Friday, February 10, 2017

Underwear Review: Combinations vs. Chemise & Drawers

A few months ago, I decided I needed to put a little time into making multiples of basic Victorian undies. A full weekend event would require at least three changes.

For years, I have been a die-hard Combination Underwear fan. Combos are so simple and so trim, without a lot of excess fabric everywhere. I wore chemises and drawers in my early costuming days, and I remember a lot of bunched up, wrinkled fabric under my corset, and the excess length of the chemise always wrapping itself around my legs. Ugh. The combinations were so much comfier.

TV105 - Combination Underwear

Instead of making more combos to fill out my underwear drawer, I wanted to try the chemise and drawers again, so I recently made a pair from Liz Clark's wonderful, draft-to-fit pattern. Read her post and get her free pattern here.

They are made of smooth Pima cotton broadcloth and simply trimmed with lace and a few tucks. The tucks are pretty but their real job is to give the hem weight and support so it hangs well and doesn't get all crumpled up.

Of course, with drawers, you need a chemise. I made this one a couple years ago and only wore it a couple times (because I didn't have drawers, and I didn't always want to go commando).

I made this pattern up. It is hanky-weight linen.

I finally wore these together during the long drive to Pepin a few weeks ago.

I was amazed at how much I loved this set! The drawers didn't bind or chafe, the chemise wasn't too full under the corset. The chemise's neckline yoke kept everything in place - a drawstring would have been more adjustable, but with drawstrings everything moves!

There is also the Bust Containment Effect you get with the bit of chemise above the corset's top edge. I thought my combos were containing everything just fine, and I hate having to eat my words, but the chemise did do a bit better job.

I did still have the feeling of too much chemise around my legs, but I can just make it slightly shorter in the future and I think that will solve it.

I won't be giving up my combos any time soon, but I do plan to make at least one more chemise and drawer set. Yay for lots of undie options!

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