Man’s Medieval Shirt

November – December 2016

A man’s medieval shirt in 3.5oz linen. The pattern is from The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, with a few modifications. Since the shirt was made to be worn with a Flemish peasant outfit, the straight sleeves were cut a little wider (so they could be rolled up). I shaped the body piece like the shirt of St. Louis (Cut My Cote, p. 12). This simple 1″ adjustment prevents the sleeves from hanging too far off the shoulder, without reducing the shirt’s width. I unintentionally cut the shirt 2″ too short. But it seems to be about the same length as a 15th century Italian camicia shown in Lorenzo Petrucci’s research. The shirt has underarm gussets, side slits, and a 1/4″ neck binding which extends to form ties. The seams are 3/16″ wide and flat-felled. All visible stitches are hand-sewn.

Neck tapes
Joachim Beuckelaer, 1563: detail from The Miraculous Draught of Fishes
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles