Monday, June 17, 2013

Truly Victorian 102: Victorian Chemise

Like the Christmas cloaks for my godsons, this also represents me playing a bit of catch-up. I think I finished this project over winter vacation. I absolutely hated the last chemise pattern I attempted, but I was buoyed to try the chemise in Truly Victorian #102 both by all the positive reviews and by another blogger's wonderful attempt: Cargo Cult Craft.

I love the linen she used, but I'm not ready to head straight for it - I'm making this initial one out of a nice cotton fabric. There's a lot less guilt in that direction, especially if something goes wrong!

Mei-Mei photo-bomb
On to the construction! One thing I really appreciate about Truly Victorian's patterns is that they are heavy-weight paper and much more durable than the flimsy tissue most commercial patterns come on.

They do sometimes lack detail in their directions, but between other costumers' blogs, trial and error, and even emailing the company you can usually work through it. That won't be a problem here, though - this is a four-piece pattern!

The "Grr!" Moment
Once I cut it out and started construction, I did find one significant problem with the pattern. The directions only list 1-1/2 yards of insertion lace for the neckline for ALL pattern sizes. Let's be honest here - a teenager with a 30" bust is not going to need as much as a lady with a 56" bust! I ended up being 7-1/2" too short. I did email the maker, so hopefully that will be fixed in the future.

I forgot to take more pictures during the process, sorry! Here you can see a shoulder detail. I love the way the insertion lace looks, but when I make this out of linen I think I will scrap the arm lace and the button and just go for the simple sleeve. Objectively, the button is a good idea for neckline adjustment, but in practice it just adds bulk and takes away from the already narrow armhole.
 While not as big of an issue as the insertion lace, the pattern did omit the length required for the hem lace. I did a rough measure of the pattern hem and estimated 3 yards, which was just about right. If I remember correctly, I had a little bit of wiggle room, but I can always find uses for extra notions!
This is a shot you will almost never see from me - the inside of the garment. I used flat-felled seams whenever possible, and used a really, really narrow zig-zag to finish up the spots where it wouldn't work. I'm actually proud of how neat and clean it looks.
From start to finish, this took two days. It would have been one, but I had to send the husband back out for another length of insertion lace because of the mis-print.

It did turn out a little see-through - hence the hanger instead of a model! The length is wonderful, the neckline adjusts perfectly to hide behind different bodice heights, and it's just plain cute!

I am certainly going to make this one in a lightweight linen. Keep your eyes peeled for the project!

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