Wednesday, March 2, 2011

shirt construction 4 finishing touches


Having top stitched down the shoulder straps, I then added two buttonholes to each cuff or sleeve band for sleeve buttons. Sleeve buttons aka cuff links are commonly found at 18thc frontier and non frontier sites- several folks carry repros of them, my faves are from:

I also added thread buttons for the collar (mine turned out a bit too rough, I will likely purchase ready made ones from Burnley and Trowbridge to replace these if my second attempt is as bad) and corresponding buttonholes on the collar. Many stores in 18th century Virginia carried buttons for shirts, for instance:

Inventory of Sundry Goods the property of Messr Glassford & Henderson taken at their store in Dumfs [Dumfries] September ye 21st, 1772 p19
"2 3/4 Groce wire Shirt Buttons   1/6
1 1/4 Groce Ditto    2/6"


I also added a web of thread at the bottom of the slit in front to keep that secure and need to top-stitch the cuffs and etc. (great directions for this are in the Tudor Tailor) or you can do the applied heart reinforcement thing shown here:


The finished product isn't as nice as I'd liked (wish I had been more patient, used smaller stitches and done a better job pleating things more evenly) but I did end up with a basic coarse shirt that is usable for our purposes here. Anyway, free advice and worth every penny! I highly encourage folks to follow Neal's instructions ( ) as I am quite the amateur at this stuff!