I like to wear my Edwardian lace camisoles as historybounding summer tops. That’s why I made four more Edwardian lace camisoles! For the camisoles I only used lace and fabric scraps from my stash. In total, I used 30 different cotton lace trims for these four Edwardian lace camisoles! 😀 And I also embroidered one of the Edwardian camisoles with handmade broderie anglaise.
Most of the lace is white and off-white cotton Valenciennes insertion lace and some is fine cotton bobbin edging lace. And there is also some cotton Valenciennes and Mechlin edging lace, Valenciennes beading lace and vintage eyelet lace scraps from my grandma. I planned the design of the Edwardian lace insert camisoles so that I could use up all of the leftover lace scraps.
What these four Edwardian lace camisoles have in common is that I only used period correct Edwardian sewing techniques. There are no zigzag stitches in the camisoles! 😉 I sewed parts of the camisoles on my old treadle sewing machine (straight stitches only). But there’s also a lot of handsewing involved: like hand-rolled hems, Edwardian faux rolled hems, whipped gathering, sewing the lace trims together with overhand and combination stitches and joining small lace scraps with an invisible lace seam.
Related: How To Join Lace – Invisible Seam
Edwardian Handkerchief Camisole With Lace Front
11 Different Lace Scraps & 2 Handkerchiefs
I made the first Edwardian lace corset cover to use up all of the coarser cotton lace that was left over from other Edwardian sewing projects. And some of the vintage eyelet lace scraps were even from my grandma!
In total I used 11 different lace trims for the lace camisole: bobbin lace, eyelet lace (broderie anglaise), entredeux and cheap Leavers lace – all pure cotton lace trims. Apart from the entredeux, all lace trims were edging laces but I used them as if they were insertion laces. And I only had very small pieces of some of the lace trims left. So I planned the design of my Edwardian camisole that the small pieces of lace would be enough, but I could also use up all the leftover lace.
Apart from the lace scraps I also used two vintage cotton handkerchiefs with woven stripes from my grandpa. Handkerchiefs were often remade into camisoles in the 1900s:
Antique Edwardian Lace Camisole Inspirations
The design of my Edwardian lace corset cover is inspired by antique 1900s camisoles. The lace yoke is inspired by the following antique Edwardian camisoles: 1900s eyelet lace camisole, close-up of Edwardian corset cover and another antique lace camisole. And the front where I sewed the lace trims together to make a piece of fabric is inspired by this antique Edwardian lace corset cover.
Straight-Stitch Machine-Sewn Seams
I usually sew lace together by hand like it was done in the 1900s. But there were also completely machine-sewn lace camisoles in the Edwardian era. So unlike my other Edwardian lace underwear this camisole is completely machine-sewn. However, I only used straight stitches to insert the lace trims – I didn’t use serger or zigzag stitches because they weren’t used to insert lace in the 1900s.
I finished all raw edges of the lace trims and fabric with lapped seams: a popular seam in the Edwardian era. And I finished the armholes with cotton bias binding.
Related: Lapped Seam & 33 Other Seam Types
Because the Edwardian camisole has no closure, I finished the waist with cotton bias tape. Then I threaded a small cotton ribbon through the waistband so I could tie it into a fashionable Edwardian pouter pigeon shape.
Edwardian Valenciennes & Mechlin Lace Camisole With Turquoise Silk Ribbon
Made With Cotton Batiste Fabric Scraps
I made the second Edwardian camisole with two small fabric scraps that were leftover from another Edwardian sewing project. Because it’s a beautiful sheer cotton batiste, I didn’t want to throw the fabric scraps away. But I only had two small scraps of fabric left: one of the scraps was 22x65cm, and the other scrap was even smaller: it was only 90 by 10cm. With the lace inserts and wide lace yoke, it was just enough fabric for an Edwardian camisole!
Mechlin & Valenciennes Lace Scraps
This is the second time I’ve reused the Mechlin lace! 😉 I recently refashioned my Edwardian lace petticoat: I increased the hem circumference of the top flounce. And I removed this Mechlin lace because it didn’t match the other lace that I used for the petticoat.
Related: Edwardian Lace Petticoat
So I had the lace left over. It’s a pure cotton Mechlin lace: a very expensive lace that was used for fine underwear in the Edwardian era. So I used this Mechlin lace and also other fine cotton lace scraps that I had left over from other Edwardian sewing projects. In total, I used 11 different cotton Mechlin, Valenciennes and fine bobbin lace scraps for the camisole.
