Purfylle: 1888 Chemise

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Thursday, 12 May 2016

1888 Chemise

1888 Chemise

It's been two months since I teased you with promises of updates on how the Chemise pattern from the National Garment Cutter (NGC) made up.


The digital version of the NGC 1888 edition is missing the introduction and explanation of how to use the cutting system. The earlier 1884 edition does have the explanation.

Chemise Pattern


Yoke and sleeve pattern for chemise from the National Garment Cutter
'The scales correspond with, and the proper one to use is selected by the measure in inches for whom the garment is to be made.'

To make the chemise pattern I imported the pattern diagram from NGC into Make The Cut using the pixel trace function. I increased the pattern until the measurements matched those noted in the diagram. I then cut the pattern out with our KLIC-N-KUT (KNK).

This negated the need to figure out which rule from the NGC cutting system was the base measurement.

A quick mockup told me I was going to have to increase the pattern if I wanted my straps to sit just at the edge of my shoulders.

Grading 

I could've done all of the pattern increases digitally, but as I'd already put the KNK away to make room for fabric cutting, I was feeling the pressure of working to a deadline and considering I'm a newbie to digital pattern making I decided to go the good old fashion paper slash-and-spread method. 

I decided to place the increase at the bust, slashing vertically and spreading the pattern out from there. 

It then occurred to me that NGC increase points we not on the vertical at all. Nor were they on the true bias of 45° (turns out to be 50°) so I redid the increases as per the NGC positioning.

I figured out the position by the highly technical means of turning the pattern around to match the diagram. Then to be doubly certain I ended up redrafting the front yoke by hand and comparing it with the digital version. There were some slight differences so I used my hand drafted version.

It was simple to then draw in those increase points and slash and spread from there.

Grading method does make a difference!

You can see from the above image that using the NGC method of increasing the pattern effected the placement of the shoulder, the armscye and the neckline, effectively making the whole front yoke piece slightly smaller. Once cut out the difference was even more pronounced.

Above back yoke, below front yoke - 1888 chemise

Having searched the internet for other's work on recreating this chemise I came across a few tidbits of information that helped me to avoid some pitfalls with this pattern.

Tudorlinks advise that the back yoke is incorrectly marked with the top actually being the centre back. I tried it both ways and the yokes match up nicely at the shoulder if used the way Tudorlinks describe. They also have reconstructed the pattern, it seems from a later edition of NGC based on the dates and instructions supplied on their site.

At What We Did When The Power Went Out (Sewing In Walden) there is an insightful comment by Tropical Threads about the yoke front not laying correctly due to the yoke point being longer then the angle on the corresponding front body of the garment.

Over at Tropical Threads I got to see what the pattern looked like made up without any size adjustments and read all about her experience in making up this 19thC chemise.

For my mock-up of the chemise, in some rather stiff upholstery cotton, I cut the front yoke in two pieces due to lack of fabric. Once sewn to the body of the chemise the angle mis-match causes the CF to spread open by the difference.

CF of chemise yoke when angle does not match the angle of the body of the garment

Correcting this is an easy fix. The point on the yoke is 3 5/8 inches deep and the angel on the body is only 3 inches deep. Mark the angel on the body at 3 5/8 deep and the problem is solved.

Chemise 


I made my chemise in a super soft light rayon. The finer fabric behaved differently and a slightly smaller size may have made for a better fit, however once the corset was on over the top of it everything stayed nicely in place. I swear the rayon is the reason I survived the heat of the day at GHF.

1888 Chemise

I chose not to add sleeves and there is plenty of evidence that chemises with yokes were just as popular without sleeves as with. Besides the puffy sleeve wasn't appropriate for 1870's.

You can find a lot of my inspiration and research on my underpinnings pinterest board.



It was a good thing I didn't want sleeves because as it was I had to piece the front yoke. I hid the joining seam under ribbon and decided to do pin-tucks instead of gathers over the bust. Can you tell I forgot to go back and press those tucks?

1888 Chemise satin ribbon trim and pin tuck details

I have a few loose threads to trim after it's first wear and wash. I didn't want to risk distorting the neckline by zig-zaging the raw edges so I used a straight stitch instead. After all it's only me that's going to see it.

As for the other seams I zig-zag stitched the raw edges on the yoke and chemise body where they join, the hem and sleeve openings were doubled over and I French seamed the sides. Both the neckline and hem are edged with satin ribbon and that's as far as my 3m roll of ribbon went.

1888 Chemise with satin ribbon trim and pin tuck details - sleeveless

2 comments:

  1. Oh wow I love it! it's so delicate and pretty. Isn't it awesome how the same pattern can be interpreted so differently? Love love love those pintucks. I think I now need to apply some to bust shaping on something I make very soon. No idea what, but I'm sure I can find something :-D
    I'm glad my observation about the mismatch of yoke angle to main body top edge helped you get it right. I looked at the first post on this and how the middle of the yoke opened up to accommodate that. Leaving it open like that deliberately could make an entirely different chemise again. Slightly less modest.

    Also I love the look of it without the sleeves. I liked it with sleeves in my top version, clothes that cover my shoulders mean I'm less likely to get sunburnt there. But they were a bit small so ended up a bit weird at the armscye to compensate. If I made them again the sleeves would need to be sized up substantially. I figure women back then must have had tiny arms???
    Thanks for linking me to your post so I could read it :-)

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    Replies
    1. I had to wear this all day under a Victorian gown in 32C (I'm glad it wasn't hotter) so no sleeves was the best choice for me. I'm guessing the original size this makes up at is about an Aussie size 8 - so yeah, very small (I might have a chance to find out for sure soon - so excited! But that's a secret.) I'm currently a 12-14 and I added an inch and half to a 1/4 of the pattern. So what's that? 6 inches in total = 15 cm's...5cm's a size...= 3 sizes bigger.

      Women back then were just outright tiny. Like my mum I guess. Despite the raging argument about if people are bigger now or not I am a firm believer that on the whole we are, due to better nutrition and more cows milk in our diet?

      I think leaving the yoke open and having a little bit of ribbon lacing it up would be rather sweet - but it may need a modesty panel.

      I hoped you wouldn't mind my leaving a link, but I would totally want to read how someone else's efforts worked out so I hoped you wouldn't mind =) So funny that we're both Aussies.

      I think I forgot to mention that I loved your use of the tuck around the bottom and my outfit had the same broderie anglaise but on the petticoat =) Which I'll be posting about soon.

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