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Renaissance Shirt

There are many ways to make a Renaissance shirt but many use a drawsting, while this is easy it is a hastle and not all that periode. I recomend the use of bias tape for the collar as set out in this page.

Start by folding your fabric in half lengthwise, to get both sides of each peice. THen fold all the length in half, then fold down the length needed for the sleeves. the sleeve length will be affected by wheather it will need be pulled through a doublet sleeve and stuff like that. You should have eight layerson the selvege side and four folds on the other, thes fold will be the centerlines or the four finished peices.

Most patterns for a Renaissance shirt use a rectangle with a corner cut off ath a 45' degree angle. This can work but if you don't put a gusset in there it will bind and puker around the joint with the raw edge not turning through. You could incorperate a gusset in the pattern.

And that's what I do here. Taking a square gusset and cutting it in quarters through the corners and adding thes to the bottom of the arm cuts. (were the arrows are) Now these are similar to the way we cut modern shirt sleeves, so you get great comfort of a gusset without the extra work. Also when you sew the side seam and sleeve all the peices meet at right angles so it is an easy strait seam.

Now cut the selvege corner off, set these "triangles" aside w'll be comming back to it very soon.

Sew the arms and body peices together along the bias, I use a flat-feled seam. At this time I like to sew on cuffs, with buttonholes and buttons, but if you're planning to gather and bind the cuffs whit till the side seams are sewn at the end.

At this point you have to decide on a collar, if square just gather it, though it is a good idea to cut the front a little lower than the back. You can leave them the same height and you can then turn it around to get two wearings out of your shirt. I do recomend that you round out the collar, so just cut off some of the sright edge so the hole is rounder. Don't go too far though, only a couple inches at the most give

Now take those triangular peices of the fabric you cut out and set aside while makeing your body and sleeve peices. and cut out your collar bias tape (diagonal part og this diagram) and cuffs out of the edges along th selvage (vertical part ovthis diagram)

Sewing the bias peices together along the grain of the fabric, you can sew them all together

Now you can sew the "bias tape" to the gathered shirt collar. Start at one end and go around till you are close to the other end. Now you need to cut off the extra. Cut off the extra so that the cut is along or against the grain but not on the bias it will bulg and rub your neck. sewing your seams in the directions of the threats of the bias tape wil make for stronger and better seams.

Now take your new formed and matching fabric bias tape and sew it to the now gathered collar of the shirt. So long as the collar oppening is big enough for your head to pass through

So now the last steps are to sew the under arm seams, and the hem. Because of the the little change we made when cutting the sleeves this seam is a strait seam. I just line up the joints and sew through the under arm to the cuff slit, then turn it around and sew the side together. I often don't sew a hem, I find it bulks up when in the pants.

For a chemese cut out the body parts longer like down to the floor

For Italian Ren's men's wear the shirt should be very long so the lower parts (the hem) can be pulled up to protect the loins (like a loin cloth) belted so the shirt is loose fitting and then get your leggings on. Thae shirt is the underwear and keep your important bits in order and to yourself (keeps you modest too)


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2006 March 28