Peggy Carter is the master of well tailored shirts. Most of them are soft and drapey, and a few are structured. I’m excited to see whatever the next season brings, but from the first there were many good shirt examples, and mine is a combination.
This shirt post is long overdue. After all, I first wore this shirt in an unfinished capacity on Halloween… But then didn’t get around to actually finishing it until December. And it’s very wordy…
I started drafting in late September, and it went through a number of muslins (at least 4) and an incredible amount of drafting variations (meters and meters of Ikea drawing paper), some of which got scrapped before a muslin was even cut.
The many alterations that I made for this shirt included a full bust adjustment, rotating and then eliminating darts, removing the back darts, adding a yoke, raising the armscye, moving the shoulder point up, doing a full back adjustment, and then taking some of that out, making a swayback adjustment, removing it, and then adding it back in, adding room to the bicep, adding room to the sleeve cap. Etc.
I had bought this lightweight linen at the same time I bought the linen for my Merida outfit, so I knew that it wouldn’t be super drapey, but not 100% structured either.
This is also the time to infodump my many sources for patterning and fitting this shirt. This was the website I used to draft the initial block that I drafted the shirt from. I used this article to help explain and draft my one piece front/collar and facing. I’m fairly certain I tried this forward shoulder stuff too… This placket tutorial is awesome! And this explanation of sleeves and drafting remains my favorite reference, and one that I re-read often.
The front darts were replaced by three tucks, which do a good job of dealing with the dart-replacement, but make hemming the shirt a bit miserable. I eliminated the darts in the back, and tried to use a center back seam to solve swayback issues… It only worked a smidge, and the execution needs to be improved on my next version.
Look look look! I can raise my arms! The armscye is super close to the base of my arm, which I’ve learned is the key to a shirt that doesn’t pull out of a tucked-in state, and since I knew that I would be tucking the shirt into the 40s style trousers, this was very important to me. Because of the size and shape of the armscye, though, this shirt is oddly uncomfortable to take on and off. The sleeves are ginormous at the top, but because the circumference of the base of the sleeve is about the same as my bicep at its fullest fat level, the sleeve base pulls a little as I put it on. The sleeves are ginormous mostly because slimmer set sleeves were creating extreme draglines, so I overcompensated and made a super large sleeve cap instead, since I was running out of time. I’m hoping to slim them down slightly for the next version.
This was supposed to be my Halloween costume, if you remember. And a version of it was in fact done for Halloween… One that wasn’t hemmed, no cuffs, no placket, a very ill-fitting back, and I sewed the top three buttons on when I was in the car on the way to the party… Also, I was sick-ish.
So most of the finishing was done post-Halloween. It’s currently a bit too chilly to wear the costume out of doors, but I anticipate that once spring comes, I’ll have more opportunities to photograph and show you the full costume! Maybe with a second version, that’s a bit neater and more crisp.
In fact, I can’t actually wear this version as is… The cuffs don’t overlap, and for these pictures I’ve managed to pin them close with these tiny treble clef pins that I got in high school. Unless I take those off, and attach new ones (if I can find any remaining scraps of fabric), then this shirt won’t really leave the house.
I keep talking about this next version… I have the fabric, a white shirting material, and I’m just working up the motivation to cut it out and make it.
First I’ve got to finish this homework assignment due in four hours…