Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Making a 17th century shirt- The neckband

10 meters of linen hemmed! It took me about 15 hours and they did get neater as I went by. I got the tip from Virginiadear at LJ that you can starch the linen for even more neatness and then wash it out, but as I had already started I kept going. I will keep it in my mind for the next time, though! I whipstitched the top and bottom of the sleeves as they aren't hemmed. Arnold doesn't say anything about that, but for my own sanity I wanted to keep any fraying at bay.
Next I cut the neck opening. Many of the shirts in Patterns of Fashion 4 has just a slit, but this shirt has an oblong shape cut out, with a slit 16 cm down the front. I kept the original proportions and whipstitched the raw edges. I also hemmed the slit with the same tiny hem as the rest of the shirt.

Next I cut two trapetzoid shapes that are re-inforcing the shoulder area. I kept the original proportions here as well, adding 0.5 cm on each side for the hemming. The ends are hidden when the neckband and sleeves are in place, so they are left unhemmed.

It is sewn to the wrong side of the garment, but the stitches can be seen from the right side. I am, by the way, using white cotton thread, not linen as in the original.

The neckband is s simple rectangle, folded lengthwise so it ends up being about 4 cm high. I added 0.5 cm all around for hemming. The neckline is gathered, but not all around. The "corners" of the oblong shape are left as they are, the front and the back are then gathered and the neckband sewn on. It is top-stitched from the right, which keeps the gathers in place, but also serves as a decorative element. I derived once again from the original linen thread and used buttonhole silk instead.
I think it looks quite neat if I may say so myself!
The end of the neckband has the sewing allowance folded against each other and then whip-stitched together. On the wrong side the neckband is hemmed so the raw edge of the neckline is completely covered. I also embroidered a "J" at the wrong side of the neckband, center back. The original has a "C" for Claes there, so I thought it fitting to add J's initial.
I then added the little spiderweb design at the end of the slit. Onca again this has a practical purpose and not just decoration. The end of a slit is a very fragile place and Arnold notes that several other garments have tears in just that place. The cute little spiderweb re-inforced that fragile area. I used buttonhole silk, first just outlining the design with a few threads and then covring those with buttonhole stitches.

The end result is nowhere as neat as the original, but it serves its purpose, I suppose.

Now: Onward to the sleeves!


ZipZip said...

Dear Isis,

Very prettily done! He is going to *treasure* that shirt.

Starch is a very good friend. I starch a great many of my fabrics before sewing them; they're just so much easier to handle that way.

Very best,


Isis said...

Natalie: Thank you, I hope he will!

I will definitly try the starch approach! It seems very smart, wonder why I never thought about it before. :)

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