Bespoke Cutter And Tailor

Historical And Period Costumes => Costumers Forum => Topic started by: jruley on August 11, 2016, 10:26:42 PM

Title: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 11, 2016, 10:26:42 PM
I've been asked to draft an 1860's shirt pattern for a gentleman with a 56 chest - and 62 inch waist.

The draft I usually use (DeVere, 1859) has straight side seams, and has the front gathered into the bottom of a pleated bosom.  I can let out the gathers, but that will only make the chest and waist equal.

Are any costumers here aware of a period shirt draft for a corpulent man?

Without one, how would a modern shirtmaker approach this?  Slant the side seams out at the waist, or something else?

Thanks,

Jim R.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: posaune on August 12, 2016, 12:21:15 AM
I can only answer how I do it. Give some slant on CF and some ( but less) on the side seams. Rotate the front  pattern later so that the CF is in grain.
Another method is to use the waist circ for bust circ. Here you get a wide shoulder.
lg
posaune
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 12, 2016, 03:01:28 AM
It depends on where the fat is. It can be all in front, or, some on the sides, and even, some in back.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 12, 2016, 04:05:53 AM
Thank you both.  From the picture I was sent, the fat is all to the front.  However, shirts in this period were not split all the way to the tail; the one-piece front is split only to waist level.  So, slanting the CF line is not an option.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 12, 2016, 05:54:13 AM
It is still the way to do it, because it has to do with the scye.  Also, the waist is probably an inch or two lower at cf. 
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: posaune on August 12, 2016, 06:02:15 AM
Why? See pic.
lg
posaune
(https://s10.postimg.org/sabqqdl9h/rotated_DB.png) (https://postimg.org/image/sabqqdl9h/)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall on August 12, 2016, 06:08:51 AM
Probably a modern customer wants his shirt to fit in the body, but a shirt for any body type in 1860 is pretty much a sack from the 'yoke' down.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 12, 2016, 09:26:39 AM
Even a corpulent shirt should be balanced.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 12, 2016, 10:06:15 AM
Probably a modern customer wants his shirt to fit in the body, but a shirt for any body type in 1860 is pretty much a sack from the 'yoke' down.

Might surprise you, Henry.  The shirt pictured came from a draft published by Louis DeVere in 1859.  I proportioned it to my chest size and adjusted the collar, sleeve and overall lengths to my body measurements.  No adjustments were made for balance.

The shirt fits in the front shoulder area and is actually snug across the upper chest.  The back is way oversized and is gathered or pleated into the yoke as shown.  The lower front gets its shape and waist suppression by making the cutout for the bosom quite wide and gathering the excess material along the bosom bottom as shown. 

(http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w315/ruleyjm/f_zpszbl9iq0w.jpg)

(http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w315/ruleyjm/b_zpszcn60lpo.jpg)

(http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w315/ruleyjm/s_zpsrw3ern3q.jpg)

For a corpulent subject, the width of this cutout could be reduced, but the front is one continuous piece from side seam to side seam.  I suppose I could make the cutout V-shaped, which would allow extra width at the waist without splitting the front to the hem.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 12, 2016, 10:16:29 AM
It needs more front length/balance. It still looks like its tipping up, like a struck bell or swing that wants to fall back down.  That's what is unsettling to the eye.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 12, 2016, 01:13:47 PM
It needs more front length/balance. It still looks like its tipping up, like a struck bell or swing that wants to fall back down.  That's what is unsettling to the eye.

The way this shirt fits me isn't the issue here.  I just wanted to show Henry that it's not just "a sack from the yoke down".

The guy I'm drafting the pattern for is much bigger than me - 56 inch chest vs 40.

