Italian Camicias

January – May 2005

My first two camicias, documented here, have since been replaced with newer ones. Please see the Medieval – 17th Century Linen gallery for write-ups on the more recent versions.

This is Jen Thompson’s chemise pattern from A Festive Attyre. I made it up in very fine linen, described to me as “lighter than handkerchief-weight.” It’s also a much brighter shade of white than the stuff from (and accordingly cost a whopping $15/yard from a local retailer, as opposed to just $6). I cut the sleeves narrower, to about 26″ wide, to ensure they wouldn’t be bulky under my Venetian costume. Cotton lace trims the sleeves and neckline, with french seam finishes throughout. All in all, this is one fancy piece of underwear.
I made another camicia out of 3.5oz linen from to wear under my Italian Peasant costume. The sleeves on this version had cuffs. They were also shorter and more narrow for a working class look. Then in 2009 it was taken completely apart and resewn. The french seams were reduced to 3/16″ wide. The pleats were stroke gathered to a thinner neckline binding (see photo below). And the underarm gussets were replaced with squares.

Bug on fine linen. A perk of taking pictures in the park.
Camicia in 3.5oz linen for peasant