Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Silk Envelope Chemise c.1920

Envelope chemise, c.1920.

Here we have an ecru silk envelope chemise, dating from about 1920. It still has a small tag that says "made in france" sewn to one of the straps. On me (5'4") it hangs almost to my knees. At the bottom, the back of the chemise is cut, with a french seam, so that it comes between the legs and buttons at the front for modesty. The envelope chemise is a later teens through 20's style, similar to combinations and cami-knickers, designed to be worn much like a slip.

Front view.

Detail of the embroidery at the bust.
It looks to be hand done.

The side seams. The fabric does not meet,
but it stitched together leaving a small
opening between the front and back.

The top and bottom edges,
as well as the straps, are hemstitched.

This is where the back meets the front,
turning the slip into a romper. The placket,
where the buttons are attached, is stitched
to the front, while the button loops are
attached to the back.

The buttons look like mother of pearl and the
button loops are a thin thread bar, done up with a
buttonhole stitch.

The faint opaque line, going vertically down the front,
is where the button placket is stitched onto the front.

From the back.

Inside out. A detail of the embroidery. Note how the
"leaves" are done with two layers of fabric for contrast.

Inside view of the side seams.

Inside view showing how the straps attach
and detail of the hemstitch.

Down the center back is a french seam.

The original "made in france" tag.


  1. Just lovely, thanks again for all the great photo reference.

  2. Happy to! I'm slowly inching through my vintage wardrobe, posting what i think would be helpful and/or interesting. More to come!

  3. What a beautiful piece of lingerie! I just bought my first envelope chemise and can't stop admiring it.

    1. Congratulations on your new purchase! Pretty lingerie is the best! :)