Sunday, 17 August 2014

An early victorian chemise

Due to lack of time I wore my 1880's victorian chemise underneath my 1840's working class dress to the Dickensfestijn in Deventer. This year I hope to have the period correct undergarments finished.

Past Patterns is one of my favorite brands of historical sewing patterns. Their patterns are well documented, printed on thick paper and with clear instructions. Their Two Early Nineteenth Century Chemises (pattern number #002) was the main inspiration for my chemise.

Kannik's Korner sells a pattern that looks quite similar and dates it to 1790-1820. The biggest difference is that neckline is gathered.

Late Georgian to Early Victorian chemise circa 1820 through 1830. Heavy unbleached linen with hand-embroidered scalloped edges. Scoop neckline with interior drawstring. Embroidered monogram of "FL" at center front neckline. Garment is entirely hand-stitched. The tiny dark stitches that were used to lay out the embroidery patterns are still visible. Unlined. No closures.

Linen nightgown
 Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Antique chemise with owner's initials,
c. 1820 - 1830

My version of a 1840's chemise.
White cotton flannel
Slightly square neckline
Elbow length sleeves

As I got rather cold in my costume last year, I decided to make myself a nice warm set of undies. That is why I choose to make my chemise from cotton flannel instead of the linen or cotton, which isn't historically accurate. Flannel was used in victorian undergarments like the drawers and petticoats, but chemises where made in linen and later cotton.

Maybe I'll try my hand at some embroidery and embroider my initials on it.

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