Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1883 Chemise with Small Sleeves HSM

What the item is: Chemise with Small Sleeves from Fashions of the Gilded Age by Frances Grimble.

The Challenge, and how the item fulfills: The challenge for January 2017 is "Firsts & Lasts" and the objective is to create a garment that completes an ensemble or one that is the first piece of a new. This chemise is meant to be worn with a late 1870's-early 1880's bustle dress planned for completion later this year.

Fabric/Materials: All recycled. The cotton fabric used for the chemise is from a sheet. The lace trim around the neck and arms once trimmed a dress and the front decoration is from a deconstructed cotton nightgown.

Pattern: From the cutting guide in Frances Grimbles book, attributed to Complete Guide to Ladies' Garment Cutting, 1883. 
Notions: Lace for trimming.

How historically accurate is it? The shape and fit are quite correct, I think. This is my first attempt at a bustle era chemise and is meant to be more fitted than earlier ones. The lace is not correct, but looks fairly decent.

Hours to complete: Less than 3.

First worn: Not yet. Meant for wear in fall of 2017.

Total Cost: Nothing, since it was all recycled. :)


  1. Your new chemise is beautiful! I love the lace trim and the fit is perfection! Can't wait to see what goes over it!

    1. Thanks! It's not much of a garment but hey, it's a start! That bustle gown is a little bit closer now! lol

  2. That is a lovely chemise! I love the details. The shape is very pretty.


    1. Thank you! I really like the sleeves on this one. All my earlier chemises have longer and sometimes fuller sleeves which is hard to fit into the tight armscyes of bodices. This one makes so much sense from a practical point of view.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!