The last thing I said before I left for Costume College was I really needed to make more chemises. It was also the last thing I said before I went there in 2013, and probably 2012. But at that time I did make two new ones but out of a too-thin cotton that just about got shredded when I hooked up my corset. And that’s what I was still wearing this year. For shame.
Normally when I get back from CoCo I’m still riding on a “sew all the things” –mode, and I take advantage of that to try and get something else done before it dies out in about a month. This time I stuck to my guns and bought some 100% cotton muslin to cut out four and sew them.
I have lots of patterns for chemises but none had the deeper neckline I need for some of my square neck bodices. I tried an earlier time period pattern that was suggested but it was so loosey-goosey I felt it was going to fall off me any second. I’m going to take in a big front and back seam in the center of that one so as not to waste some good material.
I realized anything that I used would have to be altered some way and when I pulled out this Simplicity 7157 for an Edwardian petticoat, I saw the neckline I wanted.
The petticoat had to be postponed because it takes 7 yards of 45” wide fabric, and my poor muslin I bought at JoAnn’s is a measly 36”. And I need chemises more than a petticoat. But its next!
I planned on just using the top half of the bodice and extending it down into an A-line for my length but as I’m writing this, I just realized I had pulled out the pattern pieces for the combinations and it has a more slightly rounded neckline. But hey, it works! Its still lower than some of the others I tried.
The length I needed was 36” from my shoulder to the bottom so I just tore 36” lengths of the fabric and it didn’t require a lot of extra cutting. Instead of having a front seam, I cut that edge on the fold.
As much as I love those pretty frilly chemises, I'd rather spend my time on the outside dresses. And I wanted to make these as quickly and simply as I could because all white gets a little boring. So they will have no sleeves, and I’m just turning the edges of the neckline and armholes under to hem them. I cut out four and zipped up all the side shoulder seams.
Some of my friends said to add some different laces so I could tell the difference between them and not end up wearing the same one on the same day. So I pulled out my lace stash and found bits and pieces that I could use but would also not be scratchy. One of the cotton eyelets was pretty wide and it was badly gathered but it had been cheap. So I cut off the gathered edge and turned it under, then pleated it to the neckline. It also gave kind of a cuff on the armholes.
I finished these today and I find I’m still in “white mode”. I haven’t gone back to buy more muslin as I was waiting for another sale, and I see it’s on sale again today. In the meantime my “Squirrel” has been attracted by Wearing History’s Edwardian blouse pattern, and I want to do three-quarter length sleeves.
I’ve wanted a white blouse to wear with two of my Truly Victorian Edwardian skirts. The purple floral one is done, just no photos of it. I've also wanted to make a solid dark color skirt too.
While digging through my lace stash I came across a long piece of embroidered cotton that was given to me that would be wonderful to use on that blouse. I think it would look great going down the center, and then the center portion used down my sleeves. Or maybe the whole width with some cotton added.