Some years ago I bought some linen with the plan to make a new shift, but shifts are boring, and the ones I had were decent enough and functional. I used the linen for other things, not the least the caps I did for HSM2015.
When the first challenge turned out to be procrastination I decided that I had procrastinated enough and it was time to finally make a new shift. Now I had used some of the fabric, but I managed to square off the uneven edges and I had a piece that was 110x190 cm. The problem was the length, so instead of the shift reaching almost to the knees I had to settle with one that just go the thighs. Still it would be long enough to serve as protection under the stays, so I figured it would be ok to make a short shift.
Since the pattern is a combination of squares I didn't use an exact pattern but I was inspired by the shift in Costume Close-up and the instructions from La Couturière Parisienne and Sharon Ann Burnston. The latter was especially used for reading up on getting a good neckline that didn't let the shift slide off the shoulders. One mistake I made, since I didn't use a pattern, was to make the underarm gussets too big so the shift is a bit bulky where the sleeves meet the main body.
Since this was still supposed to be a quick project I planned to sew it on machine. But since it was still holidays and I had enough time on my hands to sit in front of the TV I switched plans and decided to do it fully by hand, I even felled all the seams.
I wore it the first time for the winter photoshoot, but I hadn't hemmed it or finished the sleeve cuffs properly then.
It fit well enough at the neckline, but the bulk under the armpits made it a bit difficult to get the pierrot jacket on, since those sleeves are really tight.
I then procrastinated a bit before finally finishing the hem and cuffs as well.
What the item is: A shift
The Challenge: Procrastination
Materials: 190x110 cm linen
Pattern: Mostly the shift from Costume Close-up
Year: Late 18th century
Notions: Waxed linen thread
How historically accurate is it? I think the linen isn't quite fine enough to have been used for a fine shift, but maybe a simple one. Still somewhere around 90%.
Hours to complete: 12
First worn: for a photoshoot January 4
Total cost: It was all from my stash, and I bought so long ago that I can't remember the price of the fabric.