It's looser in the skirt than most, and longer; the sleeves are long and fitted; and the front is laced tight under and across the bust. Not as supportive and constricting as a côtehardie, but enough to, well, help, and it fits nicely and smoothly under a buttoned côte.
I'm not sure if there's a better term than "under-gown", but that's it's function. I have a plain, sleeveless chemise that works just fine for what it is, but I wanted one that could double as a true foundation layer and not just a layer of fabric between my dress and me.
And guess what? Also this:
WHAT A PAIN IN THE BUTT! I decided to try hand-stitching eyelets on this thing, one, because I hadn't ever done it before, and two, because I'm thinking of lacing an actual kirtle with hand-stitched eyelets on a future gown...and now I'm seriously re-thinking that. Pain. In. Thebutt.
The chemise is a soft, lightweight cotton...a sheet from a thrift store, actually. It's not really sheer, but you can see in the shoulder seams and the edging around the neckline that it's not entirely opaque, either.
I put a boring ol' lettuce edge along the end of the sleeve cuffs, so that when it does show, it's decorative, though simple, without adding a bulky cuff hem underneath another sleeve worn over it.
I've learned two things from this project:
- I want more period underwear.
- I think I'm going to have to have a white côtehardie one day. I wonder if I could actually wear one for any length of time without spilling stuff on it.