Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Regency Chemisette for Vernet

It is November! And that means Thanksgiving and also Vernet! November is the last month to finish up the projects for the fashion plate collection, so I am busy tying up loose ends (figuratively and literally!) and am getting pretty excited about everyone's big reveal next month.

I will not hide the fact that when I was invited to join in this project I chose what was perhaps the least visually exciting plate. I don't like a lot of fancy details, in general, and gravitate toward severely plain. (Just take a look at my modern wardrobe if you don't believe me. Almost everything is solid black, brown, gray and blue.)

But the more I delved into my project the more I realized that there are still some pretty quirky details.

I recently finished up my chemisette. I spent a while trying to figure out the hem of the chemisette ruffles. Then a while trying to figure out how to make the ruffles. Plus the chemisette. I've never made one before, because they are too fussy looking for my taste.

The "B" 1800-1825 chemisette in Janet Arnold's PoF 1 was pretty helpful in finally clueing me in on how to put this together. I ended up draping a little partial bodice with a 1" stand collar.

The ruffles were made and attached separately. There are two ruffles and the edges are vandyked. This seems to have been a popular shape for the edges of ruffles and trimming in the 18-teens. I hemmed them with a small hem.

The points on the ruffles were staggered.

Then the ruffles were gathered and whipped to a narrow tape as per instructions in PoF 1.

This was a very long and tedious process.

Finally the ruffles were done and ready to be attached! Here you can see that the ruffle is wider in the center than at the sides.

One ruffle was stitched to the top of the neckband, and the other at the bottom of the neckband.

Tapes were sewn to the neck to tie closed and run through the hem to tie at the waist. All done.

I feel a little ridiculous in it, but it does add to the proper look. The fabric is a fantastic cotton organdy that holds its shape wonderfully, even without starch. I sort of love this fabric!

So that's the chemisette.



  1. Another "plain Jane" here - I much prefer the clothes of ordinary people, much though I appreciate the skill and work going into more fashionable outfits. I do however have a soft spot for silly, frilly chemisettes, and yours is lovely. Looking forward to see the whole outfit :)

  2. Now it makes want to tackle one like this myself....lovely!

  3. Firstly, this is so awesome! Like you, I prefer simple and elegant...never been a frilly-kind of gal. That being said, I love this chemisettes! Beautifully crafted! Query: how do you get the points to stay up? Starch? Organza? No, you didn't mention that...so probably not. Anyway, well done!

    1. No starch! This is a great organdy that I got from India via eBay. Stands up all on its own!

  4. Wow! The Chemisette looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to your finished work!

  5. My, it's almost painfully elegant! There's a LOT to be said for "plain", especially since it's not always necessarily PLAIN.

  6. Best Chemisette EVER! Thank you for the details! I might need to add one of these beauties to my Regency wardrobe in the future!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!