Instructions for a very simple chemise. This pattern uses four pieces of fabric and three body measurements.Includes formulas for three body and sleeve lengths, which are based on your height. Seam allowance is 1/2”. Can be sewn with french seams.
Width of chemise
Measure around the widest part of your body, usually at the bust or hips.
Your chemise width = _____________
These formulas are an exercise in using the golden ratio to calculate length. You can use a tape measure instead, but you’d miss all the amazing math. Here’s a link to a handy decimal to fraction conversion chart.
Length of chemise
Thigh length: Height / 7 * 4
Knee length: Height / 7 * 5
Floor length: Height / 7 * 6
I’m 59” tall. I want an floor-length chemise:
59 / 7 = 8.428
8.428 * 6 = 50.57 = 50 1/2 (rounded)
Your chemise length = _____________
Width of sleeve
Measure around the top of your shoulder through the armpit. Do not tighten the measuring tape. Add 3 inches for seam allowance and ease. If you want pirate-poufy sleeves, add 10 more inches.
Your sleeve width = _____________
Length of sleeve
Short sleeve: Height / 7 + 2
Mid-length sleeve: Height / 7 * 2 + 2
Long sleeve: Height / 7 * 3 + 2
I want a short sleeve:
59 / 7 = 8.428
8.428 + 2 = 10.43 = 10 1/2” (rounded)
Your sleeve length = _____________
FABRIC AND SUPPLIES
I recommend using either linen, cotton voile or cotton broadcloth.
- Body width 38” or less: Add chemise length plus the larger sleeve measurement.
- Body width more than 38”: Multiply chemise length x 2. There should be enough left over for sleeves.
Total amount of 45” wide fabric: _____________
One roll of 5/8” wide ribbon
One package of 1/4” wide elastic or ribbon
For 38” or less body measure:
- Fold fabric lengthwise.
- Cut or rip to your chemise length.
- Cut or rip on lengthwise fold.
For body widths 39” or more:
- Cut or rip fabric in half width-wise.
- With the two pieces together, cut or rip to half your chemise width measure plus ten inches.
- Cut or rip your chemise length.
Cut or rip two rectangular pieces based on your sleeve width and sleeve length measurements.
Sew sleeves to chemise
Right sides together, place each sleeve on opposite top corners of chemise body. Sew a diagonal line of stitching 7 inches in from each corner. Sew the other chemise body to the opposite side of sleeves in the same manner. Cut inner sleeve seam allowance down to 1/2 inch. Press seams open.
Sew side seams
Fold chemise at the middle of the sleeve, right sides together. Sew from outside bottom corner of sleeve to the bottom of chemise.
- Start at center back. Sew ribbon edge to top edge of neckline and around sleeves. Sew 1/8” away from edge. Overlap by 1/4”.
- Press ribbon up. Press to inside of chemise.
- Sew ribbon to chemise 1/8” away from ribbon edge. Be sure to fold in end before sewing down.
- Thread 1/8” elastic or ribbon in the casing.
- Put on chemise to determine width of neckline. The neckline width is based on your aesthetic and comfort. Add an extra 1” to desired elastic or ribbon length and cut. Overlap elastic or ribbon edges by 1/2” and sew together. Push inside casing.
Press up bottom of chemise 1/2”, then another 1/2”. Sew close to edge. Sew a narrow hem on sleeve edges.