There comes a time in every costumer's life when, inevitably, they will make an 18th Century chemise dress. My turn came this past September, when I decided to host an 18th Century dinner party for my birthday. September in Texas is blazing hot, and since I was planning everything to be outside, I needed to make something cool to wear. A nice, light chemise dress sounded like just the thing, and my friends all decided to join in, too, so we ended up with a chemise dress party!
After reading a bunch of costume blogs and looking at the diagrams available online, I decided to make things as easy on myself as I could. The dress is just one big panel of cotton voile, 4 yards long by 60 inches wide. I created a drawstring at the neckline, but not at the waist, because I'm lazy and figured the sash would do the work of a drawstring for me. The sleeves are short little puffs that end at the elbow.
The petticoat is a screaming yellow taffeta. I love it so much. It is muted a lot by the white voile of the dress, but there is the peek of the yellow at the front where the center front is open.
Here are some pictures from the night of the party. I'll write about the party in another post!
This was a fun, quick dress to make and wear. If anyone is looking to start 18th Century costuming but is intimidated by it, a chemise dress would be a great place to start. I do plan to take better pictures that show off the dress a bit better, but the weather has turned really cold all of sudden, so that will have to wait until spring!