Monday, February 3, 2014

vintage shirt donation

I was walking by the office the other day and noticed a number of shirts, freshly laundered and just hanging on the back of the door.
It turns out that they were a donation.
These are old shirts.
I don't want to quite hazard a guess, without doing a bit of research, but I took some photos to show you. I want to say WWI era to 1920's but I am leaning towards earlier.
They are in very good to fair condition, the fabrics are still bright and crisp, and have been well taken care of.
They are French, as in from Paris, not Quebec.
The labels read David, 32 Ave de l'OPera, Paris. Each shirt has some kind of number hand embroidered in the side seam gusset, which I assume is for laundry services.
They are made with a combination of hand and machine stitching. The buttonholes are all hand made, the machine stitching is tiny tiny tiny- I bet more than 24 stitches per inch. I will have to get closer and count.
A variety of details:
Some of the shirts, such as this one, pull on over the head, some button up the front. One has a contrast bib front in a striped fabric. All have the small band collar made for wearing a detachable collar. This one has fullness gathered into the back yoke, and a small pieced section on the back of the sleeves. The cuffs are interfaced with something very stiff, I had to wet it and press with a hot iron to uncrumple them. I haven't taken any measurements but they are ample in the body, longer in the back and have small hand inserted gussets in the side seams. The seams in general are about .5mm wide, as is the hem.
The armholes are felled with quite a wide finish- 1.5cm or so by guessing.

Maybe someone out there has better sleuthing skills or more time to spend looking for information. I wonder when this business was  operating in this location?

More to come as I have them pressed up and measured.


  1. Hi Terri,

    I just googled "chemiser david opera" and I found a trade card of Chemisier David 32 ave de l'Opera" on ebay. It's been made in 1924. For what it's worth...


    1. Wow, that's great. In business from 1879, I wonder when they closed? I now think these are pre WWI. Will keep my eye open for more information. Thanks!