I made this Edwardian lace chemise in January for the Historical Sew Monthly. I originally made the Edwardian chemise for my Edwardian lingerie dress. But I probably have to make another chemise for my Edwardian lingerie dress: Read on to find out why! 😉
‘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)
Cotton Valenciennes Lace & Cotton Batiste Fabric
I used sheer off-white cotton batiste and vintage cream-colored cotton Valenciennes lace. Valenciennes lace was often used for lingerie in the Edwardian era. Here’s a 1909 ad for chemises and combination suits trimmed with Valenciennes lace.
‘French and German Valenciennes laces, machine-made, suitable for undergarments’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
The batiste fabric is very sheer: Yay, I finally found a fabric which is suitable for Edwardian lingerie! 😀 Because modern cotton batiste fabric is often not thin enough and has a too low thread count for Edwardian undergarments.
And the cotton Valenciennes lace was even a bargain! I found the vintage lace on ebay! By the way, Valenciennes lace which is manufactured today usually contains 10% nylon, so I usually search for vintage or antique Valenciennes lace. I got 16m of this vintage cotton Val lace for 7,15€. Yay! 😀
Lace Inserts, Closure & Seams
I inserted the Val lace with straight stitches by machine like it was done in the Edwardian era.
The chemise has a placket and the center front and closes with buttons.
Related: 6 Ways How To Sew A Placket
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)
The hem of my Edwardian chemise is a scalloped hem finished with Valenciennes lace.
I wonder if I should add feather stitching along the neckline and hem like here (the last picture). What do you think? 🙂
Antique Edwardian Chemise Inspirations
The following antique Edwardian chemises were my inspirations: 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 my Edwardian lace chemise.
Do I Like The Edwardian Chemise?
I’m not really happy with how it turned out because the neckline is too high. So I can’t wear the chemise under my Edwardian lingerie blouse because it shows through the lace collar. So I probably make another chemise or combination suit for my Edwardian lingerie dress. 😉
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€