Monday, July 14, 2014

The Librarian - Chemise

Step two on the Librarian Costume - the Chemise.

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.

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