Wednesday, May 10, 2017

DIY: easy chemise from a pillowcase

So, my current favorite crafting thing to do is sew.  I know, I know.  Just give me a few weeks, and I'll be sick of it.
Anyways, I've always loved Medieval and Renaissance gowns, and decided that trying to make a pseudo-Medieval gown would be a good idea (more on that later).  After doing a lot of research, I stumbled across this excellent blog and  I also researched on Medieval undergarments.  Hey, I might as well attempt to be somewhat accurate!  So, she has a post on how to make a chemise.  (For those of you who don't know, a chemise is also known as a shift or a slip.  It's basically a nightgown women would wear under their dresses as an additional layer.)  The post is kind of hard to follow, and I couldn't find any full size sheets to use.  So, I decided to make do with an old pillowcase I found.
For this project, you'll need:
One white pillowcase (you can use two though)
White thread.
White ribbon or white lace
Scissors, pins, needles, a seam ripper, and a measuring tape

Start by turning your pillowcase inside out.  Now, take a look at it.  There's an open end.  There are two sides that are stitched together, and one side that's just the piece of fabric folded in half.  We're going to rip out the seam in the side opposite the open side.
Start by cutting off the chain of knots.  It should look something like this:
Cut that bad boy off, and start ripping out the seam.  This shouldn't take long, and once you're done, pull any loose threads out of the fabric.
DON'T pull any fraying threads from the fabric itself!  You don't want it to unravel!
Now, I didn't take enough pictures, but you're going to hem this newly made edge.  You're not stitching the fabric back together, you're hemming the two sides. So, fold it down about an inch and stitch the fold down.  I had to do this by hand, but it would easy with a machine.  This line doesn't have to be perfect, because this is on the inside of the pillowcase.
That's what it looked like when it's turned right-side out.  Now, you just have to add sleeves.  I just made it sleeveless.  I cut two eighteen inch pieces of white ribbon and stitched them to the pillowcase.  You are going to have to measure here.  Measure from shoulder to shoulder, where you want the sleeves to rest.  Also, eighteen inches was too long, so I tried the chemise on and shortened the straps accordingly.  Just fold the excess inside and stitch it down.
You should end up with this:
Very simple, but it'll get the job done.
Now, about this fit.  The pillowcase was tight across my hips, and it gaped at the back.  There isn't really a solution for that, but a safety pin to pick up the slack worked for me.
Well, I hope this was somewhat helpful.  If you have a question, leave a comment!  
Until next time!  πŸ‘¨πŸ‘ˆ❤πŸ‘€πŸ˜§πŸ˜›

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