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The Vintage Dressmaker (1)

Monday, February 14, 2011

1920's Envelope Chemise

I have been hunting and gathering, sketching and planning and now I’m ready to share.

I have found a lovely silk batiste on-line in a fabulous "honeydew" color that will be perfect for my 1920-1924 chemise. I have a large collection of antique period laces to choose from. I selected three pieces, one thin piece in which to edge the entire chemise and two coordinating rose patterned pieces, one an insertion and the other an edge piece. I have made my own small silk flowers for embellishment as I priced out originals on e-Bay and they are WAY out of my price range!! I have a very cool book on ribbon work of the 1920's that gives very detailed instructions on recreating such ribbon work. "The Artful Ribbon" - Candace Kling

Here is the silk batiste layed out with the vintage lace and 1920's style silk ribbon work:

The basic pattern draft is relatively simple. Drafted with a Picken square according to The Women's Institute for Domestic Sciences method in my own personal measurements. I drafted one master pattern in which I can alter to have wide straps with a scooped neck line or centered thin ribbon straps with a straight top or a crochet yoke as indicated by the dotted lines on the pattern draft. I also included two options for finishing the bottom as an envelope or simple (straight bottom) chemise, you cold also sew the "envelope" closed to make it a step-in chemise.

These are not the best pictures of the patterns as they are taped to my glass back door! I often use it as a "light box" for tracing my drafts to tissue paper for cutting. I never cut the original draft apart. There is no sense in doing something twice if you don't have to!


I have decided to go with a wide strap, scoop neck for the 1920-1924 chemise with an envelope closure at the bottom much like the one in this 1920 catalog depiction.

I will finish it with ribbon flowers, lace and pin tucks as in this sketch: