Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update - Dan's Shirt

The only part of Dan's outfit I've started on is his shirt.  Before I started it, I figured it was just a shirt, but the pattern turned out to be really hard-core.  A lot of it is hand sewn, all the parts you see and some you won't.  It has funny extras that don't actually seem necessary but are period accurate, and a couple pieces that I cut out and had no idea what they were for until I actually followed the directions.  (Side note, most modern commercial patterns' directions are incredibly dumbed down and I only have to glance at them now and again to complete a garment.  These I really had to pay close attention to, not because they were written poorly, but because period garment are just constructed differently, and more complicated-ly.  And they result, often, in much more impressive garments.)

I don't have a photo of the entire garment, cause when you look at it from a distance, it's just a shirt.  But the close ups are really worth it.  So next October, for those of you who are there, I encourage you to examine Dan's shirt.  Closely.  Go on, make him uncomfortable.

First up, I have what looks like an image of a weird crotch seam.  It's actually a side seam, and the reinforcing finishing touch is a weird half inverted triangle thing folded back on itself that I'm really tickled by.  I also saw something exactly the same on a modern high end men's shirt a few weeks back, so it turns out this detail is still around.

Next is the shoulder/sleeve area.  There's a sleeve gusset, which wasn't new to me, but two other details in this photo were.  I've always wondered at the movie photos of men's shirts; the shoulder seam is really off the shoulder, and there seems to be a band of fabric just above it, and I never knew what it was, or why it looked like that.  Turns out it is a band of fabric, I think to cover up the raw inset sleeve edges, but I have no idea why it's as wide as it is.  But when Dan has it on, it does look like he has on a white armband under his shirt, so I think I did it right.
The other detail is one you can't really see well.  The shirt has no shoulder seam.  The front and back are cut out tunic style, and then a T shape is cut for the neck hole.  So about a 3" wide strip of fabric is added over where a shoulder seam would be, to reinforce the area.  I'm guessing that this area wears out quickly because there were several layers worn over the shirt and rubbing would have resulted.  But it was weird to not have a shoulder seam and then add more fabric to create the look of one.  Oh, and it was decoratively hand stitched.


Speaking of hand stitching...the cuffs have two rows of decorative handstitching, and the collar has one as well.  This took forever, and I realized that my endless cross stitching was not enough experience for me to be able to backstitch in a straight line.  But I got better.  Again, feel free to examine Dan's cuffs when you see him.

The only thing left is to add buttons.  I'm planning on making my own Dorset buttons, which are decorative thread buttons made with a metal ring, some thread and some magic, but I haven't started on those yet.
If you want to see some Dorset buttons, go here and scroll down a bit.  http://www.wmboothdraper.com/Buttons/buttons_main.htm#trbuttons

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