Author Topic: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man  (Read 10568 times)

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2016, 01:20:39 AM »
Can you imagine a woman settling down to one of those guys??

Probably depended on the available options.

Apparently boatmen were attractive to some.  There's even a period song about it:

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/old-time-music/old-time-songs/de_boatman_dance.html

"I neber see a pretty girl in all my life
but dat she be some boatman's wife."

hutch--

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2016, 11:13:57 AM »
Something I got when I bought the spare fabrics left over by my local tailor before he retired was a roll of off white linen and for all the world it looks like calico. I remember a fashion from some time ago to make jackets out of linen in white and similar but my first impression when playing with a small piece of it was it would make a good period shirt if you got the pattern right.
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Schneiderfrei

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2016, 06:45:13 PM »
Mor'n likely

Schneiderfrei

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2016, 07:18:49 PM »
This is my best example:










Henry Hall

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2016, 10:34:15 AM »
I'm thinking Magwitch from Great Expectations, just after his escape :D

Interesting to see one of these period shirts close up. I've seen one or two, but not close. There's a re-enactor fellow who keeps all the stuff in a lock-up near mine and he has a pile of period shirts. They have more cuff on them, but that's probably not authentic. Can't say I'm a great fan of cuff bands rather than full cuffs though.

Schneiderfrei

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2016, 03:24:26 PM »
I made it about 10 years ago. I had enough trouble with the design of the yoke to worry too much about the finish of the seams at that time. It was fun to make and it is fun to wear out sometimes.

Its made of heavy linen, probably Irish.

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2016, 10:29:10 PM »
They have more cuff on them, but that's probably not authentic.

Depends on the wearer.  "Gentlemen" were more likely to have turn-back cuffs, the ancestor of today's French cuffs.  Also a frilled front that closed instead of the slit with the drawstring.  Sometimes these were made of a thinner, finer linen than the shirt body.

By mid-century paper collars and cuffs were available, which fastened on to narrow bands at the neck and sleeves.

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2016, 05:06:18 AM »
That's pretty interesting Greger, its not that sophisticated, of course, but a great reference.

Its not supposed to be sophisticated. Its really just a bunch of hints. Most of it is aimed at that time period. Even the pattern system isn't to be taken seriously. Some would be appalled if you used it. You are supposed to create your own ideas of a shirt. They were very careful not to step on toes of the best shirt makers. They left a huge amount of latitude to chase whatever decade of shirt you want, and other garments in the category of the shirt maker. If you look to the philosophy it is very open. The minute details is only part of what the book is about. Since those details are always changing they're not the basic thoughts of shirt making. If you can understand the excitement of the garment of the time period, you should be able to do a fair job in making it. Of course, a few details help, but not always necessary, because, each of the best pursue their own way to create it. You have to remember, the author could have started making shirts in the 1840s, or, even sooner. His main instructor could have started sooner than the 1780s, which influenced his thinking, not to mention, other tailors. His thinking isn't just from the1890s. You can read about balance at least as far back as 2,000 BC, which is taken into consideration for all upper garments to be made (which is only one detail among many). One time I brought a pattern system to Hostek, because I wanted to know how to adapt it to fit someone (should have only brought the draft without the system). He noticed the system wasn't mine. Ever see an old man become furious? Well, you should have been there. He never did explain why I went asking. Someone else's pattern system is someone else's art work. That is the only person to use it. Can't really call yourself an artist copying someone else's work, so, not a tailor. I had grab that, because it was handy, and I didn't know if he believed that, as some don't. As far as history goes, a young man asked my grandad how to make a pattern that he brought. It had two or three numbers on it as a guide for size. So you draw that. Then it gets graded up or down to size (how many tailors grade right on the cloth?). Then the figurations. Add the inlays and cut. Canvases are very different on those coats. Anyway, he explained the whole without hesitation, from beginning to end. Answering questions when asked. History is a resource. Grandad's coats were not like others, and yet, modern. The best tailors are thinkers, not copiers. So, skip the period details, and look for the other details he wrote (they are far more interesting). He obviously expects the reader to know more.

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2016, 08:20:25 AM »
Which book are you talking about, Greger?

The book at your link (Part Eleven of The Cutter's Practical Guide 1893-1898 by W. D.F. Vincent) is very much a "cookbook" pattern reference for working cutters. 

With respect, you seem to have a habit of assuming that all serious tailors must be free-thinking artists like Mr Hostek and your dearly remembered grandfather.  The freedom to innovate at will is a privelege reserved to a fortunate few.  Most tailors and cutters, even the good ones, are employees who make what they are told to.  Too much innovation will probably result in a swift invitation to seek another line of work.  This is not to say that systems aren't constantly changing.  They are, because fashions change and the vast majority of customers want up-to-date clothing styles.  But these changes flow from the top down - in the 19th century from the fashion plate to the head cutter, then to the journeymen and the shop floor. 

Schneiderfrei

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2016, 10:15:48 AM »
Thats cool greger.

Greger

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2016, 01:50:52 PM »
Jim, how many tailors have you ever talked to? Any tailor that worked for Hostek had to make clothes Hosteks methods. That has nothing to do with their lessons about art. Some of the tailors who worked for him were far better than him, and he was in awe of how good they were, and yet, when working for him, they didn't have a free hand. Even in high school in art class one of the art teachers was recommending to one student that the field of art of tailoring might be good for him. He said tailoring is art. Indeed, some people are more of an artist than others, and some people are not artist at all. Believe what you want, Jim.

Henry Hall

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2016, 08:48:12 PM »
I tend to agree with Jim. There's surely limited opportunity for 'designer' flair when you're a busy maker, as most tend to be. Savile Row houses always seem to be saying they have need of makers, not designers.

I don't know that much about shirts throughout history, but they don't seem to have been all that important from a design point-of-view. The changes: addition of a separate yoke, better fastenings, improved armhole shaping etc has been arguably more trivial than the evolution of outer-garments.

How recently did a shirt become a garment worn as something other than underwear? Not that long ago.

jruley

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2016, 12:01:10 AM »
Believe what you want, Jim.

I see little point in arguing with someone whose mind is obviously made up.

For those interested in the history of the clothing industry in early 19th century America, here is a good reference:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Ready_Made_Democracy.html?id=LL5OPsilA-UC&hl=en

hutch--

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2016, 08:14:48 AM »
There is a type of "upper body outer garment" that I have seen images of from the Elizabethan period and enough period movies with costumes of similar appearance that I find as an interesting idea for a shirt. Effectively narrowed at the neck, wrists and waistline but generally loose fitting and roomy around the shoulders. A common garment of non formal appearance and probably made of non fancy white or natural fibre type like wool or perhaps linen as I don't think cotton was available in any large quantities that long ago.
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Schneiderfrei

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Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2016, 01:39:42 PM »
Magwich indeed ;)