has become a dear big son
and needs clothes for trek this summer. He will be such a good age to go: almost 16 and strong! He's not the biggest kid but he will be an asset to his "family." Just when we thought we were out of the woods for going on trek, too, this time around, we got asked. Luckily we can just use our old clothes, provided we haven't gotten too fat. I would still love to make me a corset/stay and a new dress, but time won't permit.
I asked Eli (son) if he would like to go on trek more authentically or like the other kids. He said he would like an authentic shirt but maybe not pants. He said he'd even wear a vest, but I don't know if they'll require it, so I might not make one. My husband's didn't turn out perfectly last time, so I do want to redeem myself there with another attempt.
I've wanted to figure out the Workwoman's Guide Laboring Class Shirt page 137 so I gave it a go. I was very confused with some of the directions but found this lovely post by Andrew which helped a lot. Andrew's work is just beautiful! I was mostly confused with the neck gussets and how to gather them. This adding fabric to make curves is just so weird compared to just cutting fabric away like we do now.
Despite my best efforts, when Eli tried the shirt on the first time, the neck and wristbands were both about an inch too tight! What?! I'd used the size for ages 15-18, and since he's a smaller 15-year old, I thought that size would be just right. It said the collar was 15.75", and his Sunday shirt is a 15.5", so I should have worked, right? Maybe my seams were too big? I took off the collar and the one wristband that was sewn on and cut bigger ones. He tried it on again just the other day and this:
The arms are way too short! The Workwoman suggested to even add a couple inches to the fabric, which I did. I need between 2 and 4 more inches!
Oh! And when I put in the arms, the armscye was just not deep enough! Look at how it scrunches up in his armpit! I had to take out both arms, release my gathers and insert the arms again deeper. What a nuisance. The second time, I made sure the gusset went down to the bottom of the lining, not the 9" down as suggested in the instructions.
His Sunday shirt is behind and it's significantly bigger; it is a little big on him though.
I was also disappointed with the gathers in the back. Having no great example to go by, I wasn't sure how to spread them, and I don't love it. Eli also said that the shirt feels like it's pulling his harms back which isn't good. It might be a little reflection on his posture, though.
Anyhow, I made a conversion chart with "translated" modern measurements for the shirt pieces:
And for future reference, here's a visual of where the measurements go:
And here's kind of a key for the Workwoman's abbreviations:
There's so much info out there now, that I won't go into all the little details about construction anymore. In fact, I was looking in Liz Clark's stuff tonight and saw some great links.
I might make the next size up next, or make the same size with longer arms, or just try the pattern I used for my husband which I know works. I guess I could also take out the sleeves of this shirt again, make them longer, then re-attach. I could take off the collar, re-gather so the shoulders feel better, then re-attach again, too. On the next one I'll try to make a more closed front since we are not used to open shirts like these were. I wish this had worked better, but you never know unless you try.