He is also far more corpulent - 62 inch waist (6 over chest) vs my 38 (2 inches less).
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: hutch-- on August 12, 2016, 01:43:29 PM
 :)

I wondered why it was so big around the middle.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: posaune on August 12, 2016, 07:31:51 PM
This is the last shirt  (linen - Bamboo) I sewed when I asked about sewing pleats. It is done after the draft I showed above. Bust was 132 cm waist was 142.
It is cut on fold. There is a cut out for the button stand, 2 pleats on each side. The pleats are sewn to the yoke's end. The yoke ist embroidered and sewn on after the pleats are closed. Underneath the yoke the pleats are hanging "free".
posaune
(https://s9.postimg.org/h1uchayqj/Trachtenhemd.png) (https://postimg.org/image/h1uchayqj/)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 12, 2016, 09:31:32 PM
With a period shirt such as you posted, you can hide the dart shaping in the vertical bib seam. The bib in most of those drafts is calculated to the waist in the front, often with a handy tab to button into the trouser waistband if desired. Of course that may be a slightly later technique.
You need to adjust for corpulence first.
The excess fabric that drapes under the belly in the draft, would be rotated/transferred to the bib seam.
I hope that makes some sense.
I don't hink I have seen a proper period corpulent shirt draft, I think it was just assumed that the maker would know what adjustments they needed to make from the basic, or they didn't care because the shirts were not form fitting as today, and were never seen on their own. Just conjecture on my part.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 13, 2016, 03:57:57 AM
This is from 189X

http://costumes.org/wiki/images/d/d6/GalleryImages11_19.jpg

Here is the whole book.

http://costumes.org/wiki/index.php/History100pagesC1898cuttersguide11a
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 13, 2016, 04:26:30 AM
This is from 189X


Thanks!  Unfortunately it's about 40 years "too new" :).

Besides it looks like that shirt is split in front to the hem, like a modern one.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: posaune on August 13, 2016, 04:59:02 AM
Hi Greger,
thanks, this is a very nice draft. Do you know, if there is adraft or the sleeves`?
lg
posaune
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 13, 2016, 06:01:04 PM
Posaune, his book is rather simple and short. Here is the whole book. A number of shirts and sleeve drafts.

http://costumes.org/wiki/index.php/History100pagesC1898cuttersguide11a,
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 15, 2016, 10:41:26 AM
So, here's what I've done based on this discussion:

(http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w315/ruleyjm/p_zpstcefg9ec.jpg)

The draft I'm using conventionally has the side seams and CF line vertical, as shown by the black lines.  I drew the pattern this way, then measured the existing amount of width at the waist.  I decided to add 6" more (3" per half) and split it into three equal parts; an inch at each side seam and angling the CF line forward 1" at the waist.  This allows the front to be cut on the fold as is typical of the era.

Below the waist, I continued the seams vertically since the hip measure is similar to the chest.
Additional overall length will make the side seams correspond to the sleeve length (not shown).
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 15, 2016, 11:58:21 AM
What about extra length that will be needed to go over the belly?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 15, 2016, 01:56:43 PM
What about extra length that will be needed to go over the belly?

I could cut the pattern at the waist line and tilt the upper part back to give some extra length.  Is there a guideline for how much is necessary?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 15, 2016, 06:24:07 PM
That's pretty interesting Greger, its not that sophisticated, of course, but a great reference.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 16, 2016, 01:56:31 AM
(https://s3.postimg.org/ba2cuezyn/corpshirtmod.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/ba2cuezyn/)

I would cut across on chest line, to make the increase in length to go over the belly. Redraw CF line which also gives you an increase in width at the waist and an increase in width at the hem.
To reduce some of the excess at the hem, you could cut along the bib line shoulder to the the circled area, cut up from the hem to the curcled area but not through. overlap at the pattern at the hem. This opens up the pattern along the bib seam. (transferring a dart) Now you have a dart pointing to the belly from the shoulder.
The bib needs to come to the waist. if it is shorter, then you are removing some of the needed waist width for corpulence.
You may still need to adjust the side seams too, in order to make a large enough increase at the waist.
You will also have some gain for gathers or pleating below the bib at CF.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 16, 2016, 02:08:56 AM
(https://s4.postimg.org/v2pzzqzwp/corpshirtmod2.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/v2pzzqzwp/)
your pattern would look like this. It puts one side of the seam on more of a bias.

another option is to cut along the bottom edge of the bib seamline to the circled area, cut up from the hem as before and fold over at the hem which will open out a dart along the horizontal bib seam.
now you have a short dart pointing towards the belly. Once you place the body of the shirt on the straight grain at CF, the bib seam goes off on the bias anyway.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 16, 2016, 10:18:56 AM
My experience with older shirts includes the "Missouri River Boatman's Shirt from the Folkware collection.

http://www.folkwear.com/204.html

My impression is that that pattern just about covers men's day shirts from about Elizabeth the First to the late eighteenth century, or nineteenth c. if you lived on the Missouri river.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Caleb_Bingham#/media/File:George_Caleb_Bingham_-_Mississippi_Boatman.jpg

All sins of figure were accommodated by gathering at the neck.