Antique Edwardian Lace Camisole Inspirations
My Edwardian lace camisole is inspired by the following antique Edwardian lace camisoles: 1900s camisole with lace inserts and pintucks, a similar Edwardian lace camisole, Edwardian handkerchief camisole, beautiful Edwardian handkerchief camisole with sleeves and lace ruffles, a similar handkerchief lace camisole, frilly lace camisole and another handkerchief lace camisole.
As usual, I used a combination of hand and machine-sewing. But I used more handewing on this camisole than on some of the other Edwardian lace camsisoles: I finished all cut lace edges and mitered corners of the lace trims with hand-rolled hems. There were a lot of lace edges and corners to finish on this camisole! 😉 I also finished the top and bottom of the camisole with a hand-rolled hem before I attached the lace yoke and the beading lace at the waist. And for a pouter pigeon effect, I gathered the front of the camisole with whipped gathers.
And like it was usually done in the Edwardian era, I attached the Valenciennes lace ruffle with overhand stitches by hand.
Snap Closure & Pintucks
The Edwardian lace camisole closes at the center front with snaps which are hidden under the Valenciennes lace ruffle. Snaps were a popular closure for fine Edwardian underwear because the closure is almost invisible unlike buttons.
And I embellished the front and back fabric panels of the camisole with pintucks. Pintucks were a popular feature of Edwardian underwear.
Turquoise Silk Ribbon
Because Edwardian underwear was often embellished with silk ribbon and I had a lot of pure silk ribbon left, I threaded this turquoise silk ribbon through the cotton Valenciennes beading lace at the yoke, front and also at the waist like on this antique Edwardian lace corset cover. A while ago I had dyed the pure silk ribbon turquoise to match the silk ribbon on my other Edwardian underwear.
Mint Green Edwardian Lace Camisole
Valenciennes Lace Scraps & Mint Green Cotton Batiste
For my mint green camisole I used the leftover fabric and lace scraps from my Edwardian princess slip and also some other lace scraps left over from other Edwardian sewing projects. The fabric is mint green cotton batiste and the lace is off-white cotton Valenciennes lace. In total, I used 6 different cotton Valenciennes lace scraps.
Related: Edwardian Princess Slip
Edwardian Lace Yoke
To make the Edwardian lace yoke, I basted the lace trims to a piece of paper in the shape of the yoke. Then I stitched the small lace trims together with overhand stitches by hand. This is the way how lace yokes were made in the Edwardian era.
Related: How To Make An Edwardian Lace Yoke
By the way, the shape of the yoke is like my Edwardian crochet lace yoke. I copied the pattern of my hand-crocheted lace yoke to make the paper pattern for this Edwardian lace yoke.
Lace Inserts With Tiny Hems
Because I only had small scrap pieces of the mint green cotton batiste left, I planned the design so that I could use up most of the fabric scraps. I cut the fabric into long strips, finished both sides of the strips with tiny hems and then stitched the Valenciennes lace to the tiny hems of the strips. After that I cut the fabric & lace strips to fit the Edwardian camisole pattern and joined the long strips to turn them into a piece of fabric.
The tiny hems at the sides of the lace inserts, stiffen the camisole slightly creating the fashionable Edwardian pouter pigeon shape.
Surprisingly, Edwardian underwear often featured elastic! So I finished the waist of my Edwardian camisole with a self-fabric fabric band and threaded elastic through the waistband. Because the Edwardian camisole has no closure, the elastic waist makes it easy to just pull it over the head and also helps to create the pouter pigeon shape.
Then I sewed more Valenciennes lace to the waistband. Before I attached it with overhand stitches by hand, I gathered the lace so that it can stretch with the elastic waist.
Edwardian Lace Camisole With DIY Broderie Anglaise
For the fourth Edwardian camisole, I used the small fabric scraps that were left over from my hand-embroidered Edwardian broderie anglaise camisole.
Related: Edwardian Broderie Anglaise Camisole
There wasn’t much fabric left at the sides of the embroidery. But I didn’t want to throw the fabric away because it’s a beautiful sheer cotton batiste.
But the batiste fabric scraps weren’t enough for the whole camisole. So I again used a vintage cotton batiste handkerchief from my grandpa. The weave and color of the cotton handkerchief was pretty similar to my cotton batiste scraps. It also has woven stripes at the sides which further embellish the Edwardian lace camisole. I cut the cotton handkerchief in half and used one part at each side of the camisole.
