Welcome to our fourth Sew Along, Shifts!  In our first three sew alongs, we produced garments to dress your lower half in the 18th century.  In this sew along we are tackling underwear!  Undergarments have been worn throughout history to protect our outer clothing from  body oils and scents.  In the 18th century this garment, worn closest to the skin was known as a shift (sometimes know by the French term chemise).  Made of bleached or sometimes unbleached linen it was constructed simply of rectangles and squares.  Sewn using the seamstress’s best stitches as it was meant to withstand repeated washings.  Your newly made shift will be worn under all your 18th century garments as you journey down the 18th  century fashion trail!


  • Fabric 
    • White or Off White Medium Weight Linen for a course, hard-wearing shift.
    • White  or Off White Shirt/Shift Linen for a light weight, average shift.
    • Fine Cambric Linen for a fine shift.
    • YARDAGE for either type of shift sleeve: based on height:
      • 4'-10" to 5'-1"     = 2 1/2 yds.
      • 5'-2" to 5' - 5"     = 2 3/4 yds.
      • 5'- 6" to 6'-0"      = 3 yds.         
  • Thread Weight and fiber should be based on fabric choice
    • 80/3 Linen Thread - White
    • 60/2 Line thread - White
  • Beeswax for thread
  • Needles 
  • Scissors
  • Thimble