217 Poet's Shirt - PDF Pattern


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Misses 6-16; Men's 34-44.

This romantic shirt dates from the 1820s, when such poets as Byron, Shelley, and Keats wore their collars open in defiance of conventional fashion.  French authoress George Sand took not only a man's name, but men's clothing to express her views on the equality of the sexes. 

Our Poet's Shirt pattern dates from the 1820s and 1830s, and was worn by non-poets with the collar turned up and wrapped with a carefully tied cravat.  Boys' collars often had an added ruffle, as in View B, and were worn open.

All pieces of the shirt are rectangular, except the neck facing.  Full sleeves with underarm gussets are gathered at the shoulder; the straight collar falls back from a faced front slit opening.

View A has a plain collar and narrow cuffs.  View B has a ruffle at the collar and front opening, and self-formed ruffle cuffs.

On both views, the shoulders are lined and shaped by small neck gussets.  Optional side slits may be reinforced with small gussets.  A narrow, or wide, neck facing finishes the neck slash.

A diagram for the triangular cravat, and instructions for tying it, are included in Poet's Shirt Lore and Authentic Detailing, as well as simple openwork technique used on the collar of our original.

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight, soft or crisp shirting or blouse-weight fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, or blends, in challis, crepe, batiste, broadcloth, homespun, or satin.

This is a PDF pattern. For the paper pattern, go here. You can print this pattern at a print/copy shop or at home.  You will be able to download files after checkout.  The zip file includes a print-at-home version (24 pages), copy shop versions (36" and A0 sizes), sewing instructions, and authentic detailing.  It is best to download files on a computer (rather than a device).  

Era: Regency, Victorian 1800s

Yardage chart (.pdf)


Learn how to expand sizing of this shirt, as well as how to sew the "tricky bits" of the shirt (neck and underarm gussets).