This post will be continuing the path of the previous one still discussing the undergarments. Although this time it will be about both the bloomers and the chemise.
Starting with the chemise first.
I kind of zoomed through this project piece. It was easy. And I also didn’t take as many pictures as I previously thought. Due to the loose-fitting nature of this part I chose not to do a mockup and went straight into patterning and the fabric. But also because I made two petticoats for this project I was debating on making the chemise/shift the correct length. But instead I went for a short shift dress version of the shift. Most shifts and chemises are not this short. They usually are rather long, down to the knees. Very rare, and by that I haven’t seen one (but just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean they don’t exist), they end short. The short ones are usually linked with a dirndl, which is again a different era. Similar style to this ensemble though.
The drafting process stated with my loosely fitting muslin to the front of my mannequin. Like this…
As you can see in both of those images I already drew out what my shift would look like. I took those pieces down and transferred the to my pattern paper. For arms I flat drafted that and went with the design hoping it would work. And it does, as I will show later on.
I purchased a cotton voile from the store. At least I believe that is what this material is. I have used batiste before for a different chemise for Red Riding Hood from Once Upon a Time. Batiste is very thin and transparent. With my Red chemise I only used it for the center front that was being paired with a chunky lace. The chunky lace helped combat the transparent quality of the material.
Sew up the side seams first. Since this isn’t your usual shift dress you won’t have to worry about the arms being a part of the shoulder seams other than connecting at the shoulder. With this the arms are just like any other shirt. Sew up the shoulder seams. Don’t add the arms at this stage. The arms can get in the way when you add the lace or the facing.
To pattern a facing trace out the upper edges of both the back and the front piece and then mark out a line 1-2 inches away. You don’t usually need it bigger than an inch, but I like to be able to cut it down later if I need to. Also you may want to find out how long you need the facing before you attach it. Since it peeks out quite a bit at the sides I made my facing almost two inches so my shift wasn’t completely transparent where I needed coverage.
Sew the front and back facings together. At least that is how I have done mine. I don’t recall making a proper facing before. At least none with commercial patterns. Here is what my facing looks like.
This part is a little tricky. Not really a lot, just a bit. I added small lace trim to my shirt at the neckline. You don’t have to, but I wanted to. The one Belle wears is tied with string at the top to be gathered down. Mine has elastic.
With lace and a facing. You are going to pin the lace to the neckline of the shift, starting at the back and overlapping slightly when you get back to the beginning. If you feel like you need to sew this step down you can, or you can pin the facing over top like I did and carefully remove the pins in the middle. Then sew the facing and lace down all at once. And then pin the facing down and top stitch in place.
While I top stitched the facing in place I did leave a large enough gap for my narrow elastic to be threaded through. If you want the ties you can add them. Just make two small eyelets in the front neckline before you sew the facing down with topstitching. And thread twine through instead of the elastic.
Not much more to go. Just adding the sleeves. Which were easy. Sew up the side seams of each sleeve. You can add cuffs like she has, but I thought it would be cute to use the same lace for the neckline in the sleeves as well. And since the sleeves are loose-fitting, not too loose not tight, there will be no elastic in the sleeves. You also do not need a facing for the sleeves, if you made them long enough to include the hem.
The way I hemmed the sleeves is by adding the lace to the outside of the sleeve with the sewn edge flat against the end of the sleeve. Leave the ruffle edge of the lace facing toward the elbow. The sewn edge toward the wrist. Then sew the lace on the edge of the sleeve. If you want you can add the lace a half-inch up the sleeve so you have some room, I didn’t. Then I turned the lace under and topstitched the lace down.
Attach the sleeves as usual, if you added notches this is where they match up. If not just keep the under arm seams matching. The only thing to remain is to hem the shift. My hem isn’t exactly straight. It is curved in the back slightly, because of this my hemming doesn’t look that great right now, but when I iron it it will look better. As of now the hem flips up in certain areas, but they won’t in the end.
Onto the Bloomers
This is by far my favorite piece of the undergarments. Albeit the most unflattering. But oh well. I love my fabric choice. I did use a lace from my stash as part of the mockup process and spare lace I owned.
Here is my pattern and rulers as weights on top of the mockup fabric. A some odd length of leftover flower cotton lace. I used the other bits for a chemise for another historical inspired costume.
The pattern is a modified legging pattern I made for Regina. It is in a previous post. I sewed up the side seams. The crotch seam. Added lace for decorative purposes to see how the lace looked. Added the eyelets and ribbon. Added the waistband.
Here is where we get to the tricky bits. The bloomers fit, but… they fit too well. They weren’t baggy enough. And what I mean by that is that they were loose, but not bloomer loose. And they were too long. Which is fine. As they are a mockup. That just meant I needed a bigger pattern.
Here are my actual supplies.
The solution, add the paper pattern from before back onto my pattern paper. The outrageously draw far away from those lines. Heck, you don’t even need to use a pants pattern to get the shape you need. Just made a giant rectangle/square. Huge rectangle/square. Slope the sides down toward the calves and also slope the waist. You want it to look like this.
This is folded in half.
Sew the long lace on first. Then sew up the side seams. (I used French seams). Sew up the crotch seam, I used pinking shears them after I sewed up that seam. Then I pressed the seam to one side and sewed it down.
Here is where we are at now.
There are two squares that length, interfaced. Sew them together completely. Top stitch your seams. Pin to the top of your bloomers and sew. The next step is to turn under the top bit by a half-inch and then fold it down to just below the previous stitch lines where we first started sewing the waistband down. Then you can stitch in the ditch to get the waistband into a casing. Be sure to leave a good two inches open so you can add the elastic.
The last two steps involve adding the elastic, eyelet lace, and ribbon to the legs above the lace and sew up the gap in the waistband. For the legs you don’t need to add anything special down there to get the elastic in the leg. You can use the eyelet lace for the elastic holder. Just put it in before the ribbon after you sew down the eyelet lace on either leg. Then you thread the ribbon through the eyelets on top of that. Simple. More simple than I explained at least.
There aren’t any other undergarments for this project. So the next piece you will read about will most likely be the vest. The vest is vexing me at the moment. But I am sure by the next post that I will have it done and it will look decent. Or semi decent. Possibly in the realm of decency.
The other bits that will be discussed in the coming posts are skirt, kerchief, pockets, apron, possibly necklace, and book.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Until next time. Bye.