Friday, April 29, 2011

Men's White Linen Regency Shirt

Progress has been made on my husband's regency ensemble. His breeches are finished and so is his shirt! My goodness, we now have a half dressed regency gentleman! Yay!

I will try to get some photos of David wearing the shirt and breeches tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some basic photos of the shirt.

It is not fancy by any means, but, I hope, will be serviceable and cool to wear this summer. It is made of the lightestweight linen that offers and washed up to be almost sheer. It definitely leaves nothing to the imagination. So it is a good thing that David will be wearing a waistcoat on top of this at all times.

It is a basic squares and rectangles shirt. I used the diagram from The Cut of Men's Clothes, the diagram from Everyday Dress in Rural America, 1783-1800, the extant shirt pictures from 18th Century New England and the repro shirt photos from Kannik's Korner. Since I have made many square cut shirts in the past for Civil War reenacting this was not very different. The only differences were good ones - no placket, and reinforcement pieces for the shoulders and armholes.  The shirt is also lightly gathered at the collar, and gussets inserted at the collar slits to make the shirt sit more comfortably around the neck.

The shirt is quite long, coming well down past mid-thigh to just above the knee. The sleeves are full and blousy. The width of the shirt body is cut at 30", based on the suggestion in Everyday Dress in Rural America, but I think I could have gone a tad wider and it would have fit David better. The shirt does fit, but the body is not as loose as I think it could have been and the sleeves do not drop off onto his arms as far as they might have. Next time, I think I'd cut the body width at about 34" or 35". Even 36"; and this would also give me a tad more width to gather into the collar for a fuller look there.

All in all, I'm happy with how my first 18th century style shirt came out. I adore the linen! Such a nice fabric to work with. As usual in my repro clothing, all the inner seams are sewn on machine and everything that can be seen from the outside is done by hand. Next up: Waistcoat and cravat! Here's hoping we'll have all this finished up by July. . .



  1. Dear Sarah Jane,

    Handsome! It will be good to finally meet him.

    Very best,

  2. Can't wait to see the cravat and waistcoat!

  3. Lovely! Which pattern are you using for the waistcoat, or are you drafting? I had a reader ask me recently if I could do a tutorial for the Rocking Horse Farms waistcoat, since I've made it before, and since the pattern instructions are written in Alien. I'm going to try to put up the tutorial by mid May. Not that you need my help, by any are SO capable! And who knows if I could even make any better sense of the pattern than the original pattern makers did...but I thought I would let you know, anyway. It would be interesting if you could do a tutorial on how you make your waistcoat too. The reader mentioned how he can't ever find blogs and tutorials on Men's Regency clothing. I should send him your way!

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Thank you for your lovely thoughts!