Man’s Blackwork Shirt

March 2007- February 2009

A Renaissance blackwork shirt in fine white portofino linen. It’s patterned and constructed exactly like the Man’s Renaissance Shirt. I was very careful not to do any experimenting with this version! The silk blackwork was worked onto waste canvas, which was basted to the linen. An acorn motif from Beginner’s Guide to Blackwork was used for the center front opening and cuffs (alternating right-side-up with upside-down). I mirrored the design to create a wider pattern for the collar. For the record, I think each motif took me about one hour. Shirt ties are made of the same silk.

I thought the acorns were appropriate for Aaron but the design also had a nice 16thC feel. A few years later I was flipping through the newly published Patterns of Fashion 4. And lo and behold: an original 1560-80 acorn smock motif – illustrated in actual size. Just for yuks, I thought I’d compare the two side-by-side.