‘This is a comfortable kind of gown, requiring little time to make, […] serviceable […] with sleeves’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
I always wanted to have an Edwardian chemise with crochet lace yoke. But to save time I didn’t crochet this yoke from scratch. Instead I used leftover pieces of a crochet tablecloth-to-skirt refashion to make this yoke!
My inspirations were the following three antique Edwardian chemises with geometric crochet yokes: chemise with greek key crochet yoke, chemise with spider stitch crochet yoke, and another chemise with spider stitch crochet yoke.
But crochet yokes were not only used for chemises and nightgowns, they were also used for camisoles and combinations.
Related: Edwardian Combination
The crochet yokes of this antique Edwardian camisole and this combination were also inspirations for my crochet lace yoke.
Crochet Lace Yoke
As I mentioned before, I didn’t crochet the crochet yoke from scratch. Instead I used leftover scraps from a refashioned crochet tablecloth and sewed and crocheted the crochet lace strips together, like on this Edwardian crochet lace yoke.
And because Edwardian crochet yokes usually had a scalloped border, I used unravelled yarn and crocheted a border around the yoke following an antique Edwardian crochet yoke pattern.
Joining Crochet Yoke & Chemise
After gathering the top of the chemise, I basted the crochet yoke to the chemise. Then I covered the raw edge with binding.
‘Place a row of gathers one-eighth inch from the edge of the garment; a second row, the width of the finishing braid, below the first row. Lay the upper edge of any attractive finishing braid, or bias fold, on the first row of gathers (on the wrong side of garment), letting the opposite edge of the braid extend beyond the edge of the garment.
Turn the braid to the right side of the garment, crease the upper edge of the garment, and baste the lower edge of the braid to the garment, over the second row of gathers, and stitch to place.
Lace may then be overhanded to the braid. If bias bands are used, featherstitching, lazy-daisy or some such decoration will add to the appearance of the garment’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
Feather Stitch Embroidery
Feather stitch embroidery was very popular in the Edwardian era: It was used to embellish dresses and underwear. I embroidered the binding with a row of feather stitching.
‘Just below the neck is a line of featherstitching’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
While Edwardian nightgowns are ankle-length or even floor-length, Edwardian chemises are usually just knee-length.
‘Try night-dress on to see that the shoulder seams, neck and armhole lines are good. While the dress is on, have the line at the lower edge turned, the length to be determined by individual taste. Marking at the floor will in very thin materials allow enough for shrinkage.’ (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
Related: Dressing The Edwardian Woman
I finished all seams of the Edwardian chemise with felled seams – a popular seam for Edwardian lingerie. Felled seams are my favorite seam finish too because it’s a durable seam and it lies flat: therefore it’s easy to iron. And you can sew the seam on all sewing machines – even on old straight-stitch only sewing machines!
Chemise or nightgown seams ‘may be hemmed fells, stitched fells, or French seams’. (A Manual Of Home-Making, 1919) ‘Strive to avoid any unnecessary bulk or thickness. Use stitched fells’. (Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916)
‘The French fell is commonly used in ready-made underclothing and, in many instances, in finishing the seams of home-made garments; but the ordinary fell seam, made by hand or machine-stitching, provides a neat, smooth finish which is generally liked, as it is nearly flat.’ (The Delineator, 1890)
Related: Antique Edwardian Lace Chemise