So, I've been sort of holding the idea in my head for some time, of the "Just Do IT" nature concerning my "dream costumes"... and with RM being in St. Louis, etc. this past winter I started tentative steps forward.
Chemises are the base layer, and made of muslin which is a fairly "non-panicky fabric" for me, so I started there.
I tried a bit of contour in the body, with a simple ruffle neck line in a sort of scoop (which turned out to be a bit too open, for my proportions, so I'll have to see if this actually gets used for Realmies.)
I've always loved super fluffy sleeves, (on other people, I've never been brave enough to try them myself) so I went with a really "angel wing" fullness in a sort of three quarter length.
This turned out to be way too much poof for my figure, and I realized that for my first try I've overshot the mark.
I undid the sleeve at the shoulder, cut the fullness down by about half, and re-sewed to the body. This resulted in the final sleeve, at right.
I also found that the contour I had cut the body at was too tight at the waist for the rest of me to fit through (although it looked very nicely fitted once I got in, but only if I had help to struggle into it!)
This was not acceptable... I needed more room to get in, as well as simply more room up top. So I sliced it up the front and added a panel for extra width. I did not want extra room in the neckline, so I pleated aggressively where it joined the neckline.
This loosened it up all over quite a bit, but chemises are usually loose so that's par for the course.
I had a vague idea of using this as a chemise for a Belle outfit, so as an added touch I stitched a heart, white on white, on top of the pleating. (You can barely see it, but it's the little details that make garments fun.)
The sleeve pieces that remained were way too use-able to just discard... (all that ruffling was still on them! That was hard work!)
So, I put them aside to become sleeves in their own right on what turned out to be Chemise #3.