The shirt is finished, at last. I took some time as I decided to handstich it. (It´s historically accurate, but ok I couldn´t use the machine late in the evenenings…) I didn´t use a particular pattern, but based the design and technique on earlier research and experience, and I also found several excellent tutorials online. I can especially recommend The Victorian tailor and Tea in a Teacup. It was not difficult at all, really very straightforward. I know, it´s a lot of work for something that will be hidden under coat, waistcoat and cravat but it helps me to feel more like a Regency-person.
Originally I planned to use fine linen or cotton batiste, but ended up using an old linen/cotton blend fabric that once was a sheet. It will do for now, but I´m not entirely happy with the way the shirt turned out. The sleeves are a bit too wide and the gussets could be positioned higher. This causes some unnecessary bulk when worn with the coat. I know that Regency shirts were really wide but then I should have used a lighter fabric. If I´d go for a swim in the nearest pond I´d probably drown 🙂 The cuffs are also slightly too wide whereas the collar could have had one inch more to fit better around my neck. I´ve read different versions (can´t remember where) on how to button the cuff: like a French cuff or overlapping like a modern shirt cuff. I´ll most likely go for the latter. If there is time I might perhaps add a frill to the front opening.
I already had the cravat. It is just a length of batiste, hand hemmed with a piece of fine lace at one end. I´ll iron it before the ball, and should starch it also to make it really crispy. There are of course many ways to fold and tie a cravat, depending on a man´s rank and skill of his valet. I prefer to wrap it twice round the neck and tie in front, but perhaps I´ll try something elaborate for the ball!