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Making a Structured Chemise a la Reine, Part Two

23 Oct
Making a Structured Chemise a la Reine, Part Two

The adventure of making a horribly inaccurate chemise a la reine continues! Part one shows the process of making the sleeves and skirt and can be read here.

Step one was making a pattern. I actually used the pattern for my “Glittery Gothic” dress as a base, then added seams and changed the neckline. I made a mock up of this before finalizing the pattern but still ended up running into problems with the fit.

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The bodice is made from two layers of polyester shantung, the lower layer serves as a base for the boning and doubles as lining. This is the lower layer, you can tell because all the channels are marked out in colored pencil!

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I made the boning channel from bias cut strips of shantung. This was a bad idea. At the time I had forgotten how much shantung puckers.

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Even after spending half an hour with my iron on the highest setting and a spray bottle of starch I couldn’t get all the puckers out. Such evil fabric.

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After I was done ironing I sewed the pieces together and pressed the seams open. Then I made marks one inch away from the neckline, these serve as a guide for getting an even half inch hem.

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The boning was inserted and each raw edge got pinned in place. I used a large running stitch to sew all the edges down.

I repeated this process with the top layer of fabric, but used much smaller stitches to secure the edges.

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Then I cut long strips of shantung and hemmed one edge – I used my sewing machine to hem this, which is quite the rarity for me these days! I gathered the top to create a long ruffle which eventually got sewn on to the bodice neckline.

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Then the lining was pinned in place. Since I did all the steps in the right order the lining covers the raw edge of the ruffles. I sewed the lining in with small whip stitches but made sure to leave the lower edge open.

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Look at how pretty it is!

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I embroidered eyelets up the back, then attached the sleeves. I used my usual method of combining the running stitch and whip stitch together to make sure they are really secure.

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Now that it had sleeves and eyelets I could try it on! At this point I realized the major fit issue, it’s too small at the shoulders and pulls in an uncomfortable way. It doesn’t look that bad, and I can deal with it, but i’m sad I didn’t notice it sooner.

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The ruffle on this dress was kind of crazy so I used long stitches to tack it down.

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Then it was time to add the skirt! I left the bottom of the bodice open intentionally so I could slip the skirt underneath the lining and keep things looking pretty. I sewed the skirt to the lining with a running stitch, then whip stitched it to the front and back.

It’s hard to explain but the end result looks nice!

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All the dress needed was a sash! I made this from a bias cut piece of silk taffeta. I did rolled hems on both edges and hand stitched them in place to avoid puckering.

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This is the finished dress on my dress form.

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And this is how it looks on me!

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I really love the shape of this dress, and aside from the problems with the shoulders i’m quite happy with it! I would still like to make a more accurate version at some point, but this definitely satisfied my urge to make a Chemise a la Reine.

I paired it with a black wig. I curled the wig with a 3/4″ curling iron, then recoiled most of the curls and secured them with bobby pins. I teased the front sections until I liked the volume and pinned them in place. I decorated the wig with fake flowers and things since I didn’t have enough fabric leftover for a headpiece.

I like the finished ensemble. The colors make me think of snow and wintery things!

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Thanks for reading!

 

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6 responses to “Making a Structured Chemise a la Reine, Part Two

  1. cinnpa

    October 24, 2014 at 6:12 am

    this is gorgeous! both the dress and the hair/makeup are exquisite!

     
  2. Charity

    October 25, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    The blue is perfect for the trimmings… I love the delicate look of the dress. The Chemise a la Reine does have a great history. The wig/makeup are perfect with it.

     
    • Angela Clayton

      October 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you very much! I’ve had those scraps of blue taffeta for over a year and been itching to use them on something. I’m glad I finally found a project for them.

       
  3. Molly Brooks

    October 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    The finished product is beautiful! I love that your hair/makeup goes so well with the dress. It’s a really pretty, sort of crisp look that I think looks really good! fantastic job!

     
  4. Hendrika Vd Weijde

    October 26, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Hello, I’m amazed of your beatifull dresses. I give you my respect! I’ll follow you on your blog . Many greetings from the Netherland , Hendrika van der Weijde

     
  5. SpiralightCostume

    November 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    You inspire me so much. You have the most beautiful regency style face too.

     

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