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Constructing a 45 degree Seam Shirt
Article © MAIL User: Aderamelech

For those of you who don't know, a 45 degree seam shirt is one where the shoulders are constructed with a seam that allows for the maille of the arms to run the same direction as the body. This is not the only method for producing this result, nor indeed is this method the only way to make this sort of shirt. However this article does take you through all the basic steps, gives you some tips and an idea of what you will need to do. You may find you have to adapt parts of the instructions for your own pieces as they will have different ring counts, ring sizes and so on.

1) Begin by making a square using four trapezoids of European 4 in 1. Notice that the trapezoid that will be on the back is wider the that on the front. This is to move the arm holes farther forward to get a better range of motion.
Image: shirt1.jpg

2) To get to a vest you simply have to add maille to the front and back of the square mantle, and then fill in the sides between them. You should include more length on the back, make it several rows longer then the front, then match up their bottom edges when filing in the sides. This will keep the head hole forward on the shirt, to make sure it does not fall back and choke you. If you simply want to make a vest with 45 degree shoulders you would be done at this point.
Image: shirt2.jpg

3) At this stage I have added several rows to the bottom edge of the side trapezoids. The lenth of these strips extends beyond the width of the base of the trapezoid, as you can see it hanging down. This extra material will be wrapped all the way around the arm opening.
Image: shirt3.jpg

4) The trouble is, the maille's direction matches up with the trapezoid and the body just under the arm opening, but does not match up with some of the intervening rings. Notice how there is a change of direction. The smaller you make the square mantle the greater the size of this disjunction. (However that does not mean that you must use a large mantle as I have here. What size you use will be largely up to how you want to the shirt to look). What is needed is an unusual seam to attach the arm to that point on the body.
Image: shirt4.jpg

5) These two pieces show the sort of disjunction you have in the shirt. You have to get these two pieces connected. There are a number of ways to do this that will work, I just happen to like the following one.
Image: shirt5.jpg

6) Start by inserting an open ring into one side. Put it in as you would if you were going to attach two pieces of maille that ran in the same direction.
Image: shirt6.jpg

7) Now follow through the circular move of inserting the ring, picking up two from the other piece of maille. Don't pay attention to the fact that this sheet runs in a different direction, place the two rings on the outer edge the same way you would two loose rings being added to the edge of a piece of 4-1.
Image: shirt7.jpg

8) Move down to the next connecting row and do the same again.
Image: shirt8.jpg

9) And so on all the way down.
Image: shirt9.jpg

10) You simply do the same thing on the shirt. The seams are not all obvious I think, as they tend to be mostly overlapped by the sleeves anyway. Now all the edges of the shirt are going in the same direction and you can add length normally to the sleeves and the bottom edge.
Image: shirt10.jpg
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=120