Sunday, May 13, 2012


Today I finished my first ever all Hand Sewn garment. The garment I chose to do first is an chemise. Every inch is completely hand sewn and let me tell you it took quite some time. I've been to the local library to research how they look, how they were sewn and with what type of fabric. From all the information I gathered, this is what I came up with for my new Izannah Walker style doll. I sewed in the arm gussets and the skirt gores for an authentic look. All the interior seams are flat felled and yes by hand! Whewww!
Izannah Walker Inspired Doll by Bethann Scott "The Stitch Fiddler" ©2012

Izannah Walker Style Doll by Bethann Scott ©2012

I was sooo inspired by all the books I checked out and now have the hand sewing bug. I still have quite a bit of work to accomplish. She needs her shoes painted on, pantaloons, petticoat, and then I am working on a new dress that will have cartridge pleating. WOW! After hand stitching this one small garment, I surely applaud all those wonderful ladies from years gone by who diligently sewed all their clothing.


Rhissanna said...

I applaud you! Very well done! I have an old nightgown (1860?) with hand stitching and those stitches are neat and tiny and very strong!

Judi Hunziker said...

What a little cutey! She looks so proud of her new chemise.

Mary @ Colony Mountain Stitcheries said...

You are inspiring me to do more hand stitching. Your Izannah doll is wonderful!

Sherri Farley said...

Beautiful chemise & dolly. Hand sewing can be quite addictive, but very rewarding. I hand sew everything but, I am working on being more historically accurate with my clothing construction. I have struggled with the chemise. I just haven't come across directions that make it clear to me! You have done a wonderful job. Here is a link to cartridge pleating that I found to be quite helpful.

The Stitch Fiddler said...

My dear friends Thank-you soooo much! You made my heart leap with joy with all your lovely comments.

Sherri, Thank-you for the cartridge pleating site details, I will have to check it out today.

I found the chemise can be sewn many different ways. The construction is long rectangles for the body (they can have a shoulder seam or one continuous piece, two separate triangles for the underarm gussets or one square (I did the square), and the skirt gores are long triangles. The neck can be gathered, squared or scooped neck to fit (I did the fitted neck with linen facing no back closure).

You can google chemise pattern image and it can lead to a wide variety of chemise construction.
The diagrams are great. Also the shows some antique chemises with time pierods.

The Stitch Fiddler said...

Sherri, You can visit the site below for helpful directions on basic sewing directions to construct a chemise. You will find the body of hers is different (I did not do) and she did the shoulder seams. You can adjust the body to a full rectangle piece continuous going from front to back.

Sherri Farley said...

Thank you for the chemise link & info. I am a visual learner & her photos are very clear. I am definately going to attempt this on my next doll. You are right about the chemise being sewn in many different ways.....I think that has been part of my confusion.
I am going to do some piping on my dolls dresses too. It has such a lovely look. There is a wonderful video at the link below. Actually, Rachel has some very informative posts on hand sewing.

Thank you for sharing.

Atticbabys said...

What an amazing job you've done on both the IW doll and the chemise Bethann!!!

The Stitch Fiddler said...

Thank-you for your kind words Nancy.