Friday, 14 March 2014

Victorian Chemisettes

I've been wanting to make a couple of victorian chemisettes for a long time. I've decided to start working on them before something else takes precedence. Re-enactment season will be starting again shortly and there are a couple of things that I need to repair, alter or make. Like a new pair of nalebound socks for my husband....

This is a pair of antique chemisettes from my personal collection. After looking at pictures of dated version on pinterest and ofcourse the rest of the internet. I estimate the childs size to be from the 1880's or later. Standing collars like this where common from the 1870's and up. The grown-up size I estimate to date to the 1860's, maybe even 1850's. Ofcourse I could be way of.

I need to re-attach some of the decorative buttons at the neckline.

I find it nice to have a pair of originals at hand while trying to make a reproduction but it also makes very obvious how hard it is to find the right materials. Most victorian chemisettes where made of thin cotton batiste. Which is hard to come by at least here in the Netherlands, not to say expensive! I bought the thinnest sheerest  I could find on the internet and still it's not thin or sheer enough! 

It was bio cotton batiste, so it had to be bleached. The unbleached fabric I will dye black and make a 1880's high neck chemisette with. I have heard or read about black chemisette being worn, but have found no evidence of their existence so far. Still going to make it though a white one would look off with that costume.
The white chemisette will be 1840's/1850's style, a lot like the original I own.

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