The linen is finally washed and pressed! HUZZAH! My new chemises can begin!!
I've decided to make two of different weights…one in a lovely tissue linen, at a 60/40 blend of linen and cotton. The other is heavier (ideal for the cooler days at Faire) and checks in with a 41/59 blend of linen and rayon. After puzzling over the pattern that I was originally planning to use, I came to the conclusion that it really just wouldn’t work for the look I’m trying to achieve. Seeing how I’m making it so that my corset can double as a strapless bodice, the chemise look I’m wanting is an off-the-shoulder deal. However the pattern that I was originally looking at has no elastic and thus would not provide the proper look. A lot of the chemises that I have patterns for can go off-shoulder, but don’t look right. Or the elastic climbs back up on top of the shoulder and just irritates me all day.
So after a nice little bull session with a friend of mine, I came to the decision of fudging a pattern I have and making it work for what I need it to. (Kind of like the rest of this project so far!) I’m going to be starting with a poet-shirt base, but instead of having a yoke over the shoulders, I’m going to be adding a casing and elastic. Thus as the shirt falls, it will want to sit around my shoulders, and the only true function of the elastic at the “neck”-line will be to keep it from slipping down too far. Also, I’m going to be adding about 9 inches to the bottom of the original pattern piece so that I have more of a knee-length dress feel as opposed to a long-ish shirt.
And so patterning begins! You can see here where I've added several inches to the bottom to create the longer body:
I was also forced to shorten the sleeves dramatically so I'd have a final look of a 3/4 or 1/2 sleeve:
Seaming was simple, and after attaching the front and back and closing the sleeves, all that was left was the casing for the elastic 'round the top and the sleeves, then to hem!
I opted to go with a "cheater casing" using bias tape, simply because I've got a ton of other work to do. Also, I have a crap-load of white single-fold bias tape sitting around in my sewing room and I desperately want it all to GO AWAY! So, why not use it up on this project? I also had some natural colored bias tape, and since I really don't care what people think about whether or not the casing on my chemise matches perfectly, I chose to use that on the "neck"-line of the heavier weight chemise, simply because I don't have anything else that it will match!
And there it is! My completed chemise. I'm modeling it since my dress form doesn't have arms and these are designed to fit 'round the biceps rather than on the shoulders:
The tissue-weight chemise will be the same exact deal, just lighter weight. I may or may not come back through and post those pictures as well, simply because they will look the same.