May 16, 2011

Regency Gentleman's Shirts

This is one project that I don't really feel the need to purchase a pattern. There are books with patterns, as well as an excellent one online at and . I have a couple of regency shirts in my collection that I will be looking at closer later in the year.

Shirts were worn for day and night wear and were washed a lot. Linen shirts were popular, and many fastened with dorset buttons - one button at the throat and one at each cuff. To make dorset buttons, just take somewhere between one and two yards of heavy thread (buttonhole twist, for instance) and wrap one end around a pencil or knitting needle several times, then thread the other end on a needle, carefully remove the coil from the pencil, and sew buttonhole stitch around the coil until you run out of thread. The last few inches of thread is used to sew several stitches across the back of the button.


Cécile said...

Just a short note: In this time it was not yet usual to have dorset buttons on the cuffs. But it seems to be the late regencyrea when it changed ( see "Costume close-up" the cuffs of the shirt have been altered) It was more usual to close them with cufflinks, on paintings you can see that even poorer men had cufflinks, or if they could not afford they tied a ribbon through the two buttonholes.
If you add ruffles it is essential to have cufflinks because otherwise you can't have the ruffles go down the slit

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

Thanks Cecile, I need to look up my copy of Costume Close Up. Its a wonderful book and one I use quite often. I've got pictures of cufflinks in portraits but not extant ones. Do you know of any antique ones on display anywhere that we can look at?

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