Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Chemise

What is a chemise, anyway? The dictionary says it's: a dress hanging straight from the shoulders, popular in the 1920s; a women's loose-fitting undergarment or nightdress; a priest's alb or surplice. Hmm.

Do any of those descriptions cover Vogue 7607, which calls itself a chemise? I picture a chemise as a pretty silk vest, View D being closest to that image, I guess.

So, for want of a better name, here's my version of Vogue's chemise.

My last post featured the fifty cent fabric find destined to become this useful little top. It's a jersey knit, nice and firm, and worked well in spite of the pattern not being designed for knits.

The pattern is a size 10, I'm a size 12 in these old patterns, so I cut out View C just a shade bigger than the pattern, also gaining some extra width because I was eliminating the pin tucks. The button front had to go as well. View B would have been more useful but this charity-shop pattern was missing views A and B. For the band across the bodice top and the shoulder straps I used black satin (leftover from lining the handbags mentioned here).

There were no bust darts included which may have worked in a light fabric, but not with the heavier jersey. I inserted darts which are not quite in the right spot but as I plan to wear a loose wrap (up-coming post) over it, I'm not stressing.

As shoulder straps have an annoying habit of slipping off, I angled them in where they meet the back band.

The satin band is sewn into the side seam and the back finishing is a turned under and hand-stitched edge. There is enough ease in the fabric that no zips or buttons were required.

This is a comfortable top which lends itself to evening wear because of the satin trim. Pity I don't go to many evening affairs, but with Christmas getting alarmingly close there's bound to be the odd party to attend.


  1. What a lovely chemise. And that fabric was a terrific find! You must have the most fantastic op shops where you are. I've never come across anything of such good value! :)

    1. Thanks Carolyn. We do seem to be well served with good old-fashioned op shops that haven't yet gone 'up market'. And perhaps a lot of sewers who don't get around to using the fabric they purchase!