Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tiny Underclothes

I had so much fun today making a little undershirt/chemise and drawers for the baby; well, she's not so much a baby anymore, more of a tiny toddler.

Amy over at A Day in 1862 had posted a few patterns (multi-sized!) that I've wanted to try out for a while.

She saw these little drawers and came up with her own FREE pattern.

It worked very nicely.  I noticed that the shape of Amy's pattern is basically the same as that in the 1840 Workwoman's Guide!

Plate 7 Figures 3 & 4. 

Amy saw this little 1850-59 undershirt/chemise on the Wisconsin Historical Society's Online Children's Collection.
And again, came up with a lovely little pattern.

Big thanks to Amy for sharing her patterns!

I haven't put growth tucks in the legs yet.  I'll wait and see how tall baby gets in a few months to see if I need to.  She's so skinny I may need to run a string through the drawer waistband to tighten them up a bit (or move my button, see below).  Hopefully she'll grow though, and they'll fit just right this summer.

The neck on the chemise is pretty big.  I made a few gathers in both front and back, but could have pulled it in a bit more.  I did not create an opening in the neck because it is so big; so it's just a pull over.  I tried baby's dress on over the underclothing and the chemise does not peek out.  If it does slide too much, though, I can, again, run a string through the neck binding to tighten it up.

I did a button with a loop on the drawers for the closure.  I'm still working at getting the placket right.   Need more practice!  If you've seen a good tutorial online for this, send me a link! :)


Amy said...

Thanks for the kudos! Your daughter is adorable in her tiny undies. Oh so cute! :) They turned out wonderfully.

I wouldn't worry too much about the neckline (unless it falls off her shoulders), because it was pretty common for kids to have that wide neckline.

For the placket, all I did was turn the raw edge in as closely as I could and stitched it with a small whip-stitch. Naturally, as you get closer to the middle of the slit, there gets to be hardly any fabric to turn in, but I just did a button-hole stitch to secure it, then as I worked up the other side, I started to fold the fabric in again and continued with a whip-stitch. That may not make any sense written out. But I can send you pics is you want to send me an email at amym {at}

Thanks again! I'm so glad the pattern worked out for you -- it's nice to see it being of use to folks out there.


Amanda said...

I can picture the chemise and pants in a fun print for everyday. So pretty.

Mercy Otis/The Stone House said...

Hi Emily
This is my first time to visit your blog. I have been having a GREAT time looking at past posts!!! I love history too. Our family goes to Rendezvous every year and we dress in the mid 18th century (1750’s) style. I had have hand sewn linen shirts and breeches, skirts and short gowns. Dyed my linens in walnut dye, and bee’s waxed my haversack. I wear "stays" which I made, (but really want to buy some new ones) The research and sewing is almost as much fun as the going and wearing! I would LOVE to be able to spend my days at TITP, in a heart beat. But alas we live over 150 miles away in the Uintah Basin. Our stake is also going to go to Martians Cove and the Willy sites again this June. I want to make a new period correct bonnet and a new dress, or skirt/ blouse. You’ve offered lots of good help here on your blog with lots of links for more. Thanks much for posting your research! :-)
I've added you to my side bar so that I can come back and back and back and back some more! lol
Enjoy your weekend
Mercy, I'm NOT a stalker! just LOVE historical stuffs!

Mercy Otis/The Stone House said...

OK! So I just read your not so pioneer skirt? post.. So, let me re-think my trek clothing and I'm guessing I will make a new DRESS instead! lol
It was something I had never researched. The 18th century me wears "petticoats". Thanks again!


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