How to turn an old shirt into a colonial shirt
Time to complete:
|Men’s old dress shirt
Choose an old shirt that is white, brown, blue, red, checked, or striped. Don’t choose any really bright or neon colors.Scissors
In the 18th Century, shirts were used the way shirts are today, but they were also used as underwear, and to sleep in. Dress shirts were white and made of fine bleached linen or cotton. They might have ruffles made of lace or linen at the neck and on the cuffs. Work shirts were made of coarser, cheaper material. They were usually white or the color of unbleached linen, but they were sometimes dyed, or checked, or striped.
2. Cut the points off of the collar to make it rectangular. Colonial collars were often rectangular. Sew or glue the cut edges of the collar together.
3. Cut the rounded edges off of the bottom of the shirt to make it straight. Leave the tails as long as possible. Colonial shirts were long. They came down to the middle of a man’s thigh. Glue or sew the hem at the bottom of the shirt.
4. From the bottom of the shirt, cut 5 or 6 inches up each side seam. There is no need to finish the edges if the cut is made between two rows of stitching.
5. Cut the cuffs to a width of about 1 ½ inches. Glue or sew the edge of the cuff.
6. Glue or sew the front opening shut from the bottom up to the second button hole. Do not let the front button holes show.
7. Sew a button on each of the cuffs and at the neck. Clip the buttonholes if necessary to make them a little larger.
8. Tie a kerchief around the neck loosely, and wear the shirt out to hide the front of the trousers.
Note: The fabric which has been cut from the shirt is in this photograph to give a rough guide as to how much has been removed – and from where