Monday, January 16, 2012

Grey flower motif chemise

I finished this chemise a few years ago. It is made of light cotton gathered into a bias binding neckline. The sleeves are decorated with flower designs inspired 'A Scholehouse for the Needle' and by the Warwick shirt.  'A Scholehouse' was a pattern book drawn by Richard Shorleyker (1632.) It contains many designs that exist in pattern books printed at various times in the sixteenth century. The Warwick shirt is an extant example of Elizabethan monochrome embroidery* (done in red). It It has some beautiful designs on it, and can be seen here:
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/web/corporate/pages.nsf/links/aa47f702d5996adc80257149002da95e


The shirt is part of the collection of the Warwickshire Museum: 
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/museum


You can see a very interesting article, including some designs from the shirt, here:
http://knol.google.com/k/elizabethan-blackwork-embroidery#

The sleeves on my chemise are very big and are designed to be puffy enough to allow them to be pulled out through slits in split sleeves. When worn without an oversleeve, they flow over my hands:


As with most of my clothes, the chemise is used for both Italian styles and under my Elizabethan loose gowns. The designs are worked in grey DMC cotton in a range of stitches, including buttonhole stitch, seeding stitch, stem stitch and double running stitch. All visible seams were handsewn, except for the hem.

The sleeve laid out before sewing (the white tiles underneath are showing through the thin fabric.)



* also called as 'linear blackwork' or 'single-colour, non-counted blackwork'

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