The Victorian shirt…..fini!

It’s a wrap.  The Victorian shirt,  Folkwear #202, is done.  I’m sorry for the poor quality of the photos.  It was a very dreary day here in Maine, so the combination of low light and a very dark purple shirt made it difficult.  
Still, wearing this shirt makes me feel like a king!  The fabric has wonderful heft and a fluid drape.  The color I adore.  The cufflinks are fun and give me a reason to haunt Etsy for more. But most importantly, it really fills a gaping hole in my wardrobe.  This is the shirt I need to wear to a party or, God willing, out on a date.  

The single French cuff is from David Coffin’s shirtmaking book.  It’s not as bulky or ostentatious as the doubled back variety, which really needs to be worn with a jacket in my opinion.  This option lets a guy have a little fun with his clothes without looking stupid.  Trust me, we care about that stuff.  I added one of the little glass buttons to the placket to hold it shut.  A little detail that actually serves a purpose.  
There’s some interesting construction with this shirt.  The placket formation ends up producing a box pleat below it.  I’m no spring chicken and I have a bit of a belly.  The combination of a box pleat forming just below the sternum and a belly isn’t exactly a good thing.  Think maternity wear.   To keep the pleat under control I stitched it “shut” below my belt line.  I would suggest this to anyone who isn’t going to be wearing this as a nightshirt.  
I’ll be hearing confession in the kitchen in 15 minutes!  
When the occasion calls for pulling out all the stops I can add my shawl collar brocade vest.  Now it’s a party!  
It’s also the perfect way to sport the gorgeous steampunk pocket watch that my daughter gave me for Christmas.  
To recap, here are all the changes I made to Folkwear #202 
1. I shortened it by 4 inches, and next time will shorten it by 5.  I truly think this pattern was designed for women to wear as a tunic or dress.  
2. I shaped the back and consolidated all of the pleats into a center box pleat. 
3. I did a sloped shoulder adjustment.  It could use just a touch more I think, but I would definitely have to lower the neck opening for that.  
4. I added a sleeve placket (with a buttonhole) and again reduced the number of pleats.  
5. I redrafted the cuff to accommodate cufflinks. 
6. I moved the “x” topstitching from the placket down below the waistline to control the front box pleat.   
Thanks to everyone who made this project possible!  
Olive wool trousers   Jos A Bank 
Charcoal wool trousers  Brooks Brothers 
Fragrance  Boucheron pour homme 

9 thoughts on “The Victorian shirt…..fini!

  1. Thank you for all you tips and alterations. So few places to get these facts on men's garments using patterns. You look amazing with that vest too! Cheers to you…good luck at the party and stand back and wait for the compliments!


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