Making the Chemise

I could have just started with the dress, but I wanted to get the full effect of what Anna Murray Douglass would have worn in the late 1830's.

I begin with the Chemise, Wikipediea defines it: A chemise or shift is a classic smock, or a modern type of women's undergarment or dress. Historically, a chemise was a simple garment worn next to the skin to protect clothing from sweat and body oils, the precursor to the modern shirts commonly worn in Western nations. I had a pattern, which was not a period piece, but would serve this purpose. In my research, some of the chemise's had lace on the sleeves, because this might peek out from the dress sleeve. At this point of the project, I had not decided whether the sleeve of the dress would be long or short. Using a cotton fabric and some vintage lace (that I got many many years ago). I made the chemise, about to begin the Stay.

Stay Definition: ( Stays, was the term used for the fully boned laces bodices worn under clothes from the late 16th or early 17th century, until the end of the 18th century. Before this boned garments were called (in English at least) a ‘pair of bodies’ – for each side of the stays.

It was about at that point I get a call from Lana Turner, that the New York Times, wants to shadow me building the dress. The Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Michelle V. Agins from the NY Times, will be covering the story.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published