Failures and Starting Again

Some of you might remember a project I posted about a while back, a set of summery Victorian undergarments I was hand sewing and planned to make hand knit/crocheted lace for.

The backward seams on the chemise. You can see just how flimsy this fabric is. There is a reason. More on fabric choice another time.

I wanted to start on the lace, so I went back to that project, only to discover I hadn’t finished assembling the chemise. I finished French seaming the skirt onto the top, carefully placing all of the gathers, only to realize I had sewn the skirt portion on inside out. The fabric is too loose a weave for me to want to bother with unpicking seams; it’s a cotton gauze that falls apart if you look at it too harshly. No matter, I thought. I could fold the hem under and cover the flapping exterior seam with ribbon. No problem.

I finished the assembly and tried it on.

Oh, I thought. That’s why I never finished it. 

The chemise as it is now.

My bust measurement was off by a good 4″. Not only did it look horrible and was a bear to get on and off, but I’m pretty sure I popped a couple of stitches before I managed to take it off.

This means I have 3 choices: Cut into the remaining fabric to add side panels and thus, extra width; completely unpick the French seam joining the top and bottom, re-distribute the gathers, and try again; or, I can choose a wide insertion lace and add that in lieu of the side panels.

I think option 3 is going to be the best way to go. I don’t have a lot of the gauze left, and it’s so thing and light I don’t think it will mix well with a different fabric, at least none of the cottons I have access to at the moment. And as I mentioned, unpicking is not really an option with this material. I could just cut the seams, but that would add a whole host of other fit problems.

So I guess I’m going on the hunt for 2-3″ wide lace patterns. In the mean time, I think I’m just going to move on to the petticoat because I can’t do anything else to the chemise until I fix the fit.