Incidentally, no single hard working boat man was ever corpulent, ;)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 16, 2016, 01:00:14 PM
My experience with older shirts includes the "Missouri River Boatman's Shirt from the Folkware collection.

http://www.folkwear.com/204.html

My impression is that that pattern just about covers men's day shirts from about Elizabeth the First to the late eighteenth century, or nineteenth c. if you lived on the Missouri river.

That is a good example of a "square and rectangle" shirt which as you say covers a wide historical range.  You can find original ca. 1840 instructions for cutting and making them here:

https://archive.org/stream/workwomansguide00workgoog#page/n162/mode/2up

This pattern has only straight lines, with all shaping obtained by gathering as you noted.  Even the neckhole starts as a straight slash across the (one-piece) body.

By the 1860's, such primitive things were being superseded in America by an abundant supply of cheap, ready-to-wear "French fitted" shirts, which had various degrees of shaping in the chest and sleeves, and sometimes even a yoke.

An excellent reference for the curious is "Thoughts on Men's Shirts in America, 1750-1900" by William L. Brown III:

https://www.amazon.com/Thoughts-Mens-Shirts-America-1750-1900/dp/1577470486/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471316279&sr=1-1&keywords=thoughts+on+men%27s+shirts

Quote
Incidentally, no single hard working boat man was ever corpulent, ;)

But what about married boatmen ?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 16, 2016, 05:58:35 PM
Can you imagine a woman settling down to one of those guys??
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 16, 2016, 06:13:39 PM
Actually, if you don't mind a small diversion from the topic.

 I had wondered if the change in shirt was in some way related to industrialization and the increasing use of cotton over linen.  The older shirts were apparently mostly made of linen. I bet cotton was more adaptable than linen in the development of more curved profiles.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: TTailor on August 16, 2016, 11:01:37 PM
I think the square cut shirt had to do more with not wasting any of the fabric.
Some of the linen was extraordinarily finely woven, but access to it as with many things depended on how much you could afford to oay.
Industrialization in general was the impetus fot many changes. Affordable ready mades, where once most shirts were made at home, communication- fashion changes, fabric changes in cost or availability, change trickled down eventually.
A good book if you can find a copy is this
https://www.amazon.ca/Shirts-Mens-Haberdashery-1840S-1920s/dp/0914046276
Great discussion of the changes in shirts over the time frame and a compilation of historical patterns, drafts and period references.
Another is Cut My Cote. This is a wee book put out by the Royal Ontario Museum if I recall correctly.
https://www.amazon.ca/Cut-My-Cote-Dorothy-Burnham/dp/0888540469/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471352380&sr=1-1&keywords=Cut+my+cote
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 17, 2016, 01:15:57 AM

A good book if you can find a copy is this
https://www.amazon.ca/Shirts-Mens-Haberdashery-1840S-1920s/dp/0914046276
Great discussion of the changes in shirts over the time frame and a compilation of historical patterns, drafts and period references.


