I am in the process of creating a Landsknecht outfit that needed the a honeycomb smocked pleated shirt to start the ensemble. Visit my article “Was it Honeycomb Smocking on 16th c. German Clothing, or something else...” for a discussion on the appropriateness of honeycomb smocking. This high necked hemd (shirt) style is based on woodcuts from 16th c. Landsknechts ( Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvolker im Zeitalter der Landsknechte) and woodcut/drawing examples on my Pinterest board).
I started with some washed lightweight 4 oz. Linen and used the rectangle cut patters shown similar to those in tutorials, like Katafalk’s and Casa de Kissa’s blogs. However, mine is a slight variation since I had continuous yardage of fabric much wider salvage to salvage. It reminds me of cutting out the snowflakes or repeated patterns on a piece of paper. There is support for including the sleeve and body in the collar presented in The First Book of Fashion, see Reconstructing a Schwarz Outfit by Jenny Tiramani. I will probably try out cuts where the body and sleeve are separate in the future; similar to those discussed in “Patterns in Fashion 4” and “How to pleat a shirt in the 15th century. In: Archaeological Textiles Review 54, 2012, 79-91.” (Nutz)
Once cut I the fabric, I stitched the seams in the back and roll hemmed the raw edge of the neck and sleeves using the sewing machine. I left the rest unsewn while completing the smocked pleating on the neck and sleeve collars. I used a pleating method and honeycomb smocking technique, as described in my honeycomb smocking demo and apron posts. The honeycomb smocking and pleats stopped short 3/4 inch from the edge to allow the cuff seam and collar opening.
I hand stitched the edge of the cuffs and collar seams, double folding the raw 3/4 inch edge, finishing the edges under of the linen tape. Using a pin prick running stitch I flat felled the seams and the gussets (enforcing the points). Then I added hooks and eyes for closures. For an extra touch I added a finger braided cord using white cotton embroidered thread sewn through the collar and doubled up.I hand stitched the edge of the cuffs and collar seams, double folding the raw 3/4 inch edge, finishing the edges under of the linen tape. Using a pin prick running stitch I flat felled the seams and the gussets (enforcing the points). Then I added hooks and eyes for closures. For an extra touch I added a finger braided cord using white cotton embroidered thread sewn through the collar and doubled up.
I had not created a shirt in this exact style before, and the client did not want it to be an exaggerated puffy fit. It was a bit leaner of a cut than I would recommend. I had to use odd-shaped gussets (diamond-like) in the sleeve to ensure fit. If I make another for someone not as concerned with the puffy, I will use a lot more fabric and use a historically documented gusset shape. Additionally, I will not leave so much edge in the collar and cuff. With the remaining fabric, I made another in child-size version.