Welcome back to the Victorian Era Undergarments project! The weather this week wasn’t great for my kimono photoshoot, so instead I got some traction on my Victorian chemise! My restoration projects are a lot of fun, but they’re really hard work because I have to do all the research, planning, and execution myself. With recreation projects like this one, I can just follow the pattern and trust the process, and it’s really relaxing and a lovely change of pace.
First up was adding the strap reinforcements. I wavered back and forth on whether or not I wanted to have the straps held on by buttons, or just be sewn together, but I think it will be easier to dress myself if they’re buttoned. So this meant sewing a little reinforcing rectangle folded over each strap, front and back. Later in the process I’ll get to pull out my buttonholer and give these utility, but for now they just need a little more fabric so they don’t shred just from hanging over my shoulders. …That makes it sound like I’m really buff or something, lol, but really – it’s just that the linen is pretty lightweight! 😀
Next up was prepping the sleeves. Again, I waffled on these because I do like the “tank top” look, but then I realized I could add a bunch of ruffled lace and the deal was sealed. 🙂 Pro tip: you do not need an iron to press seams into linen! It loves to hold its shape so you can crease it by hand if you don’t feel like breaking out your iron because it’s all hot and humid. For example.
I had to fold in each hem, then roll it under itself and pin it so that the linen wouldn’t fray. These are the outside edges of the sleeve, and are where I’ll attach some cute lace in a little while!
Finally, two lines of basting stitches served to gather the inner part of the sleeve so I can fit them to the bodice in the next stage! My Featherweight only goes down to 6 stitches per inch, but it turned out to be totally perfect. I didn’t even have to pull on the threads – it just ruffled itself up perfectly when I was done!
I’m looking forward to finishing this chemise soon, and moving onto the drawers! I think it’s just attaching the sleeves, then adding lace in various spots and finishing up the hem. So join me next time as I continue laboring over linen here on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤
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