Purple Files: Chemise Size 5

Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.

As usual, there is panic when there is an event to go to, and there is the sudden realisation that your 4 year old has grown an inch or two and will not fit her garb! Luckily, in this case, it was just the chemise that was waaayyy too small.
So... into the stash I ventured. There, I found some linen and some purple embroidery silk.

Some time ago, I had been collecting research on the 1630 english chemise from the Victoria and Albert Museum. I still intend on making this for myself, in the future. For now, I can practice on the 'look' with Morgan's chemise.

The original extant 'smock' is made from linen, with red/ pink silk embroidery in stem stitch and hand sewn with linen thread.
It can be found at the V&A website.(museum no. T.2-1956)
The pattern is made from flaura and fauna (right). Examples of the embroidery is can also be seen in Janet Arnold's Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.

Lace (which looks like a bobbin lace) is on the collar, front opening and cuffs.
Morgan requested purple embroidery (her favourite colour) and to have 'dogs' (her favourite animal). So I made it 'to order'.
Dogs were within the fauna theme of the time. Though not found in 'blackwork' and not English, there is an Italian camicia ( found at the New York Metropolitan Muesum) that has lavender and gold embroidery. So, lavender was not 'unheard of' for embroidery on linens.
I made this one a size larger than I would normally. I figured, if I was going to embroider it, I wanted to get as much wear as possible. I have added 6 inches to the sleeves (and hemmed up) to be let down later, by removing the lace, embroidering on another 'creature' and reattatching the lace. I did not use cuffs, as this will make adjustments much easier, at a later stage. The hem has at least 4 inches extra to allow for growth spurts also.

The embroidery on the go.

Left is the finished sleeve, with bought machine-made lace that approximates bobbin lace. Again, Morgan requested purple. Usually this lace could be white, black, silver or gold. Below is a close up of the collar and ties.

The lace was 'blanket stitched' onto the chemise. Unfortunately, the embroidery had to be done after the chemise had been completed, so the underside is now visible on the collar. This was necessary, as I had to sew the chemise one afternoon to be worn to an event the next day. I did not have time to embroider it until now.
The tie cords were made from cotton and hand -knitted.

Finally, the finished article. 
First, a close up of the front embroidery (above), then the final article and, for comparison, the original in the V&A Museum.

Morgan wore the chemise for the second time, and for the first time (with embroidery) today for the Baroness's tourney.

Follow these links for my HANDSEWN camicia with patterns.

UPDATE: I entered this into the Lochac Kingdom A&S competition for An item of children's clothing. It won first prize.



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