|When I set out to make this shirt I spent some time searching online for reviews and notes, and learned a couple of things that I was glad to know before I got into the thick of it:|
1) The instructions are sparse and not very helpful
2) While the resulting garment has a simple/rustic mid-19th century look, it's not particularly historically accurate.
I decided to have a go at it anyway; there are only a few pieces to the pattern and while better instructions would be helpful I was able to figure everything out. This discussion of the pattern at thesewingacademy.org was very helpful.
Having read somewhere that the pattern ran small, I made the XL size. As noted elsewhere online, I found that the neck size does run a little small, but otherwise it feels like an XL. If anything the sleeves feel a bit exaggeratedly large.
Also, unless I missed something in the instructions, the collar seemed about twice as tall as it should be; the gingham I used to make the shirt has a fairly loose weave and as a result the collar was quite floppy. I wound up cutting it down, turning the top edge in and re-sewing it by hand. Were I to make the pattern again I'd make a new, shorter patter piece for the collar.
All of that being said, I'm happy enough with the end result. Major cutting and sewing only took me an evening. Construction is pretty simple, and would lend itself to easy modification or mixing and matching of the different parts. If I made it again I would use the "Large" size for the body and sleeves, and the "Extra Large" size for the neck and collar (and modify the collar to make it shorter.) The tips on the Sewing Academy web site kept this from being a totally frustrating project.