How to Make a Victorian Shirt

Written by casey helmick
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How to Make a Victorian Shirt
You can use old shirts to create a Victorian styled shirt. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The Victorian time period, named after Queen Victoria, who ruled from 1837 to 1901, was also known as the "time of change" in the United Kingdom. One of the most noticeable changes was in the area of fashion. Women wore multilayered, elaborately detailed dresses and skirts, while men wore variations of a three-piece suit, containing an undershirt, vest, and overcoat. Although the style might seem complex, making a Victorian shirt is simple and inexpensive.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Solid coloured button down shirt
  • Fabric or shirt with detailed print
  • Scissors
  • Sewing need or machine
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Unfold the shirt's collar. Measure the length of your solid-coloured shirt running from the base of the collar down to the end of the shirt. Determine how much of the shirt you would like to have covered with the second fabric.

  2. 2

    Cut 10 to 12 strips down the length of your second fabric, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Make the strips long enough to create a ruffled bib.

  3. 3

    Hem the sides of each strip with a zigzag stitch to prevent the ends from fraying, ripping or tearing.

  4. 4

    Attach the strips to your shirt by unfolding the collar and placing the top of your strips against the outside edge of the collar's fold. Sew down the middle of the strip, pinching the fabric together at every couple of inches to give it a unique Victorian ruffle texture.

  5. 5

    Tie off the end of your thread on the inside of your shirt to prevent loose strings from showing up on the exterior. Cut the loose string.

Tips and warnings

  • When placing the ruffled print on your shirt you do not have to go straight down. Sometimes sewing one or two pieces at a slight angle will add to the thrash look making the piece really stand out. The printed fabric sewn onto the front of the shirt is used to accent where the older three-piece Victorian suits would display a vest. The Victorian vest was worn in many fashions, sometimes only shown at the top, sometimes at the bottom and at times the entire front of the vest was visible. Likewise, you can adjust the ruffled fabric to accent any style of vest you'd like just by altering the length and placement of the fabric.

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