18th Century Shift

Improve your hand sewing skills while making a basic undergarment for your 1700s ensembles

Start your 18th century ensemble with the proper foundation

Which describes you:

  • You are new to 18th century costuming
  • You've been wearing a tank top under your stays and want to move into wearing more historically appropriate undergarments
  • You have not worn anything under your stays and now want to do so to help keep the stays clean while wearing
  • You've been procrastinating for too long on making a decent undergarment for under your 18th century costumes

I've been there. My friends have been there.

It's such a simple sewing project, yet we are not inspired to sew it. Well, now's the time to start! Let's get this thing DONE - together.

The shift (or chemise as it was later called) is the most basic undergarment for women in the 18th century. And it's truly vital for comfort while dressing in period ensembles. It keeps the outer garments and stays (corset) clean while absorbing skin oils and sweat. The shift provides modesty and can even be used to sleep in.

Come hand sew this historical undergarment with us!

For the detailed tutorials presented in class scroll down to view the Class Curriculum.

In this class we'll walk together through the steps in making this simple, yet functional garment.

This class is for beginning-to-intermediate historical costumers.

You’ll learn exactly how to complete each step in creating a proper shift garment, yet having an understanding of basic sewing techniques is helpful. This includes cutting fabric with grainlines and comprehension of simple sewing terms. Order of construction in putting pieces together and performing hand sewing stitches will be taught.

The priority of this class is for you to build your hand sewing skills while making a wearable garment. We go beyond the stitch sampler here!

Skills & Techniques You'll Learn in Detailed Tutorials:

  • Working with linen (if you choose that as your fabric)
  • Discussing appropriate fabrics for a shift garment
  • Hand sewing a garment to completion
  • How to properly set in a square underarm gusset
  • Improving your hand sewing skills
  • Becoming skilled in flat felled seams
  • Learning the hand stitches of basting, running, unevening running, flat fell, hem stitch and backstitch

With enrollment students can download a complete PDF handout full of photos of each sewing step and written instructions to accompany what is seen in the videos. Each module has a detailed sewing video tutorial with explanation as to that particular step. It's a complete course from start to finish!

In each tutorial section you have a chance to ask the instructor questions, post photos about your project as you work on it, and get feedback. Open dialogue with other students working on the same issues can be motivating and boost confidence as you work through your project.

Individualized help and feedback is available through email as well.

Improve your historical sewing skills. Get started today learning about this functional undergarment and the techniques used to make one. Sew up a fabulous new shift for your next 18th century ensemble! See you in class!!

"Another great class from Jennifer. What I like about these classes is that they are useful regardless of your level of experience—a beginner can follow the instructions, but an experienced sewer can also benefit from the class. Another thing I really like is that Jennifer always offers the “why” as well as the “what” so that you know the reasons for the particular stitch or method that is being used and that one gradually builds up a toolbox of skills and experience by taking these classes. I would definitely recommend it."

~ Miriam Lewis

"Jennifer Rosbrugh is amazing! She is such an encouraging person! Her classes leave every question answered, and her teaching method makes historical sewing a breeze!"

~ Richard Herr

"Jennifer has once again, provided a quality class offering in the 18th Century Shift class. This class is part history lesson, part sewing instruction and a huge confidence builder. Experienced and beginners alike will find the 18th Century Shift class a wonderful learning experience. This class, much like the others Jennifer offers, is jam packed with LOTS of information in the form of high quality videos, photos, and handouts. Jennifer leaves nothing out! At the end of the class, you have more than a completed 18th century shift; you have increased your knowledge and skill but also have the confidence to continue on sewing."

~ Diana Kocunik

"Being new to 18th century, this class was the perfect introduction for me. I was able to learn many new hand sewing skills with this class. Jennifer’s friendly manner makes her feel like she is right there with you. She explains and shows every step in detail, and I could always get answers to my questions."

~ Adriana Walls

"Historical Sewing with Jennifer Rosbrugh has created a class that anyone can take. Her videos are fantastic and go through every step you need. If you don't understand a step you can either review the video or go to the group and ask directly. If you want to have a workshop without having to drive this is the class for you. The 18th Century Shift class is a virtual Workshop and is a perfect first step into the world of 18th Century Sewing."

~ Elizabeth Layton


Begin sewing your shift today!

Your Instructor

Jennifer Rosbrugh
Jennifer Rosbrugh

Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles from about 1780 to 1920. Dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Daughter of the King.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the class start and finish?
The class starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online class - you decide when you start each tutorial, complete the sewing, and when you finish the project.
How long do I have access to the class?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this class for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Can I get personal feedback and help with my class project?
Of course! We are here to see you succeed in creating historical fashions you love. We help you every step of the way through conversational comments in each tutorial and through email, if desired. We create a joyful and safe environment for you to ask any question about your project and receive answers and feedback that can be used immediately.
What if I am unhappy with the class?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and give us the opportunity to address your concerns.
If I change my mind, can I request a refund?
Due to the nature of the materials and intellectual property presented in the class, all sales are final. Please contact us with any questions before enrolling.

Get started now!