Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to make a chemise, shift, or nightgown

This is a chemise I made over 10 years ago, I pulled out of my drawer and placed it on my dress form to show you, isn't it pretty? (wrinkly a bit i know)  The sleeves are vintage lace from my grandmothers attic, I found the fabric there after she passed away.  The ribbon is a sage green eyelet, very pretty.  I'll iron it soon and replace the picture and delete this line :-)

So I pulled it out to measure the width i would need for this chemise i am currently making.  The width of the fabric in the above chemise is 36 inches.  I recently made a blue chemise 45 inches wide, and I decided it was too much fabric and i need to take it in.

For Details on how much fabric and what kind of fabric you need to buy please see Tuesdays blog by following this link ~~~> chemise-sew-along

In a nutshell you will need approx. 5 yards, woven, solid jewel tone fabric.

So for sizes Medium thru X-large I recommend to cut the width of your fabric to 36 inches.
For Xtra Small - Medium, cut your width 30-33 inches
for XX Large use 38-40 inch width,

this is the formula for you (or you can just use my recommendations above)
A = your largest measurement around yourself or the person you are making the chemise for, Usually hips or bust.
(A + 1/2 of A ) divided by 2 + 2 inches
so if my hip measurement is 50
50 + 25 = 75
75 divided by 2 = 37.5 or 38 +2 I would need to 40 of width for the front
and another 40 inches of width for the back.

Or my friend Kari would just use the width of the fabric before her, she would say that more is better because back in the day more fabric means you could afford it. 

I am fortunate that i have 12 inch tiles on my floor, it makes approximate measuring easy.
for my length, I measure from the top of my shoulders to the floor, which is 60 inches.  I want my chemise length not to touch the ground, so I do not trip at faire.  But if I did want it to touch the ground, I would add 2 inches to that 60, so when I hem the chemise, it would touch the ground.  Savy?

So simply my chemise body pieces each  measure 60 X 40.  There would be 2 of these.
After cutting the body fabric, the remainder will be your sleeve fabric.
Then I took my remaining Fabric and cut it in half width wise, so there would be 2 sleeves, 
So my 2 sleeves are 40 inches wide and 30 inches long.

My cat thinks I putt the fabric on the floor for her. :-)
 My fear is I over complicated this, Please let me know if you understand.  Thank-you.  I will move along with How to make the chemise soon.

Kitchen Fairy decided to help with the sewing process!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I LOVE your site! I'm a new (very new) seamstress and want to make my own chemise for a costume. Have you posted the next set of directions? If so could you post the link! Thanks ever so much!