Crossposted in my own journal.
I finished my 17th century shift a while ago and here are, finally, some pictures. Unfortunately there are very few 17th century rooms in our flat, so the settings isn't quite right. I used a pattern in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 4, a smock that supposedly have belonged to Charles II's queen Catherine of Braganza, or some of her ladies-in-waiting. The original is lavishly decorated with lace, but I made mine plain. I wanted to use this particular pattern as it has an oblong neckline that fits well with a 17th century gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline. It also have rectangular inserts cartridge-pleated There is a more eloquent post about the pattern here. to the sides instead of the usual triangular ones, which I wanted to try just for the fun of it.
I tried to keep as close to the original shifts proportions, but being of a larger size I had to make the main pattern piece a bit broader and longer. The shift is completely hand sewn. Because the linen were so fine I hemmed ever piece before I assembled the shift, to make sure it looks neat on both sides. What I haven't done is to put in "the collar", which I plan to do as the neckline is a little too wide and a collar would be helpful in tighten it a bit. The original smock also have cuffs. I'm not quite sure if I want that as my plan is to pin them up as I have on the pictures.
Close-up on the pinned sleeve.
And of the insert. It doess look rather curious with all the pleats, doesn't it?
Here you can see how long the sleeves actually are and that the linen is quite sheer.
I'm quite pleased with it- now I just need a gown to go over it...