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May 16, 2003

Going Italian - the Chemise

I bought some (relatively) inexpensive white linen/rayon to use for the chemise. A couple days ago I cut it out based on Jen's plans. The only thing I changed is that I measure my shoulder to finger tip and added 12 inches to that to get a sleeve length of 41 inches.

The day before yesterday I sewed it together and then last night ran a wide zig-zag over a strong string and temporarily gathered the neckline.

After I tried it on I found a couple of things that need to change.


  • The gussets shrank a lot. The chemise fits me well across the body.. but with 7" gussets that are split into two triangles.. and then french seamed on all edges.. I ended up with only 4" gussets. . and although it could work.. the chemise just doesn't peek over the top of my corded bodice like I want it to. So I decided to rip the gussets out and replace them with 12" gussets. I hope to finish that tonight.

  • The chemise came out to be just slightly longer then knee length. I have a feeling that when I hem it, it'll be almost exactly knee lenght. I'd prefer it to be mid-calf length or longer. I'm not going to mess with it on this chemise.. but when I make the next one out of linen that I'm going to blackwork.. I'll be sure to lengthen the front and back by about 5-7 inches.

The new sleeve length worked out perfectly. I'm glad I legthened them before I cut them.

I've decided I really hate linen/rayon. It looks linen-y but I noticed when I was ripping out the gussets last night that this blend shreds much more easily than 100% linen. Next time I'll just wait for the real stuff to be on sale.