Was white under dress.... now embroidered shirt for Gabs

Just another Un-Finished-Object (UFO) hanging around my room that had to go or get recycled. It was a heavy linen under dress which almost got completed. However, as it was unlikely that I was going to bother finishing this garment. It just kept on getting moved from pile to another pile.

In the meantime, Mum found a remnant of the fabric and thought it was the very thing to embroider for collars and cuffs for a shirt for Gabriel. It was a very even weave. Unfortunately, I didn't have any more of the fabric, and I really prefer to see the same fabric used for shirt as the collar. So, I decided to use the skirt of the under garment to turn into a shirt for Gabriel. I had *JUST* enough for the shirt out of the skirt - can you believe that? (It was two drops of 150 wide)

Oh and the bodice, I can then use another skirt and still possibly use as an undergarment if I really need to.

I'm unclear on where Mum got the design from so if anyone else can advise I'd love to credit it here. Mum used black silk (probably guetermann) to embroider this and if you looked at the back it is beautifully neat and reversible. Much better than I can do. She's has patience for this type of work that I don't have.

Gabriel decided that he wanted a border around the collar. I can't stand Holbein stitch enough to even bother with a straight line, so I have added that using a stem stitch. Evidently, it provides a better straight line than Holbein anyway. Who knew! (Anna of course). Of course I'd like to claim that that is the reason to choose the stitch but in all honestly - Stem is my favorite!

Collar is 48cms and Cuffs are 20cms

Cut and Construction

For a comfortable fit shirt for Gabriel, I generally need two drops of around 150 wide fabric. I fold this in half and use the above diagram to cut out the sleeves and body. Even though I have a an angled sleeve, I still use square gussets (12cm sq).

You can see a slight drop in the shoulders. In some shirts in the C16th you may find a small gusset to allow for the Trapezius. Instead of adding a gusset, I have taken away about 2.5 cms on the outside edge allow for a slope downwards. I have also added a curve to the base of the shirt so that it sits flat when he wears it.

First thing I do is normally sew the shoulder seams together and then iron the seams open. Then I cut out the neckline at this point and add facing for the front of the neck.

I then sew the side seams around 38cms from the shoulder seams. At this point I sew up the sleeves, including the gusset. The length of the sleeve is normally around 80cms. I pleat the end of the sleeves into a cuff at this point. I also then insert the sleeve into the body, allowing about 10 pleating from the shoulder seam. Finally I add the collar.

With sewing up the cuffs and collars, I use a fabric iron on interface to provide stiffness. For closures I use hooks and eyes as I've found them to be the most effective in staying closed.

Things of interest
I am yet to see any shirts with pleats on the shoulder points in the C16th but he finds it comfortable. "Patterns of Fashion 4" by Janet Arnold has a diagram of a C17th shirt with pleats on the shoulders. From the shirt diagrams located in "Patterns of Fashion 4" by Janet Arnold, "Cut my Cote" by Dorothy K Burnham, they tend to be more square in shape rather than angular sleeves and body. However, they look fine and he likes them

Here is Gabriel trying on his new shirt for the first time.
And a wave to his peeps......