Chemise Instructions 5 yards
Lay your fabric out on the table, folded in half lengthwise along the grain. It ususally comes pretty close to this from the store, so you can usually just make sure your edges meet at the side if you are working with something soft. Try to make sure it’s got a straight grain across – no twists or wrinkles that go diagonal. (If you pull ONE thread real slowly, and carefully gather it across the fabric width, you will have a line left over that shows the exact straight of grain. Cut along this.) Cut the top edge straight if it isn’t already, at a right angle to the edge/ on the straight of grain.(Personally, I usually just snip in a half inch at the top, and rip across the fabric, as this ALWAYS makes a stright grain edge.)
Measure from the top of your shoulder to the bottom of your ankle. Add 2" for Hems. This will be your front and back, or Body legnth measurement.
Measure from your upper shoulder/lower side neck to your wrist. For full ‘swishy sleeves’, let the tape bag over your wrist as much as you want the sleeve to bag, say 6-8". Or just make it 30- 36 inches long (what I do). That gives a VERY full sleeve, leaves room for puffing over cuffs and dividers, etc. Add 2" for Hems. This will be your Sleeve measurement.
Measure down the fabric edge the length of your Body measurement. Cut straight across the fabric. It helps to move the tape over a few inches and cut to your mark, then move again. Repeat this. You should have two pieces the same length as your body measurement. Lay them one on top of the other, edges and fold together. At the edge side, cut half of a U shape that’s 8-10 inches deep. This is your armhole. Save the cut out piece.
Measure down the fabric edge the length of your Sleeve measurement. Cut straight across the fabric. Repeat this. You should have two pieces the same length as your sleeve measurement. Lay them one on top of the other, edges and fold together. At the edge side, lay a saved armhole piece on the edge and cut around it. Now your armholes for sleeves and body match.
Lay your pieces out on a flat space so that you can see their shapes and sizes.
- Body - Take the two longer pieces, which will be the front and back, and put them together with the right sides (pretty/outside/satin/printed/etc sides)together. Line the edges up together, making sure the armholes match up together. Surge the long sides together to make side seams. See 1
- Sleeves -Take one of the two shorter pieces, fold it so that the right side of the fabric is inside, match up your edges making sure the armholes line up, and surge the long edges together to make underarm seams. Do the same thing with the last piece. See 2
- Open the Body, so that the armholes are closest to you and make a U shape in front of you. Open the sleeves the same way. Put the right side of the sleeve armhole against the right side of the body armhole and make sure the top edges and the seams match up. The armhole edges should lay together if they are the same size. Serge the armhole edges together to make the underarm seam. Do the same for the other side so both sleeves are attached. See 3
- Adjust the neckline, so that it doesn't hang funny in front when you pull it down around your bodice neck -
Decide how deep you'll want the neckline to plunge at it's lowest and measure from the little dip in your throat between the collarbones, usually about 5", more if you're bolder, less if you are more chaste. Fold the chemise legnthwise side to side, matching up the armhole and side seams, so that the center front and center back are at oposing ends and the top edge is flush. Measure down from the top center front edge down the 5" or so you decided on, and mark straight across about 3/4 of the way to the armhole seam, then gradually curve it up to the middle of the sleeve top. Trim the top front of the chemise along this line. See 4
- Hems – Serge all around the bottom, and around the sleeve bottoms, and around the neckline. At the bottom, fold over the surged edge about ¼ inch and stitch on the topside. For the sleeve edges, fold over between 1/2 inch to 1 inch, and stitch down, leaving about 1 inch open next to a seam to insert elastic. See 5