|Corset, Epoque Empire, musee Galliera, Paris|
" ...made of white linen or cotton was the bottom layer of a woman's multilayered ensemble, acting as a washable liner to protect the outer clothing from perspiration and body soil...Equally important, the shift protected the wearer's skin from abrasion by the boned stays, hoops, woolen petticoats...many women slept in the same shifts they wore during the day, whereas those with larger wardrobes had separate nightshifts." pg. 57
I will need a couple of chemises or shifts for my Regency wardrobe. One of my friends, newly returned from this years Jane Austin Festival, in Bath, England said the weather was wet this time and indeed, her 'petticoats were 6inches deep in mud!' Ergo having more than one chemise will be worth the sewing to have just in case the festival in 2014 is also wet.
The construction of ladies chemises or shifts didn't change much over time. I consulted my Tudor Tailor book (http://www.tudortailor.com) the book mentioned above and several blogs where ladies are making period chemises and the construction has altered very little. Taking a rectangle of fabric and cutting geometric shapes for the body, sleeve, under arm gussets and additional godets for increasing the body width if necessary.
|I have this pattern as a model.|
|Using a back stitch to seam.|
I do want to make a petticoat to act as a corset cover and will do some research for that. With that said, here are some items I found on Pinterest and other sources that are helping me figure out what will work to cover the corset so it doesn't show through:
|Petticoat - early 19th century|
From http://www.etsy.com/shop/Historika I found on Pinterest a simple sleeveless bodice petticoat that might work for what I need as well:
|www.mfa.org (FYI - I went looking for this at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and couldn't get any info).|
October To-do list:
Finish hand sewn chemise.
Cut and start over petticoat.