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Hand Sewn 1780's Georgian Shift

Added Jul 2, 2012

by Ruffles Gazebo

Adelaide, Australia






Over the weekend I hung out with a few other ladies doing a workshop. We made linen shifts, with the intention of doing a few more weekend courses to do stays, jackets, hats…until we have a finish (as accurate as possible) historical costume.

I used a pre made pattern, however the lady holding the class drafted her own from some instructions that she had found on someones blog. But either way the pattern ended up being almost the same!

Simple garment, not too many pieces! The hardest part are the goddets at the underarm, and figuring out which way all the flat fell seams go :/ Most of the shift (or chemise…but i think shift is more accurate to that particular time period) has been hand stitched.

Gosh what a long time it takes. But the ladies house who we were at had such a beautiful place, it was a delight to sit around near her fire and get fed soup whilst hand stitching. But i think that the linen, if you are going to hand stitch, is so beautiful to use. I think linen will start feauturing more in items i make in the future…

Heaps of interesting facts were learnt. Like, they used to more the fabric to the width of the garment, so when they cut it, alot of the garments seams would end up being the selvedge. That was my favorite fact. Alot of effort to go to….but I guess in those days you didnt just wander into the store to get your linen…

My favorite thing i learnt though, is, actually im going to have to ask. We watched a tutorial on how to do it….and I thought it was a Whipped roll gathers!,. Anywho it’s the gathering technique used around the neckline in the piccies. Finishes off the edge and creates a really nice texture of what i’d call bubbles? I think I will use this alot, really for a different finish. I love it. here’s a link to a good tute, nice and close details, but there is a quicker way to do it http://vimeo.com/13284470 which is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0-THscQNX8

All up it probably took about 8 hours, when you deduct eating homemade lunches, watching old movies, and chatting.

_ going to wear this bad boy to bed tonight.

Material Notes

100% linen from fabric-store.com
Needle and thread
LOTS of time and patients!
Good company




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Other, Victorian


Earthly Delights

3 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Fff941f57f7109ed8245135f99d19997e23c7631_large

    Aug 31, 2012, 04.04 AMby foopy1

    I love this, you do such lovely work.

    1 Reply
    • 3864138084_1fb5db6c00_large

      Aug 31, 2012, 06.30 AMby Ruffles Gazebo

      thankyou ever so kindly! It’s time consuming, but worth it!

  • Img_0509omena_large

    Jul 8, 2012, 12.39 AMby Rikamekko

    What a great job of your hand sewn shirt! I love the style of your shirt. I have some vintage night dress like yours. It’s fabulous you made it your own hand,fantastic!

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Jul 3, 2012, 06.54 PMby wzrdreams

    This is so amazing. I move that you stitched it by hand!

    1 Reply
    • 3864138084_1fb5db6c00_large

      Jul 3, 2012, 11.23 PMby Ruffles Gazebo

      thank you for your kind words! It was definately time consuming, but it actually feels really good to look at it and be like oh! i literally made this by hand!

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