Victorian Era Undergarments: The Chemise Sewing (Stage 3)

Project 7, part 5 – The Process of Becoming (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 here)

Sewing down the gathers is so satisfying!

Welcome back to the Victorian Era Undergarments project! I took some time over the long weekend to get some more done on my chemise, and it’s hit that stage where it’s starting to look like a real garment instead of a pile of fabric. 😀 That’s my experience with almost all creative projects, actually – for quite a long time it just looks like a bunch of parts, or some blocks of color, or swatches of fabric, and then suddenly it becomes the thing it’s meant to be. It’s a pretty good metaphor for life in general! You don’t always know what your life is going to look like when you take the plunge on something new; you only find out in hindsight what effect it had and what you’ve become.

More French seams! Woo!

What this is becoming is an actual chemise! I enclosed the armhole seams in a French seam like the other ones, and removed the gathering stitches to reveal a lightly-ruffled sleeve. It looks odd, but the sleeve will cross over at the top and button there so the largest part is actually the part that goes under the arm. This gives a little more sweat protection, too!

SO. MUCH. PINNING.

Once I got the sleeves attached, I had to add the lace. It’s the same lace I used for my Milky-Chan waist ties, but without any added embroidery this time. It’s a perfect match in tone, thank goodness, and isn’t so long or stiff that it will feel odd when worn. Attaching this was a NIGHTMARE though. I honestly wished I had hand-sewn it because keeping it on the tiny little hemline while machine sewing was really difficult. It’s in no way perfect but it took me over an hour just for this and I was just happy to have finished!

I’m SO SORRY about the quality of this photo. My light and energy were both fading fast so I just took one picture and hoped for the best.

…And I was two centimeters short at the top of one sleeve! 😱 I left extra length of lace on the first sleeve, knowing it would gather up some, but I neglected to do so on the second and I had to cut another little section of lace to complete it. I could have not bothered if it were the back side, but the front laps over the back on the straps instead of the other way around, so I had to fill in the gap.

It’s hard to see the stitches, but that’s a good thing! 😀

I hand-sewed this, though. LOL.

OMG it’s looking like a real thing and I’m getting HYPED!

I went from being very dubious about this to extremely excited! ❤ There’s still a decent amount to be done, it turns out – bias tape on the neckline and lace/ribbon there, plus finishing the hem and adding lace, as well as the buttons and buttonholes on the shoulders. My heart really wants to add some pintucks at the hem as well, but we’ll see how ambitious I get! 😀 So join me next time here on Mukashi no Sewing to see how things progress! ❤

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