Finished! An 18th century man’s shirt

And, just for bragging rights, it didn’t come out all wonky!

I actually finished all of the shirt excepting the buttons in time for the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, but I got lazy and put off the buttons until last night, when I just had time to sew them on in the last 5 minutes of True Blood.*

So now it is 100% done, and I am pretty darn pleased with it!

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The cotton fabric I worked with, though evil, is gorgeous once finished, and irons just like linen (the collar gets very smooth and crisp, but the gathers are impossible to iron into and stay a little crumpled) so it looks very historically accurate.

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Rather than trying to applique a heart out of the evil fabric I used a bit of lace to strenghten the bottom of the neck opening. I think it looks quite nice.

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I’m not sure what the buttons I used are made out of, but I think they are a kind of glass.  Maybe?  They came from the oldest section of my grandmother’s button collection. There were just the 3 of them, so it seemed providential.

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If you know what they are please do tell!

I hate doing hand buttonholes, so these were done on a machine. If I ever do a 100% hand sewn shirt I will do the buttonholes properly, but until then I’m OK with machine as the buttonholes get hidden under the stock/cravat and cuffs anyway.

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Now that the shirt is done I’m pretty sure that the sleeves in Marquise’s pattern are actually supposed to be put with the short width going up and down the arm and the long width going around the arm. The sleeves are a bit long on Mr Dreamy, and not particularly full, and he has long skinny arms.

The length of the sleeves is part of the reason there is no lace on the cuffs, and the fact that there is only so far you can push a man is the other ;-)

*Yes, much to my surprise, I am a fan. I would prefer if they did a PG13 version alongside the ordinary version though. I spend a lot of time looking down at my hand-sewing and blushing furiously. To make it even weirder, Mr Dreamy knew Anna Paquin (she’s from the Hutt OK – just like Felicity!) and even briefly dated one of her best friends. This was way before me of course!

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Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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