Aug 13, 2013

Making an 1860s "Garibaldi" Shirt - Part 1

I've been thinking about what to make next, and from the research I've done I've decided to go with a Garibaldi shirt, as it will go nicely with the skirt I already made for my 1863 outfit. The style was very popular during the early 1860s, if you want to learn more there is a really good article on 1860s clothing HERE from the University of Vermont.

Thanks to the Internet Archive, I was able to download an 1862 copy of Godey's Lady's Magazine, which has several pictures of Garibaldi shirts, I've complied them below, for your viewing pleasure.
The Garibaldi Shirt - Images complied from Godey's 1862 edition

As to drafting a Garibaldi shirt pattern, I'm playing the mad scientist and my plan is to make my own 'Frankenstein-Garibaldi' by cobbling pieces from various patterns I've bought in op-shops.

The Bishop-style sleeves in the two Vogue patterns on the left look about right to me, and the Very Easy Vogue has the drop-shoulder I'll need. The Simplicity pattern has a collar that I think will work...

[Cue the lightening and the maniacal laughter]


  1. Good luck with the cobbling of those patterns. Can't wait to see the finished product.
    Looking at those pictures - does the Garibaldi have pockets? And did your research shed light on how it came to have that name?

    1. Yes, the top right image does appear to have a pocket - that came as surprise, I haven't read anything about them having pockets. It's hard to tell from the photos I've seen, there's quite a bit of fabric at the front. Maybe all the folds just creates an illusion, it does seem a strange place to have a pocket...

      The shirt is named after the Italian freedom fighter, Giuseppe Garibaldi. In the 1860s his followers didn't have a uniform, but all wore red shirts to show they were part of his cause.
      Somehow these men's military shirts became fashionable for women to wear and is the ancestor of the blouse. Kind of strange, huh?