1400-1600s Chemise

The first thing I needed for my Borgia dress was a new chemise.

I wanted one with lots of floowy fabrics and huge sleeves to pouf through the holes in the outer dress.

Bildresultat för the borgias chemise
Not as fancy as this one, but in the same style.

And since a chemise is basically made out of squares, I didn’t use any pattern but used sketches like this one and the one in “The Tudor Tailor” for reference.

Bildresultat för chemise pattern

I used a thin cotton voile, and sewed the whole thing on machine using the french seam as a seam finish.


The whole thing went together pretty fast, and I would have made it in one night if I hadn’t messed up and inserted one of the sleeves inside out.


And not only had I set it inside out, I only noticed it after I french seamed the heck out of it.

Double Damn!

IMG_0330that seam should really be on the inside…

I briefly considering leaving it that way (it’s underwear after all, No one is going to see it), but then I decided to fix it right away to be able to finish that same night.

 After some hesitation and trying to unpick the tiny stitching, I decided to just cut the whole thing of and start over again. IMG_0331 Cutting the seam allowance, to re-set the sleeve.

Said and done. I re-set the sleeve, finished the neckline (with a cord for gathering) and started to steam the finished chemise for photos.

Then I realized I re-set the sleeve in the exact same way as before – INSIDE OUT!

What the f-ck!

I almost burst into tears right then and there.
But after I managed to collect myself (a process involving frenetic searching through the kitchen for chocolate and getting some hugs and toothless smiles from my baby) I decided to put the project on hold for the night.

It took a few days but when I once more got some time for sewing I bit the bullet and re-set the sleeve once more, thus finally finishing it of. (And you can’t even tell that the shoulders now uneven)

The finished Chemise:





Cheap 19th century Chemise

As I had my sewing steam up from the crinoline and bustle challenge, I decided to push on and start on the next HSF challenge as well. I had no previous plan for the nr 13. Under 10 Usd. When setting the sewing/HSF schedule for this year I figured it depended on what I was in the mood/need for at the moment.

And what I was in the mood for now was a 1850s chemise.IMG_9312I bought this pattern from a friend clearing her sewing bits, and emediatly knew it would fit the challenge.

The purpose of this challenge was to make something really cheap, and to take in account the cost of fabric and notions in the past.
The fabric I choose was an old cotton sheet bought from IKEA a while ago (6 Usd).

I forgot to take process pics of this chemise, but here it is sewn togeter and only missing the neckpiece. IMG_9413

The side gores was a bit un-nececary I think, but since I followed the pattern (more or les) they had to be there.IMG_9415

For decoration I used some of the vintage lace I bought a box ful of this winter.IMG_9416The two pieces of lace I picked may have cost me 0,5 Usd at the most.

Finished photos:IMG_9421














From the photoshoot:IMG_9466

Just the Facts:

Challenge: 13 – Under 10 Usd

What: A mid to late 19th century Chemise

Pattern: Simplicity 9769

Fabric: One cotton bedsheet.

Notions: 1,5 m of lace, thread and 2 smal buttons.

How historical Accurate: Pretty good. For 1850s not so much – machine sewn, but for 1880s (which I aslo will use it for) it’s perfectly legit. The pattern claims to be accuarte and the fabric are good too. So maybe 7/10.

Time: About 4 hours.

Cost: 10Usd or 65 Sek (100 Sek including the pattern)

First worn: Around the house for photos, but I know I will get good use out of it.

Final thoughts: It is so comfortable. I would have totaly have worn it to bed if my boyfriend hadn’t given me a quer look. 🙂

Chemise a Lamballe – Pictures

For the Chemise photoshoot (construction post Here) me and my sister went to this amazing group of old houses from late 18th centrury, located in the middle of our town. It’s not like “Old Town” or something like that just these old wooden houses, with their lovely gardens left untouched in the midst of all the modern houses. (I will show you all of their beauty in a photo-post one day).

We took so many good and wonderful pictures, and it was soo hard to select only a couple of them to show you. But finally I managed to get the numbers down. So here are 12 of my favorites, which I think best captures the softness and beauty of the Chemise a la Reine.












DSC_0566And of course we had to make some advertising for this fabolous grill – after all it’s barbecue season…

Photo: Maria Petersson