Yes.  That's where I found the 1859 draft by DeVere.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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."
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: hutch-- 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 17, 2016, 06:45:13 PM
Mor'n likely
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 17, 2016, 07:18:49 PM
This is my best example:

(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii605/Schneiderfrei/Shirt%202_zpskayzifnk.jpg) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Schneiderfrei/media/Shirt%202_zpskayzifnk.jpg.html)

(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii605/Schneiderfrei/Shirt%20Yoke%20Detail_zpsaqvwnlv3.jpg) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Schneiderfrei/media/Shirt%20Yoke%20Detail_zpsaqvwnlv3.jpg.html)

(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii605/Schneiderfrei/Shirt%20Cuff_zps0i8r5pxi.jpg) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Schneiderfrei/media/Shirt%20Cuff_zps0i8r5pxi.jpg.html)

(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii605/Schneiderfrei/Shirt_zpsoo8s1wqt.jpg) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Schneiderfrei/media/Shirt_zpsoo8s1wqt.jpg.html)

(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii605/Schneiderfrei/Shirt%201_zpsk4mby24l.jpg) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Schneiderfrei/media/Shirt%201_zpsk4mby24l.jpg.html)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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. 
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 19, 2016, 10:15:48 AM
Thats cool greger.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: hutch-- 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 20, 2016, 01:39:42 PM
Magwich indeed ;)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 20, 2016, 05:49:12 PM
That book, of what I read, seems a bit too homespun. The way he wrote is like there was no industries at all. Even Jesus learned an industry about 2,000 years earlier. Practically all those people are European decent, which had many guilds. No doubt not everyone had a skill or trade or other education. But still, there were people moving to America with these, which would surely have influence, not to mention the ones already living here. Read part of a book where small boys were taken to old tailors to live there and learn, spending hours sitting on the bench learning how to make clothes in America. This is before the sewing machine. While sure, lots of women made clothes, preserved food and so on. Preserving food, the knowledge for that came from the old country. Out west in rural areas you couldn't run to the store, so self sufficient was very important. And then there were all the laws, which is why Americans rebelled, anyway.

Another matter. Tailoring and business are two entirely different subjects. The purpose of business is bringing in the money. The purpose of tailoring has nothing to do with business. And yet the two need each other. Bills need to be paid. And, who can sew for a living for free? House styles help keep businesses afloat. I would hardly call house styles tailoring. But they are good for dumb customer's and keep the business out of the red. Once heard (maybe youtube) or read on Henery Poole website, that they didn't have a house style. Last time I was looking there they said they do. Think it was Henery Poole, but at one time this company had three shops. One on SR for the wealthy. Another, somewhere else for the middle class. The other place was for young people. How do you have a house style for young people?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jeffrey on August 20, 2016, 11:16:48 PM
Hi Greger,
Will you be willing to show all of us on the forum some examples of your fine tailoring art?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 21, 2016, 12:30:00 AM
That book, of what I read, seems a bit too homespun. The way he wrote is like there was no industries at all.

You need to read more than the first few pages, or the first paragraph of an online review. 

The chapter titles give an idea of the scope of the book:

- A Homespun Ideology (I think this is where you stopped reading)

- A Clothing Business

- The Re-Invention of Tailoring (many on this board would find this interesting)

- Dressing for Work

- Ready-Made Labor

- The Seamstress

- A Fashion Regime

Getting back to the original subject (period shirts).  Before he took up gun making, Oliver Winchester owned a shirt factory in Connecticut.  Here are some statistics (quoted from a post on a reenactment discussion forum):

http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-5541.html

Quote
Some additional information on Winchester and his shirt factory:

In 1860, Winchester stated that his factory in New Haven, Connecticut, produced 800 dozen shirts/week. These shirts were machine-sewn on 400 sewing machines and operators. Prior to the introduction of the sewing machine, it would take 2,000 hand sewers to produce the same amount of work. [In 1861, a study done by the Wheeler and Wilson company compared the production of four hand sewers and four sewing machine operators. The average hand sewing time for a gentleman's shirt was 14 hours, 26 minutes; for a machine sewn shirt 1 hour, 16 minutes.] Winchester stated that the wage for hand sewing at that time was $3/week; this equates to labor costs of $6000/week. The 400 machine operators received $4/week, making the labor costs $1600/week. The average cost of a factory sewing machine was $150/each. The sewing machines paid for themselves in less than 14 weeks, increased the operators pay by $1/week, and drastically reduced manufacturing costs and retail prices. Source: "Argument of [George] Gifford in Favor of the Howe Application for Extension of Patent", U.S. Patent Office, 1860.

