Victorian Shirt

September – December 2008

A man’s shirt in pima cotton broadcloth. The shield shaped front is a pima woven stripe. It’s Laughing Moon’s #107 pattern, the View B dress shirt. Some interesting features include a tab at the front which attaches to the pants to keep the shirt from riding up, and a loop at the back of the neckband to keep the tie in place.
Comically, Aaron is wearing the shirt inside-out in this outdoor photo. At the time neither of us noticed! (Probably because the front closes with studs instead of buttons). But trust me — the flat-felled seams look much better from the good side.
I first tried this shirt in April 08, and made enough fitting and sewing mistakes that it was immediately tagged for a re-do. Before beginning a second version, I read relevant sections of David Coffin’s Shirtmaking. Using only a few of his basic techniques, this shirt turned our much better than the first one. Particularly the flat felled seams, rolled hem, and cuffs and collars.
I did make the sleeves too short. But by replacing the wristband with attached cuffs, I made up the difference in length.
I often wonder how to sort a man’s wardrobe from this period in order of difficulty. I think it’s a close call between pants and shirt. Assuming that both are made in a plain, cotton fabric, I think the shirt would be more difficult than the pants. My conclusion may change, of course, since I haven’t checked out the Coffin pants book.