I’ve bought this antique 100% linen chemise. The fabric might be hand-woven, and is very dense (unlike modern linen fabric), heavy, and soft (probably because of the washing and mangling). The chemise measures 75 cm from sleeve to sleeve, is 100 cm long, 55 cm across the chest, and 75 cm wide at the hem.
The chemise was sewn on a straight stitch only sewing machine, but there’s also some handstitching.
It has a square yoke …
… with delicate 1,5 cm wide crochet lace. I think the lace is hand-crocheted with light grey linen or cotton thread (the thread of the crochet lace is thinner than modern linen sewing thread).
The crochet lace is overhanded to the yoke which was the usual method around 1900 to attach lace. The sewing thread might be the same as the crochet thread.
The square yoke is finished with strips of fabric. The yoke measures 28 x 25 cm. The strips measure between 3 and 3,5 cm (they aren’t cut perfectly straight).
The front opening is 16 cm long, and closes with a button and neatly hand-sewn buttonhole.
The placket is finished with an extra piece of fabric, and an 0,5 cm seam on the lower flap.
There’s a hand-stitched monogram ‘K S.’ under the opening. It measures 1 x 3 cm. It’s embroidered with cross stitch with a thin red thread (it looks and feels like linen thread).
There are two strips of fabric attached at each side – the usual construction method for Victorian and Edwardian chemises. This was done to save fabric and make the chemise wider at the bottom. Each strip adds about 11,5 cm to the chemise at the hem.
Two selvedges meet at the middle seam …
… so the 0,5 cm seam is finished without turning the edges (the usual Edwardian seam finish where selvedges meet).
The other seams are finished with flat felled seams (the usual Edwardian seam for lingerie underam seams).
The hem of the chemise is between 1 and 1,25 cm wide.
Some parts of the flat felled seam are frayed.
There’s an underarm gusset …
… so the arms can be raised without difficulty.
The sleeves are made with a 13 x 34 cm piece of fabric.
The gusset measures 11 x 11 cm.
The bottom triangle of the underam gusset is especially secured where the seam is most likely to rip.
All seams of the sleeve and underarm gusset are finished with flat felled seams, except where selvedges meet.
The seller dated the chemise between 1880 and 1900. What do you think?
If you want to see some more detail pictures, just post a comment. 🙂