- 3 1/2 to 4 yards of white or off-white linen, silk, or cotton fabric. (linen is highly recommended!)
- the usual... thread, scissors, tape measure, sewing machine, etc.
- optional trim for the neckline
Step 1: how big do you want it?
I am a very average size... 5'6", about a size 12, with a 39" bust. If you are anywhere close to that size and want a chemise that looks pretty much like mine, you can probably just use the measurements shown on the graphics. This is very much a one-size-fits-all sort of garment, and the only part that might need tweaking are the gussets. (see Step 2 for more info about gussets) Otherwise, feel free to adjust the length or fullness of the body or sleeves as you see fit. I'm trusting that you can figure that part out on your own. The only other word of caution deals with the sleeves. My pattern adds 12" to the normal length of my arms to create the large puffs at the shoulder of a Florentine gown. If you are making this for a gown with puffs on the sleeves, you'll want at least this much extra, and possibly more. If you are wearing some other type of oversleeve (or none at all), you may only need to add 3 or 4 inches to your arm length.
Step 2: sew gussets to sleeves
Step 4: sew up the sides
Step 5: hem
Hem the bottom edge of the chemise. If you want open sleeves like mine, hem the bottom edge of the sleeves as well. If you prefer to put a cuff on the sleeves, leave the last few inches of the sleeve seam un-sewn and use one of the finishing techniques described below to gather and finish.
Step 6: finish the neckline
Version 2: a ruffle
Version 2.1: an alternate version for the ruffle
There are a ton of other ways to make a ruffle or bind the neckline, but these are just a few suggestions to get you started. So that's it! I hope you enjoy your chemise!