I decided that for the chemise, I already had the perfect pattern, of a sort.
This is a pink nightgown that I wear around the house most of the summer. It is comfortable enough to wear, while being modest enough that I don't mind stepping outside to take out the trash. And, it is the right general shape for a Victorian chemise.
But how to make a pattern using this as the base? I took masking tape, and covered one section of the nightgown at a time. For the front and back skirts, I folded the gown in half, and so just covered half at a time. I then carefully peeled the tape off the sections and attached them to craft paper, and cut the pieces out. This made five pattern pieces - front skirt, back skirt, front bodice, back bodice, and straps. There is also a ruffle at the bottom, but I merely measured the bottom unruffled edge and how deep it was, and made a long strip to gather.
One change I had made was to deepen the armscye. The one thing I dislike on the original is a line of trim that pokes into my underarm, and I wanted to give more room so that I didn't have too much bunching under the (yet to be made) dress top.
I cut the pieces out of the same white quilting fabric that I had used for the bloomers. One thing I did was to cut the front bodice pieces double in height, so that I had some room to make pintucks!
After sewing the four little pintucks, I laid the pattern piece back over top, and cut the section to shape.
I sewed the pieces together as logically as I could figure out, and created a placket in the center front. Here you can see how I gathered the skirt section slightly before sewing it to the bodice.
I had seen mixed examples of chemise with and without buttons, but decided that these little buttons were flat enough that they would not press too much with a corset over top. Here is the finished piece.
Or so I thought. And then I found this lovely ribbon-laced eyelet, and decided it would look great along the neckline. I added a short run, and left the ribbon longer, so that I could either tie it in a little bow, or leave it loose.