Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Late 1830s Early 1840s Chemisette

This lovely chemisette has a very unusual feature that I have never seen before- the fine strips of fabric down the centre front edges (which look like pin tucks) are actually formed in the weave of the fabric.

1830s/40s Chemisette

Details of 19th Century Chemisette

Rear of Chemisette
It is a beautiful piece of needlework. The chemisette has a high collar, with an embroidered and drawn thread trim section, then ruffles above that.

I was totally stumped about the strange tucks down the front, then whilst flicking through my favourite book ever, I came across a photo of a late 1830s and early 1840s chemisette on page 124, and it reads:-
  "the linear bands of decoration down the front edges are formed in the weave and by a hem."
Query solved.

It fastens with 2 tiny pearl buttons down the front, and has button holes on both sides, which seems a little odd. (But in "Costume in Detail", there are 2 chemisettes with exactly the same feature, from the early 1800s.) The back at the bottom has been folded over to shorten at some time.

It needed a good clean, and a few iron mould stains have been removed. Some stitching had come adrift at the bottom of the drawstring casing at the back, so I have repaired this. The other points to note- there are 2 areas around the collar where the fine ruffles have come away from the whitework trim, and there is a small hole on the back near the folded over part. It is in extremely good condition for its age. There are ties running through the hem of the back piece, which come over the front of the chemisette to tie.

I love finding chemisettes. No two are ever the same.

 It can be purchased over at Antique Historika. I hope it finds a good home someday!

Update:-  It did indeed, going to the new Fashion Museum MoMu in Antwerp, Belgium.

Naomi x