Now that the holidays are over and real life has me back, it is time to get a little more “real” about the bedtime attire. I am glad that the bed-shift has made some really nice progress and is as good as finished. But, today, I would like to take you back to the start of it and tell you a little about making the pattern.
Basically, the shift pattern started out as the chemise from the Sense & Sensibility Regency Underthings Pattern, which I already used for my first Regency chemise.
Starting from this, I reshaped the yoke and neckline to look more like the one in the picture from last week’s post.
As Regency shifts and chemises usually have necklines that are a bit on the wide side, it took me a while to puzzle out just how low and wide I wanted to make it to still be suitable for bedtime wear. With the help of the awesome historical sewing crowd on Facebook, I finally reached a decision. I have to thank everyone that replied yet again. You guys are the best help one can possibly wish for. :)
In this context, someone also directed my attention towards this extant chemise pattern from the Missouri Historical Society. It looks very much like what I had in mind:
In the end I used the overall width at the top and the strap length as a guide to shape a new yoke, which I then connected to the original pattern’s body. I distributed the strap length to be 6 inches at the front and 4 at the back, which, more or less, equals the proportions of the original pattern’s cleavage. But still, it turned out quite a bit higher than the original. I will probably only wear it for winter wear outside of bed, where it can hide under a chemisette or high-necked walking dress.
To make it all a tad longer than a day-wear shift, I simply went without shortening the pattern. Originally, it is probably meant to be knee-length for ladies about half a foot taller than me. When altering the pattern into a bed-shift, some of you might have to lengthen it at the designated marks…
And that was all about the bed-shift’s basic pattern. Another thing I changed was the neckline binding: Instead of making bias tape with the pattern’s binding guide, I used 3-inch wide strips of self-fabric, overlapping them at the corners of the neckline, to better preserve the square shape.
As in the original pattern, I fed a drawstring through the inside of the binding, to keep the shift from sailing off at night. (
This happens to you once and never again… ;) )
Oh, and I decided to add a monogram and some lace to the shift. But I will tell you more about that in the next post. Until then, I wish you all a Happy Halloween.
Much love, Nessa