Shirt / Tunic :

Evidence for men’s shirts is very rare. At this point, most of it comes from before and after the actual Viking age. There are a few things we know however. Men wore long sleeves that tapered to the wrist and were knee to mid thigh in length. The rest is debatable. I have put together a pattern that is similar to other conjectures on shirt patterns, is very conservative of fabric, and should be easy to make. I highly recommend that you start with cheap pattern fabric until you work out the measurements that will fit well for you.

The first thing to do when making this shirt is take some measurements.

A. Length of Arm
B. Width of Shoulders.
C. Top of Shoulder to Underarm.
D. Top of Shoulder to knee.
E. Around closed fist divided by 2.
F. Discussed later.

Add at least 1/2 inch for seam allowance. You may need more or less depending on how big a seam allowance you want. You can also add a few inches here or there to allow for a looser fit. By trying this out with pattern fabric first, you can figure out how much extra is good for you.

With these measurements you will be able to figure out the how much fabric you will need. You will need fabric that is at least B+(2xC) wide and 2xD in length.

Start by folding the length of the fabric in half. Measure out the body piece by marking a line B inches from the edge and D inches long. Cut this piece out. Cut out the neck hole (Check out this page for neckhole design). If your going to face the neck hole, or use bias tape, now might be a good time to finish the neck hole. See page 9 for neck hole considerations.

Next fold width of the remaining piece in half. Mark out the sleeves as I have done in the diagram. Mark a line 1/2 inch from the original fold. Next draw a line, E inches long, A+1/2 inches from the original fold. Connect these with a diagonal line. The remainder of the fabric is for the gores. Measurement F is rather Flexible. The top of the gore should end up somewhere between the underarm, and your waist. I tend to have it an inch or two above my hip bone. If needed, cut underarm gussets from the scraps.


Once you have all those pieces cut out, you can start sewing. Make sure to keep all of the seams on the same side. I usually start with attaching the sleeves to the body. Align the center of the sleeve with the center of the body piece (top of shoulder). Pin this in place and sew down. Repeat with the other sleeve.

Pin the gore pieces to the bottom part of the body piece and sew them down. Finally, fold it in half at the shoulders and sew the shirt closed. Start at the sleeve, sewing the two halves together and continue down the side and gores. Finish the shirt by hemming the sleeves and bottom edge.

 

References:

http://www.forest.gen.nz/Medieval/articles/Tunics/TUNICS.HTML
http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/beginners/StLouis.html
http://gersey.tripod.com/history/tunic.html