Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chemise and Drawers Patterns

For my current project of the 1876 Evening Gown, I am starting the ensemble properly with the undergarments. I need a new Victorian corset anyways, and one always likes new frillies.

Whenever you start a new project, you must do an inventory on your undergarments and make (or purchase) those first before you start on the main garment. Every era is based on the proper silhouette and that MUST be done to have the costume be successful.

So for my chemise, I downloaded the free instructions off of Elizabeth Stewart Clark's website. I met Liz at last year's Costume College and she has done great research on the 1840s - 60s, especially with children's clothing. After I drafted it from my measurements the sleeve shape looked awfully weird and the underarm seam was not like her sketch. I've decided to go back to my other choice of the Truly Victorian chemise pattern. I've made a couple from Heather's pattern, and it is very basic and easy to sew. Although I may draft my own chemise pattern and release it for sale some day.

As for drawers, I love the Truly Victorian one, but with alterations (including shortening the crotch length). I've made a pair from the free instructions on Liz's site. Although, I made it front opening and would definitely change it to a back opening as I feel that design is more comfortable. So this weekend I will draft out the drawers again with the back opening.

Tip: When using this pattern to draft your own drawers, make sure you measure the useable width of your fabric and draft your pattern accordingly. I made the mistake of drafting for 45" muslin but the fabric ended up being only 42". Not as comfortable to wear. So draft with your fabric width in mind.

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