Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly #3: Protection

I know, a chemise is not the most original idea. But...a chemise does protect your skin from the potential burn that corsets can give. And it also protects your dress from sweat. So protection on multiple parts! I know, only one picture, but it is only a chemise after all.

I used the Laughing Moon pattern. I loved this pattern! It makes me question why I bother drafting all that stuff myself and working without instructions. I may just buy patterns as often as possible from now on. I also took the time to cut out all the little notches that you use to line stuff up. Let me tell you, it made a huge difference! It also probably saved me time, as I didn't have to pull the pattern pieces back out to mark where those notches were after the whole thing was sewn together.

This is a Regency style chemise, and the pattern is based off of an original; the straight line style with a drawstring and gussets in the armpits is appropriate pretty much between 1795 and 1830, maybe even into the 1840's. There was something really nice about not having to gather something to something else, and I would take the gussets and drawstring over gathers with a set band any day.

For Christmas I received Jennifer Rosbrugh's Regency corset and chemise class, so I also had the video tutorials to go along with it. I really appreciated her clear instructions on the gussets, that was really helpful; without them, I probably would have had to rip out the seams two or three times before figuring it out. Which brings me to my next point:

I HAND SEWED THE WHOLE THING! And it only took a couple afternoons!

So yes, if I wanted I could say this is 100% accurate since sewing machines weren't invented until the 1840's. But why bother since the chemise is the undergarment which will be least seen? I don't know, I just love hand sewing. Actually, my flat felled seams were a little on the sloppy side; I've done them before much neater. Next time I use this pattern, I'm going to use a smaller seam to make tidier flat-felled seams.

What the item is: Chemise

The Challenge: Protection

Fabric/Materials: 100% cotton muslin, the Sew Essentials brand (basically the cheapest brand, but it irons up a lot better than whatever brand I used last time).

Pattern: Laughing Moon #115

Year: 1795-1830

Notions: Thread, ribbon for drawstring. 

How historically accurate is it? 95%; completely hand sewn and the pattern is based off of an original.

Hours to complete: 10 hours of handsewing

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: $5

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