Shifts were generally very plain and simple so that they would be inexpensive to make and easy to clean. Lace and ruffles were often added to the necklines and cuffs of those that could afford them. While this feature had the benefit of looking very pretty, the underlying reason was to provide an additional buffer that not only protected the neckline and cuff edges of the garment from extra wear and tear, but also helped to protect the skin from chaffing at these more vulnerable locations.
The Thimbles and Acorns 18th Century Fancy Shift incorporates the use of lace and ruffles at the neckline and sleeve cuffs. The sleeve cuffs have an elegant dropped edge that is designed to accentuate a simple ¾ length sleeve like the ones featured in our Young Martha Washington pattern. The adjustable neckline is drawn up with a simple drawstring. Whether you make it with the true gussets for a more authentic historical design or the simpler faux gussets, both produce the same historical silhouette.
This PDF sewing pattern is designed to fit 18" dolls such as American Girl® and Other Similarly Sized Dolls.
Suggested Fabrics: Suggested Fabrics: Shift in lightweight woven fabric such as handkerchief linen, cotton batiste, muslin, or silk. Not suitable for knits.
2/3 yard (0.6 m)
__1-1/4 yard lace 1/2 inch (12 mm) to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide
__2/3 yard 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide twill tape or ribbon
__Small safety pin or tapestry needle for drawing tape through casing
Skill Level: Confident Beginner To Intermediate
What You Get: One 29 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides digitally drawn step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.
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Pixie Faire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®
This might be my favorite of the 18th Century shifts that I have done. It has all the details you'd expect, like the lace trimmed neckline and the drawstring neckline casing. But it also includes instructions for true or faux gussets for the under sleeve constructions. But that's not the best part. The cuffs. The back of the cuffs dips, and this pattern has instructions for making a lace edging which really emphasizes this detail. I used 1-1/4" lace to really exaggerate the effect on the sleeves. And this shift goes perfectly with the Young Martha Washington pattern.