The Chemise Shown in Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, by Rachel Field, illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop

Hitty Petal models the Chemise

As you can see from the pictures in the book above, the chemise was not drawn the same in both pictures.
To achieve the first picture, a wider collar was needed.
To make the chemise in the second picture, the collar is obviously in two parts.
For this tutorial, we chose the first option of a one-piece chemise collar.
I am including two different sizes for the collar. The larger size will produce a chemise shown here,
which is 'true' to the pictures by Dorothy Lathrop.
The smaller size will produce the same chemise, but with a smaller, tighter neckline.

Sewing Machine
Needle and Thread

Lawn or Batiste or other fine fabric
Red Embroidery Thread
Fray Check Product (optional)
No Sew product (optional)

Chemise Template Found Here
Collar: For larger neck, as Hitty Petal models: 4" x 1/2"
For smaller fitted neck, meant to be worn under clothes: 3" x 1/2"

Step One

Cut out the chemise pattern. With a small running stitch, gather across the top, as shown. Go right across the arm holes.

Step Two

Take the collar piece and fold over both ends 1/8th of an inch. This should be pressed to insure a good fold.

Step Three:

Pin the chemise bottom to the collar in the order shown below.

1. Place one pin on each end.
2. Fold the chemise in half and make a finger press and fold the collar in half and make a finger press. Place the folds together and pin there.
3. Pin the armholes open and flat (no gathers in the armhole)

4. Pull the gathers, and even space across the collar.


Sew with the gathers on the bottom, going very, very slowly (you should be able to see the needle move up and down).
Remove the gathering thread.

Step Four:

Fold and press the collar over 1/8th inch on the long side (creating a 'seam'), and then fold this over to the front of the bodice.
Tack down by hand.

Fold the bottom of the bodice up 1/8th inch, press, and repeat. Pin and sew this hem by hand or machine.

Sew the back seam together.
If you are using the larger collar, sew it right up to the neck, as this should fit right over Hitty's head with no problems.
If you are using the smaller collar, you may need to leave the collar open an inch down the back, and use a snap to fasten closed.

Embroider "Hitty" on the collar of the chemise.
I freehanded this onto the collar with a pencil and then embroidered over it.
Now, in the book, it appears to be cross-stitched. If you are brave enough to tackle cross-stitch that tiny, I want to see it!!

When you finish your garment, I would love to be able to place it on our Student's Page!