This factory made 9,600 shirts per week using sewing machines.  Average sewing time per shirt was 1hr and 16 min.  Just how much artistic license and innovative freedom do you think the women running these sewing machines had?  For this kind of mass production the fabric was probably cut several layers at a time using band knives, with layouts carefully controlled to minimize wastage.  Just like a modern factory except the only computers were between the cutter's ears.  In an environment like this the operator's task is to put the seam exactly where it belongs.  If the operator can't cut it there are hundreds more immigrant women waiting for openings in these relatively well-paid jobs.

This is the reality of mid-19th century clothing production.  And it's just one factory in one city.  Do you really think the "little village tailor" happily handsewing under the big shade tree is any competition that Winchester needs to worry about?

And if you are dressing someone to represent a "plain, everyday, and common" mid-19th century citizen (which is what the guy who ordered the pattern wants) -- shouldn't he be in something like a Winchester shirt, and not some 19th century inspired "folk art" piece?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 23, 2016, 05:19:58 PM
This has to be a type error. "The average hand sewing time for a gentleman's shirt was 14 hours, 26 minutes; for a machine sewn shirt 1 hour, 16 minutes." Instead of "14 hours, 26 minutes" it would be 4 hours, 26 minutes.

"Just how much artistic license and innovative freedom do you think the women running these sewing machines had?"
Women tailors?  These women are Seamstress. Besides, you must have overlooked what I said about Hostek demanding that tailors make his way. Which means, tailors are taught how to work for other tailors. Then there is also the fact, if working for yourself, you have to make what the customer is paying for, or you won't get paid. Since many captains of industry go to custom tailors these tailors are not making folk art. They are making industrial business art. If you are making clothes for teenagers they want a different kind of art. After work clothes, other kinds of art. Etc.

Throughout the centuries there have been many squabbles. Business men, some are very flamboyant. Others just stick with what works. Some really don't understand business at all. And they each have their own personality. There are honest to dishonest business men. The list of reasons goes on and on for squabbles and new sells attempts. He seems to be a fast moving writer.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 23, 2016, 05:33:12 PM
This is what somebody else posted in another forum from California. Though others here would like to see it.

Quote
Here's a pure linen late 18th/early 19th century tailcoat I saw at the museum a while back. Talk about unstructured! It has no lining or padding of any kind. It's very different from a modern jacket.

(https://eephvw.dm2302.livefilestore.com/y3mdj7gGqxO6PVoSmydIkZMC_Q_pgi8xRIS9mgHwnjXBfI6Tfox1w7epVmH30-GIkh3aY-tCHYhJhy3eRTGa3fxWEwbU52lFibXn-xAjpoyEAuhUSGQmQddwEjmbbLsQb5KRXX1jEsYrNOFgErdph9-VBReCqkjapdKoXdcHpYyV_M?width=371&height=660&cropmode=none)

(https://eoppvw.dm2302.livefilestore.com/y3mXlFKjzmnAV9MAKD4wlx1Budgk5x1wWFRyudVetGkhjD6rg4GUxjnyJg09tofY16mx3ZuFh2R1aXCnIOU_-pGmEvKZNNifshX-6SxyO_3vgVcQwFcJNUpD8fKzwWw0BTkssrEExcLsKvxRrmbaWW0NfzsA3w-hMNmZGJjpU0YKeQ?width=371&height=660&cropmode=none)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall on August 23, 2016, 11:04:47 PM
Is it not just a test-coat? Or probably for some plantation owner.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 24, 2016, 01:39:14 AM
Is it not just a test-coat? Or probably for some plantation owner.

Actually no.  Unlined coats of all styles (dress, frock, and sack) were popular North and South for summer wear.  They were often white or off-white so they could be laundered like shirts, although colored examples exist.

That coat appears to have a waist seam, which would date it post-1820.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 24, 2016, 01:57:26 AM

Women tailors?  These women are Seamstress.


That's the point.  Shirts at this time were made by seamstresses, not tailors.  So there is no innovation and no artistic freedom at this level.  The shirts are made according to pattern in standard sizes in large quantities.

