Pirate Costume: The Shirt

I’m using McCall’s Costume pattern 4952 for the shirt, with a few changes:

  • I’m not putting a cumbersome cuff on the sleeve. I had thought about putting the same sawtooth edge on the sleeves as I put on the pants, but decided instead to put in an elastic casing that’s not too tight. The sleeve is gathered into the armhole to make the traditional puffy sleeve, and elastic at the cuff will work just fine to keep that style.
  • The neckline lacing is supposed to go through metal eyelets, but I’m just going to use my machine to make small buttonholes.

First I picked up some white fabric without having a piece of the striped pants fabric with me, and it did not match the white in the pants. Back to the fabric store with a striped swatch.

I found some nice white oxford cloth that matches the white in the pants, and I think that this soft cloth will be more comfortable than a crisper shirting fabric. I picked up black 1/8″ round lacing, so that it would show up nicely on the shirt, and used shrink tubing (at your friendly hardware store) on the ends to make it easy to lace without fraying.

I have to say that the shirt is the most difficult piece of the pattern to make, maybe more difficult than is necessary for a one-time costume. It has a complicated collar and placket facing, and then the gathered sleeves that are supposed to have a cuff. I put the collar in once and didn’t like how it looked, so I ripped it out and put it in again. The instructions also suggest that the side seams be stitched before sewing in the gathered sleeves, and while I can do that—why? I stitched the sleeves in the armholes first, and then stitched the entire side and sleeve seams in one (sorry for the low light in that pic). That is much easier.

It’s all starting to come together now, but I have one last trick for the scarf to keep it tied and on her head.

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