Civil War Era Shirt Directions and Pattern

from Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, 1857



Victorian Gentlemen



"The pattern given is the size for a shirt for an ordinary-sized man. Of course, it must be altered according to the size wanted, increasing or decreasing in regular proportion." 

Pattern for man's Civil War era shirt.
  • Having cut all your pieces accurately, commence the making by hemming the flaps all around. 
  • Baste the shoulder binders on very evenly, hemming the back ones on two sides, leaving the armhole and neck to be sewed with the yoke and sleeve. 
  • Sew the front binder only at the bottom, the rest to be sewed with the yoke, sleeve, and bosom. 
  • The woven bosom is now almost universally used. If made, the tucks must be very accurately run, or they will not iron smoothly. Put in the bosom, dividing the fullness of the shirt, and facing it down on to the bosom. 
  • Sew up the two sides of the shirt next. 
  • Put in the side-gussets. 
  • Gather the back of the shirt, and sew on the yoke, hemming the outside and inside down separately. The front of the yoke to the shoulder should be nicely stitched. 
  • Make the sleeves, setting on the wristband before sewing up the sleeve. After putting on the wristband, sew Up the sleeve and put in the sleeve gussets, allowing half the length of the wristband for the length of the slit. Put in the sleeves, gathering them at the top, and sewing the shirt down first and then the binder. 
  • The wristbands should have three button-holes in each; one with a button sewed on, and two exactly opposite to each other for the sleeve buttons now so much worn. 
  • The binding round the neck includes the bosom and yoke. 
  • Two button-holes and buttons before, and a button behind to fasten the collar. Make the button-holes in the bosom, if for studs, different ways ; the outside ones lengthwise and the inside crosswise.


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