Author Topic: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man  (Read 10476 times)

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2016, 05:36:29 PM »
There are two types of college degrees. One is art, and the other is science. Artist are creators, and scientist study creation. Does an artist ever stop creating? I don't think so. They look at a style, and how many variations will they come up with? To a certain extent patterns get in the way. So, they are not just making shirts. The shirts are about some parts of life that they put together. Music isn't about a bunch of notes or words. It's about why. Perhaps all music is mathematical, but it is not created by math. It is created about life, as is clothes.

"But surely apprentices and journeymen learned to cut from just such books.  It's a textbook, not just a "bunch of hints". Journeymen should be beyond textbook. An update on modern thinking. Beginners know nothing. They have to start somewhere. Take, for example, learning how to write literature. You learn some words and grammar. Hints on methods of setting up the story, which maybe an outline for direction and chapters. But you are really on your own. Your thinking is really about mass-production, which is far from custom. Custom needs a whole different model.

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2016, 11:52:40 PM »
There are two types of college degrees. One is art, and the other is science.

And neither one is required to be a tailor or cutter.  It's a craft, not a profession.  Most tailors and cutters, I believe, are practical-minded people who just do what works.

But you are really on your own. Your thinking is really about mass-production, which is far from custom. Custom needs a whole different model.

My thinking, for this thread, was about accomplishing a task.  The task I was given was to draft a pattern for a replica mid-19th century shirt to be made for a man who wants to represent a "typical farmer".   My research indicates he would most likely be in a mass-produced ready-made shirt, not an artist's unique creation; so that is what I drafted.

The living historian's task is to represent the past as it actually was, not as modern people feel it should have been.  This is not theater.

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2016, 04:50:23 PM »
Here is another shirt. http://www.18cnewenglandlife.org/shirt.htm

Don't really know why you come here if you know it all. From my latest reading the style is rather fashionable, meaning, lots of varieties. So, they are not all cut and sewn the same, and change by the decade. These shirts were made by professionals of custom to mass-production. Then there were women making them from farmers wifes to women doing it on the side. How many farmers wives made them? Half? Did you say this person you're making for is big? When I was a boy living in farming country I never saw a large belly farmer. They had lots of work to do and it all burned calories. The history you are represening they were walking behind horses, oxen or mules ploughing, swinging a scythe to cut a barns full of hay.taking care of animals doesn't allow for somebody to get fat either. If a farmers wife made them she probably just looked at one and guessed how to make one for her husband and from there made the necessary changes with the next ones. It can't be that hard.

When doing the shirring and using the two running threads method you can use a safety pin to hold them together.

"artist's unique creation"? Don't think you know much about art. One type of art is classical. Some of the Greek and Roman architecture is classical. In other words, grandeur, majestic, etc. add some elegance to it. Can you do that with clothes? What is pop art? Music? Clothes? Etc.? Pop art certainly isn't classical. There are many types of art for clothes. Some hasn't been invented yet.

"The living historian's task is to represent the past as it actually was, not as modern people feel it should have been.  This is not theater." Historian's really can't represent the past unless it has life in it. History was never dead. And I never said, "not as modern people feel it should have been."  About the word should, it is a very binding word. People who rarely use that word have a better life. Some psychologist have told their patients to kick it out of there thoughts, (I've read that more than once).

hutch--

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2016, 05:17:13 PM »
I think that's the idea that appealed to me as the most probable, in circumstances where ready made clothing was not available and even fabric and sewing accessories were hard to get, it was usually up to the "little woman" to fit in making at least some of the garments that their husbands wore as well as cooking, washing clothing, raising the kids, feeding the animals, assisting with the harvesting, helping with plowing the fields etc .....

