The chemise is the basic undershirt that was worn under most dresses from the middle ages through the 1800s. There are
a number of different styles, but this is based on some of the most basic. There are only two pattern pieces, and in total
you will only have four pieces cut out--a front and back and two sleeves. The patter can be used to make calf- or ankle-length
(shown). This could also be used as a nightgown.
I recommend using a thin cotton or linen. Plain white or off-white is most common. If you're staying true to the grain
of the fabric, you'll need about 1/3 yard for the ankle-length, and 1/4 yard ought to work for calf-length.
I used a thin beading elastic for the neckline and cuffs. Not a lot is required, but I recommend having extra so you
have plenty to handle and room length to tie. To be more historically accurate you could use a very narrow ribbon as a drawstring
instead of elastic.
This pattern works best on Newer Barbie (shown), but will also fit Older Barbie, only it will be tighter in the underarms/shoulders. (See
Doll Differences link on navigation bar.)