The Beginning

Woman in black Tudor dress with gold and red trim and white apron
Mary de Guise
Mary de Guise

I need to begin with my base layers, so I have begun sewing with my chemise. Usually, I make a simple T-Tunic, but I want to push myself, and I found a pattern that seems doable. Using a cotton sheet instead of the period linen to save cost, I created my pattern and cut. Unsurprisingly, I messed up right away. I always fold the fabric in half for symmetry, and then /should/ have doubled the fabric for a front and back layer. I forgot this. Maybe it was late at night. Maybe I’m just forgetful or not good at this. Anyhow, I had a very large sheet, and tried again. Somehow, this layer wasn’t as long as the last one. Well, it’s period to add pieces. So that’s the first step. The next will be to stitch the sides, then add sleeves and a small gusset. The final step will be to add bias tape around the neckline, made from remaining sheet. If there isn’t enough sheet, the collar will be rolled, but I’d like to not do that.

Step one- piecing is complete, and I think it came out very well. I’m happy with how it looks. At first I was doubling my thread, but it was far too much. My thread is far too thick, even a single thickness, so I’m using a huge needle. Around the neckline I’ll probably end up using something modern and thinner, since that will be visible. Maybe I’ll be able to find a very fine silk, but I might even use an embroidery cotton.

chemise patterns
Chemise patterns from Patterns of Fashion
modified chemise
pieced bottom of chemise
collar to be worked
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2 Responses to The Beginning

  1. Kay of Tre Asterium / Kay Jarrell says:

    Greetings! Do not be dismayed if you need to just roll your collar hem. Perfectly appropriate for this.
    May I suggest when you lay out a pattern and think you have it all correct, then you walk away from it for however long you can? This has saved me many times. Even if you just take a bathroom break, it gives your mind a minute to go over what you have done and find the thing that is “off.” I leave it to sit for longer the more expensive the fabric is!

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