An Edwardian camisole or corset cover is so easy to sew: You’ll just need three handkerchiefs, insertion lace and some ribbon: ‘The handkerchief bodice can be put together […] without the trouble of cutting out a pattern in the ordinary way. […] A dainty and inexpensive piece of lingerie that can be made both easily and quickly’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
‘Here is a way in which a dainty and useful little camisole can easily be fashioned from three pretty kerchiefs. […] Before setting to work to make the bodice, the handkerchiefs should be folded from corner to corner, and pressed with a moderately hot iron to ensure a perfectly straight line across the centre. This must be cut through with a pair of scissors so that each handkerchief is divided into two equal triangular portions. […] The whole bodice is joined together with insertion […] An edging of dainty lace will form an effective finish for the top of the Camisole and round the sleeve bands. A pattern should be selected with eyelet-holes for the purpose of threading with bebe ribbon, as this will serve the double end of giving a pretty effect and drawing up the camisole.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2, with diagram and picture of the finished camisole)
My handkerschief camisole is for ‘everyday wear’: I used cambric handkerchiefs and sturdy cotton lace: ‘For everyday wear, good strong muslin, long-cloth, or cambric are the most durable materials. Use only such trimming as will outwear the material. Flimsy laces and ribbons should be worn only on rare occasions.’ (Garments For Girls, 1919)
I made the handkerchief camisole without an opening and with an elastic waist: 1910s crepe de chine corset cover with elastic waist.
The 1910s handkerchief camisole makes a pretty pouter pigeon shape or S-curve silhouette – so typical for the 1900s. Here I’m wearing the camisole as part of my Edwardian maid’s costume.