Step 2: Chainmail Shirt Designs
Here are some of the different ways you can make your chainmail shirt. Look through the options below and figure out what you want it to look like, and then make it that way. If you end up changing your mind, no big deal! Chainmail is easy to add on to, take apart, and whatever else you want to do to it.
How long do you want your sleeves to be? Do you want your whole upper body enveloped, or do you want something a little less weight bearing? Be warned, making sleeves is very devious. It doesn't look like a lot of extra weaving, but it can feel like forever when you are finishing making your shirt. And remember, you can always add on more later if you want.
One option is to make a sleeveless chainmail shirt. Straps of chainmail go over your shoulders, and your arms are free to do whatever they want. Perfect for the summer.
Short sleeves is the comfortable middle ground. It looks good, and it feel just like a t-shirt. It also requires a lot less weaving than long sleeves.
If you want to be awesome, then long sleeves are for you. They add a lot of extra weight to your shirt, but the coolness factor way outweighs that problem.
How far down your body do you want the shirt to go? Do you want to keep it comfortable to wear around for hours at a time, or do you want something more realistic like a hauberk?
Keeping it short and simple. A waist length design will keep the weight off your shoulders, while at the same time making it easy to do your day to day activities.
Mid Thigh Length
This length of shirt will be more "period", while still keeping the weight and time spent weaving relatively low.
This is the real deal. Back in the middle ages shirts of this length were called a hauberk. Not only were they this length, but they sometimes had long sleeves also. If you have time to kill, take this route.
The Neck Line
Although you won't need to worry much about this until the end, it's still nice to think about what you might want the neck line to look like. There may be others, but here are three different options that I have tried.
The v-neck is both comfortable and cool. Everybody will take a second glance if you walk by them with a v-neck chainmail shirt.
One thing that I did with my chainmail shirt is lace up the v-neck in order to hide my exposed chest. When you are just strolling around, you can let it come loose. But when you go to battle, you tie it up and attack!
The last option is to just leave it as it. It is mostly flat across the top, and it makes you feel the most protected.