This eventually applied to unstructured coats like the one you posted as well.  Although shaped, they were not individually fitted; and the construction techniques are identical to shirts, with felled seams and no ironwork or padding stitches required. 
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall on August 24, 2016, 02:07:36 AM
It also seems to have an actual pocket under that back flap.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 24, 2016, 05:44:45 PM
This is interesting, and two or three links.
http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-many-hand-sewn-stitches-in-18thc.html
There is a lot more here at this website that is interesting.

Tailors generally are not interested in making shirts. They are basically interested in making coats that have pad stitching. Some will say, if not all tailors, that pants and vest are not tailored garments at all. A few tailors made shirts.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Schneiderfrei on August 24, 2016, 07:52:16 PM
That there, in that blog, is my boatman's shirt !
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 24, 2016, 11:37:53 PM
This is interesting, and two or three links.
http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-many-hand-sewn-stitches-in-18thc.html
There is a lot more here at this website that is interesting.

Yes.  Notice they calculated the time required to hand stitch a "plain shirt" at 11-1/2 hours.  So maybe the 14 hr 26 min in post #47 is right after all.

Tailors generally are not interested in making shirts.

So why did you go off in #37 about the shirt system being nothing but a "bunch of hints", not to be taken seriously?  Why did you say the shirt maker is supposed to create his own ideas?  Don't you realize these were mass-produced garments, made in a set pattern?  If tailors are not interested in making shirts, why did you bring tailoring into the discussion at all?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall on August 25, 2016, 01:55:01 AM
These images of a late 18thc shirt (acquired from those links) show excellent finishing. Enclosed seams and entirely hand-sewn. Puts the newer 'hand-sewn' examples to shame really.


(https://insideoutksum.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/61-82-8-sleeve-connection-sm-e1426185979378.jpg?w=512&h=512&crop=1)


(https://insideoutksum.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/61-82-8-collar-connection-sm-e1426186131859.jpg?w=512&h=512&crop=1)


(https://insideoutksum.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/61-82-8-seam-sm.jpg?w=340&h=340&crop=1)


(https://insideoutksum.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/61-82-8-notch-3-sm-e1426187376261.jpg?w=340&h=340&crop=1)


The rest are here (https://insideoutksum.wordpress.com/18th-century/mans-linen-shirt-late-18th-century/)
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 25, 2016, 03:51:03 PM
Tailors generally are not interested in making shirts.

So why did you go off in #37 about the shirt system being nothing but a "bunch of hints", not to be taken seriously?  Why did you say the shirt maker is supposed to create his own ideas?  Don't you realize these were mass-produced garments, made in a set pattern?  If tailors are not interested in making shirts, why did you bring tailoring into the discussion at all?
 

The book I posted is 40-50 years after square-rectangular shirts went out of fashion. When you look at the many changes in men's garments over a couple thousand years how could the shirt not change for 500-1,000 years? Were shirt makers brain dead? Or, just a different mind set? Why the beginning of curved armholes? Did tailors step in and reinvent the shirt? There clearly are custom shirt makers, so not mass-produced with these. The book is bunch of hints. The modern day shirts are more complicated than the square-rectangular shirts.

The shirring in the link Henry Hall posted is very much like how my grandad sewed his shirt sleeves into the armholes all the way around. I'd like to see a button hole. An easier way to sew a shirring is stick the needle in and with the other thumb, or index finger, push one shirring into place, then bring the point up. The shirring is done without the needle ever slowing down. The moment the very tip of the needle pokes up through you grab it and pull it out. Short lengths of thread certainly speeds up the process. Also, pre-threaded needles helps keep the rythum.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley on August 26, 2016, 12:55:00 AM

The book I posted is 40-50 years after square-rectangular shirts went out of fashion.


What makes you think mass production was limited to sqaure and rectangle shirts?  Indeed shaped shirts are easier to mass produce, just like today, because there is less gathering and shirring.