It was probably easier for folks who live in towns or cities long ago but for folks on the land, life was never easy in the past.
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Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #64 on: August 27, 2016, 06:18:21 PM »
Hutch, do you come from farming background?

hutch--

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #65 on: August 27, 2016, 07:56:26 PM »
Almost, I was born in the country and moved to Sydney when I was 12 so I am a genuine "cow cocky".
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Henry Hall

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #66 on: August 27, 2016, 10:00:53 PM »
I come from a rather backward farming community. My grandmother made shirts for most of us, out of 'cheesecloth'. She was seamstress at Monty Burton's for about 20 years. Even though they used electric machines there, she used a treadle machine at home. At the end of the 1970s we lived not much further on the than the mid-1950s, quite backward really, but not necessarily unpleasant at all.

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #67 on: August 27, 2016, 11:47:07 PM »
About the word should, it is a very binding word. People who rarely use that word have a better life. Some psychologist have told their patients to kick it out of there thoughts, (I've read that more than once).

Wow.   Just  ---  wow.

I think that's the idea that appealed to me as the most probable, in circumstances where ready made clothing was not available and even fabric and sewing accessories were hard to get, it was usually up to the "little woman" to fit in making at least some of the garments that their husbands wore as well as cooking, washing clothing, raising the kids, feeding the animals, assisting with the harvesting, helping with plowing the fields etc .....

This is an appealing idea, but it's a common misconception.  Many people don't realize how interconnected mid-19th century America was.  Roads were primitive, but the canal and lock system allowed two-way traffic on a large system of waterways.  Once steam propulsion was perfected this was extended to the river system.  Then the railroads filled in the inland areas.

The same steam transportation that brought settlers to new areas continued to bring goods to supply the villages, towns and cities they established.  Ready-made clothing was as easy to transport as bolts of cloth, so found its way nationwide.   Women who no longer had to sew clothing for men had more time for their other duties (including making women's and children's clothing), or even for education.  A burgeoning immigrant population (mostly Irish and German before the Civil War) supplied the garment industry workforce in major Eastern cities.

No doubt some home manufacturing continued.  However, in most cases it was cheaper for a farmer to purchase a ready-made shirt from the local dry goods store than to buy yardage and sewing notions, especially if the value of his wife's time was considered.  The self-sufficient farm family might have been common on the frontier in 1790 - but not in 1860.

Here are links to a couple of time capsules showing the variety of goods moving on the rivers in the 1850's and 60's.  Ready-made clothing featured prominently in both cargoes:

http://1856.com/

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Desoto/wildlife_and_habitat/steamboat_bertrand.html

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #68 on: August 31, 2016, 07:18:06 AM »
Jim, other than the button front, what is not of the period that you are interested in of this square cut shirt?

http://costumes.org/wiki/images/0/01/GalleryImages11_34.jpg

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #69 on: August 31, 2016, 11:23:41 AM »
Jim, other than the button front, what is not of the period that you are interested in of this square cut shirt?

http://costumes.org/wiki/images/0/01/GalleryImages11_34.jpg


The book is from 1893, and the person wanting the pattern is dressing someone for the late 1850's - mid 1860's.  So, it's 35 - 40 years too late.  This would be analogous to dressing someone portraying President Kennedy in one of Bill Clinton's suits. 

Differences from the common "squares and rectangles" shirt of earlier in the century include:

- shaped neck hole (instead of a slit)
- no neck gussets
- Yoke shaped lining (earlier they were rectangular)
- Grown on sleeve gusset (earlier they were cut separately)
- Button stand (placket) in front.  Earlier they were a simple slit as in Schneiderfrei's example.

It is interesting that a book this late still shows a version of this archaic shirt.  However, you can find books of similar vintage that still show how to cut fall front trousers.  That doesn't mean they were still fashionable or in common use by the general population.  I think the "workman's shirt" shown on page 17 of the same book was probably a lot more popular.

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2016, 06:32:08 PM »

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #71 on: November 08, 2016, 01:40:20 AM »
Thanks.  The source for that shirt pattern is "The Workwoman's Guide", which was discussed in post #25.  It's a typical early 19th century squares and rectangles shirt, not what my client was looking for.