Civil War Civilian Living History

Interpreting the American Civil War Home Front

Collars, Cuffs, Chemisettes and Undersleeves

In April I attended another Genteel Arts class in Gettysburg. This one was making collars, cuffs, chemisettes and undersleeves. My purpose in attending this class was to 1) make a collar pattern that would fit my basic bodice pattern, and 2) begin a chemisette for my Cape May dress. Tasks accomplished, sort of. I did get a collar pattern that now fits my basic bodice as well as another dress that I desperately needed a collar for. But when I began thinking about the chemisette it became obvious I really wanted a full white body rather than the chemisette. Carolann and Maggie are very flexible on projects for their classes, so I began my white body using a very fine plain cotton. You can see how sheer the cotton is from the pictures below.

I began by using my basic bodice pattern, but to eliminate bulk under the dress bodice we yoked it with the yoke being gathers and the bottom portion darted.

Maggie and Carolann did a wonderful job fitting the bodice. While I did not finish the piece over the weekend I was able to finish it over a couple of weeks after I got home.

While I worked on my white body, others in the workshop made under sleeves with various different cuffs.









As will almost all of Carolann’s classes she brings originals from her collection to share and offers patterns based on these originals. Following are some of the originals she brought for this class.






Categories: Civil War, classes, Living History, sewing