I actually bought the cotton Valenciennes lace that I finally used for this Edwardian lace camisole for the lace yoke of my hand-embroidered Edwardian mixed lace blouse. But the lace wasn’t white like the seller said: it was beige. And even repeated bleaching and also bluing didn’t make the lace white enough to be used with my hand-embroidered Edwardian blouse.
So I finally decided to buy another white cotton Valenciennes lace for the yoke of my Edwardian blouse. And I had meters of this now bluish beige cotton Valenciennes lace left! The lace was still more beige and now also more bluish than the off-white cotton batiste: But since I wanted to use up both – the fabric and the lace scraps – I decided to combine them anyway.
And I actually wanted to use this Valenciennes lace for the insertions between the strips of fabric too. But there wasn’t enough lace left: I needed all for the lace yoke. So I used a different white cotton Valenciennes lace trim that was delivered incorrectly on my last lace order. It’s a beading lace. And it’s white unlike the other beige Val lace. I also didn’t particularly like the pattern of the lace. But it was the only lace I had left in my stash. So I used it for the insertion.
In total, I used 3 different Valenciennes and bobbin lace trims for this Edwardian camisole.
Lace Inserts With Edwardian Hem
Because I again only had long and small fabric scraps left, I constructed the Edwardian lace camisole similar to the third mint green Edwardian camisole above – except I inserted the lace differently. I cut the fabric scraps into long strips and inserted the lace in a stripe pattern similar to this Edwardian camisole or this antique camisole made of Valenciennes lace and broderie anglaise fabric scraps at the Phila museum.
But to insert the lace on this lace scrap camisole, I used the single-fold “Edwardian hem” (with raw edges on the wrong side) instead of tiny double-fold hems. The Edwardian hem makes the garment less stiff so that it drapes softer. Also, this hem is almost invisible on the right side of the fabric. And even though there are raw edges, they almost don’t fray even after frequent washing and wearing because they are stabilized with a second row of straight stitches.
Edwardian Lace Yoke
Because I liked the yoke shape of the first Edwardian lace camisole, I traced off the yoke to copy it. Besides, this “double triangle” yoke shape was very popular for chemises and camisoles in the Edwardian era. My lace yoke is similar to the Valenciennes yokes of this, this or this antique Edwardian camisoles and chemises.
Then I used the Edwardian way to make a lace yoke again: I made a paper pattern, basted the lace to the paper and sewed the lace trims together with overhand stitches by hand.
How To Attach The Lace Yoke To The Camisole?
In the Edwardian era, fine lace yokes were usually attached with overhand stitches by hand. Before I sewed on the yoke, I finished the top edge of the camisole. I used the selvage of the cotton batiste for this. And I finished the armholes with a small bias-woven cotton tape. Then I attached the Valenciennes lace yoke with overhand stitches.
Handmade Broderie Anglaise (Eyelet Lace) Embroidery
I added some broderie anglaise embroidery at the front of the Edwardian camisole. The eyelet lace design is inspired by this antique Edwardian hand-embroidered French camisole, this antique 1900s corset cover with Valenciennes lace inserts & handmade eyelet lace, and this antique 1900s hand-embroidered eyelet lace chemise.
How Long Did The Handmade Broderie Anglaise Take?
I’m often asked how long handmade broderie anglaise embroidery takes. These are rather small broderie anglaise motifs: Each leaf tendril has only five leaves like one broderie anglaise flower with five petals. So it was much quicker to embroider than my Edwardian broderie anglaise camisole or my hand-embroidered Edwardian mixed lace blouse. It took about 2 hours to embroider these 3 eyelet lace leaf tendrils.
To keep the back of the Edwardian camisole flat, I again added pintucks like on this antique Edwardian camisole. These pintucks are bigger than I usually make them because the middle pintuck is actually a tiny French seam to hide a join in the fabric strip.
Because my Edwardian eyelet lace camisole has no closure, I again made a drawstring waist similar to the drawstring waist of this beautiful antique Edwardian camisole with a novelty braid crochet yoke! 😀 I finished the bottom of my camisole with cotton bias binding, made two hand-stitched eyelets at the front for the drawstring and threaded a small cotton ribbon through the drawstring casing.
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