Kannik’s Korner 1750-1800 Woman’s Shift



Sizes per pattern: S-M-L-XL-XXL-XXXL.

Made in the USA


English Style Shift (Chemise) A full size pattern of this undermost garment, with stitching instructions, including whip gathered ruffle. This pattern is a composite of similar characteristics found in three original shifts now in museum collections, plus additional documentation. In The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1772 “Run away . . .  an indented servant woman . . .  had on, and took with her . . .  3 coarse shifts, one of which is a homespun, with a pair of fine sleeves, one ozenbrigs ditto, and one coarse tow ditto, with broken ruffles on the same” as cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

461 in stock

SKU: 145 Category:


A woman’s 18th century shift or (chemise in French) requires about 3 yards of modern linen but it is really a measurement from the shoulder to the calf x2 plus the length of the sleeve. Most shifts were made of off white linen or natural unbleached linen.

Notions required include a spool of 60/2 linen thread in white, off white or unbleached to match the shift, today’s research suggests sleeve buttons should be used in a narrow wristband just like a man’s shirt although this pattern has a fitted sleeve more common in the early 19th century.

For winter wear, shifts were frequently made of natural white wool flannel. Don’t be fooled, this flannel is soft next to the skin & really helps when it’s cold out!