar to the tip, and compare that to the 8.25 the pattern calls for. Find a tape where 9.5" matches 8.25, and then use that tape for all your measures. It doesn't matter that 8.25 isn't in real inches, but just that all your measurements come from that tape. Make sense? No? I'll make a post about it in detail later.)

You can see below my pattern, with a quarter inch seam allowance added, and the nearly-finished collar. I made it of two layers of handkerchief-weight linen for the outside, and interlined it with the 5.3 oz linen I used for the rest of the shirt. From what I've read the heavier lining not only gives it more form on its own, but also absorbs and holds more starch, making it crisper in the end. I apologise for the horrible quality of the photo, but at this stage it's been sewn and prick stitched around the edge, and I've started on the centre back buttonhole.

Here's a closeup of the buttonhole in progress. I've basted around it so the three layers don't move while I work on it, and serged the edges of the buttonhole so it doesn't fray. I cut the hole itself in the traditional fashion, with a chisel. This keeps the hole cleaner than if I try to snip at it with scissors.

Finally, the finished buttonhole. I made my own twist with two strands of linen thread, waxed and twisted. Of course it picked up a little dirt and oil from my fingers when I did that so it isn't perfectly white, but I think that will partly wash out, and in any case will be under my tie while I'm wearing the collar.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Victorian Shirt: Part 4 (collar and cuffs 1)

The shirt is finished! I don't have a picture of it!

Well, it pretty much looks like the last photo in the previous post, except that it has a collar band on it.

Interestingly, since finishing I learned about a different method of doing cuff bands and collar bands that would drastically help with my problem of too much fabric to fit a collar stud through (though I think it won't be a problem with this shirt). Instead of fashioning the bands from fabric, reinforced with interlining, simply use a piece of stiff ribbon or tape, such as petersham or a starched grosgrain. It would certainly cut down on bulk.

Now that I've finished the shirt I need to make a collar and cuffs for it. Thinking about the styles, I came across some really interesting cuff designs from Ageless Patterns:

It strikes me as odd that all of the cuffs fasten from the centre of the cuff instead of at the ends. Since the first set of buttonholes is for attaching it to the cuff band, that means that half the cuff comes back over the sleeve and the wrist. I don't know if that would even be comfortable. I may have to draft a cuff like this and try it out, just to see what it's like.

In any case, I'll make a collar or two as well, and will probably choose something from The Cutter's Practical Guide (189?) or from patterns from the Costumer's Manifesto.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Victorian Shirt: Part 3 (wristbands)

Augh, it's been so long since I posted! What can I say? I haven't had as much time to sew lately, but the main reason can be summed up in three words: Game of Thrones. Once I started reading I couldn't stop until I'd finished all four books that are out in paperback now. Okay, now to the shirt:

To finish the sleeves I needed to add cuffs, but since I want to have detachable cuffs on this shirt I added shorter wristbands to which the cuffs will be attached with button studs. Instead of using interfacing I interlined the wristbands with the same linen as the rest of the shirt:

Then after sewing all three layers I turned the wristbands right side out and pressed one tab inside to attach it to the sleeve.

And here is the finished wristband, with two buttonholes to push a button stud through:

This shirt gets gussets at the bottoms of the side seams, just like the Regency shirt, except that the bottom hem of this shirt is a lot more curvy, more like the curved shirt tails of today:

And finally, the nearly-finished shirt. All it needs now is a collar band. I want to be careful with that, making sure that it isn't too bulky where the collar stud will go through the front. I'll have to trim the seam allowances close there, especially where the front button placket comes up into the collar band.