August 21, 2014

Catching Up - Eli's Shirt

A lot has happened since my last entry nine months ago.  I've hand-constructed a shirt, purchased a musket, joined a reenacting unit, machine sewn a pair of breeches, and continued to research.

The unit that I've joined is Warner's Regiment, based in and around Vermont.  This choice may change my impression some, as Warner's is a military unit far removed from Eli's Boston.  I attended my first reenactment with them this past weekend though, and I believe I've made a good choice.  The purpose of this post, however, is to update my documentation regarding my persona's clothing.

As mentioned in the post Clothing Eli, and period documented in the post Shirt - A Basic Definition, my first piece of clothing for Eli was a basic shirt.  Using advice from folks on a couple of online forums, I was able to hand-sew the entire garment.  It's not 100% accurate, as I used synthetic thread, but it came out well for my first attempt.  The shirt is comfortable, and fits fairly well.  The only issue that I've had is that the thread buttons I made for it don't hold that well.

First, a couple of overview shots of the front and back. 


The shirt is made up of basic shapes, including rectangles for the collar and shoulder reinforcing and triangular gussets to provide room in the neck.

Shoulder Reinforcing
Neck Gusset

Additional gussets provide room in the underarms and at the sides.

Arm Gusset
Side Gusset

The neckline is rolled and stitched to finish the edge.  Thread buttons are attached to close the neck and cuffs.  I may remove the cuff buttons and replace them with buttonholes for cuff-links at some point, which would be more correct for the time-period.

Neckline Detail
Thread Button Detail

The shirt was a great first project.  The pattern of rectangles and triangles is easy to cut, and, since this is a base garment, mistakes are pretty well hidden under other clothing.