Today I finished my Edwardian lace chemise for the HSM. The chemise is for my Edwardian lingerie dress.
‘Remember in buying and making these garments that your lingerie with care will last for many years to come, and you can afford to put more time and expense on them than on your outside garments that change style, color and design to suit every whim and caprice of fashion.’ The ‘character of a woman is more easily discerned by the daintiness, prettiness and completeness of her lingerie, than by the beauty or elaborateness of her best gowns.’ (Coates sewing and dress making manual, 1912, p. 67)
I used sheer cotton batiste and vintage unbleached cotton Valenciennes lace. Valenciennes lace was often used for lingerie in the Edwardian era: ‘French and German Valenciennes laces, machine-made, suitable for undergarments’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916) Here’s a 1909 ad for chemises and combination suits trimmed with Valenciennes lace.
The batiste fabric is very sheer: I finally found a fabric which is suitable for Edwardian lingerie. Yay! 😀 Today, batiste is often not thin enough with a too low thread count.
The Valenciennes lace was a bargain! Valenciennes lace which is manufactured today usually contains 10% nylon, so I usually search for vintage or antique Valenciennes lace. I got 16m for 7,15€. Yay! 😀
My inspirations for the Edwardian chemise: 1900s Valenciennes lace chemise, 1901 lace combination photograph, 1901 chemise or combination photograph, Edwardian Valenciennes lace slip, 1900s Valenciennes lace corset cover, 1905 ad for chemise or corset-cover and underskirt in one, and Edwardian lace combination. Here you’ll find my pinterest board ‘1900’s lingerie‘ with more inspirations for the chemise.
The lace is inserted with straight stitches by machine.
All seams are joined with flat felled seams: ‘The felled seam is used any place where a flat seam is desired. It is particularly desirable in under garments, like drawers and combination suits. Any garment which is worn next to the skin should be finished with this seam.’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916)
I’m thinking about adding feather stitching along the neckline and hem like here (the last picture). What do you think?
I’ll soon post more pictures of the lace chemise.
Here you’ll find pictures of another Edwardian lace chemise with broderie anglaise lace.
Challenge: 1 – Firsts & Lasts
Fabric: white cotton batiste
Pattern: my own
Year: early Edwardian
Notions: unbleached cotton Valenciennes lace, white cotton eyelet lace
How historically accurate is it? Accurate
Hours to complete: I don’t know because I started sewing the chemise last year
First worn: not yet
Total cost: 2m batiste 17,50€ + 9m Valenciennes lace 4€ + 1m broderie anglaise eyelet lace 1€