I have a lot more to update than I realized… so I’m dividing the posts up. I also realized if I want to refer back to these it would be easier to divide things. So, on to part 2: the short chemise!
I wanted to try a short chemise ever since I heard of it on a little website called GermanRenaissance.net. I bought voile fabric since it was cheaper and easier to find in the fabric store than tissue-weight linen. We’ll see how a polyester/cotton blend holds up for a full day in costume.
Because I bought the fabric before seeing the pattern, AND the pattern is for upholstery sized fabric I had to do a little piecing at the bottom to get two chemises cut out without having to buy more.
I used fancy French seams and flat felled seams on most of it. Really, the serger would have been easier, but less durable. Of course, this turned a simple one-evening worth of work into two, as French or flat-felled seams take double the sewing and ironing time.
After the seams comes what I had been dreading for a while: learning how to smock a piece of fabric. The instructions online seemed overwhelming, and the examples of fancy work I had seen looked incredibly time consuming. Here goes nothing!
The honeycomb smocking was so soft against my neck. I was surprised at how easy it was! Sure, the marking took a while, but I completed the neck smocking in one evening. More complicated smocking leaves the pleats together and a pattern is sewn on top in place of the even green stitches, but who has time for that? Smocking has been called "Renaissance elastic" and it does work a bit like gentle elastic. Neat-O!
I could finally put a piece of the costume on my dress dummy! Sure, she was a little risque with how thin the fabric was, and her hoop skirt is in a fun print, to say the least. But progress! I was thrilled!
On to the underskirt next!
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!