Here is Oliver Winchester's patent from 1848, (from the same source I took the factory statistics) which makes clear that curved seams were introduced before that date.  The shirts he was mass producing in 1860 were clearly not "square and rectangle" style:


Quote

I thought that I had a copy of the patent, and it dates much earlier than you thought. Feb. 1, 1848, #5,491 (sic - actually #5,421). Here are the specs

Be it know that, I, O. F. WINCHESTER, of the city of Baltimore and State of Maryland, have invented new and useful Improvements in the Method of Cutting and Fitting Shirts, and that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the principle or character which distinguishes them from all other things before known and of the manner of making, constructing, and using the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, making part of this specification, in which---

#1 shows a general outline of the neck and shoulders of a man and the different modes practiced in fitting a shirt: #2 is a representation of the French yoke; #3 is the improved style.

The methods of cutting shirts heretofore and at present practiced is accompanied with a disadvantage which all have more or less experienced, viz: that of pulling on the neck band. Attempts to remedy this evil have been made; by one plan a gusset is let in on the shoulder and next to the neck band, the shirt then forming a straight line from the gusset to the tip of the shoulder, the effect of which is to hang the whole weight of the shirt aided by the tension of the suspender, to the neck band. By another method, called the French yoke, the seam is made diagonal from the tip of the shoulder to the neck band which only remedies the evil in part, but this does not give the proper support, for the shoulder being a hollow curve. When the suspender is applied it bears on the hollow part of the shoulder and of necessity pulls down the shirt and draws on the neck band.

The object of my invention is to remedy this evil, and this I effect by making a curved seam on the top of and corresponding with the curve of that part of the shoulder which extends from the arm to the neck so that the shirt shall be supported on the shoulder and thereby avoid a pull on the neck band. The bosom is also curved out on each side which aids the effect produced by so cutting the shirt and also serves to make it fit better.

The ordinary mode of cutting shirts is shown in the diagram #1 by red dotted lines (a,a); in this method it will be seen there is no attempt made to fit the form, but the whole of the upper part of the shirt is suspended by the collar which is buttoned around the small part of the neck tight enough for that purpose; this produces a very unpleasant sensation and the shirt bosom is always, out of place on account of the great quantity of loose cloth upon the shoulder which allows it to drag down.

The French yoke is shown in #1 by the black dotted lines (b,b) and it is likewise represented in #2 This plan it will be perceived only partically removes the difficulty - it approaches somewhat nearer the form but still the two points of support are the tight collar around the small part of the neck and the point of the shoulder (c) at the end of the yoke the intermediate space is above the shoulder and when the suspender is brought over it is obvious a drag is produced upoin the collar downward producing a similar sensation to the other.

To obviate all these objections I cut the neck of the shirt of the yoke which I prefer to use with a curve on the shoulder making a seam on the center of the shoulder as is shown in diagram #3, and by the black lines #1, (d) by which it will be seen that I cut the parts so as to bring all the pressure upon the shoulder at the points (e) easing choke, but still fitting the neck sufficiently well. By this mode I suspend the shirt upon the shoulder and preserve a perfect fit around the neck and upper part of the bosom: to fit more perfectly I cut away the bosom on each side where it joins the yoke in the curved line (f,f) this draws back the edges of the bosom and fits it to the body.

What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is_
Constructing the neck of a shirt or yoke in the manner described by having a curved seam on the top of the shoulder, substantially in the manner and for the purpose set forth."

Back to the book you posted.  Why would a shirt cutter working in 1893 bother re-inventing the wheel if patterns for the styles of shirts desired were right there in the book?  Just take a table of standard proportions, plug in the numbers for the sizes you want and you're good to go.  Why would anyone publish such books if people weren't buying and using them?

This is not to say that a master cutter wouldn't make changes to suit his particular needs (or more importantly, save material).  But surely apprentices and journeymen learned to cut from just such books.  It's a textbook, not just a "bunch of hints".
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger 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).
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: hutch-- 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on August 27, 2016, 06:18:21 PM
Hutch, do you come from farming background?
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: hutch-- 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".
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Henry Hall 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger 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
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: Greger on November 07, 2016, 06:32:08 PM
Came cross a shirt in this website.
http://victoriantailor.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2013-06-18T11:14:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=3&by-date=false
Thought you might be interested in, Jim.
Title: Re: 19th Century Shirt for Bellied Man
Post by: jruley 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.