Make a CHEMISE – Free sewing pattern


Chemise is a loose hanging sleeveless loungewear . This was a clothing which earlier women used to wear under their long gowns. Even the men wore them then! Nowadays a chemise is a feminine clothing – worn mostly under clothes as a slip or on its own as a nighttwear/ loungewear.

A chemise is  said in the same breath as sexy, glamorous, especially when made in satin and added lace trims ;comfortable, cool when made in lightweight cotton. Some are even made wholly in lace

The chemise can be made in any length – waist length , knee length or floor length. If making it floor length or longer than the knee a slit would make movements comfortable. I would use this as a loungewear at home or under dresses as a full slip.

The chemise, as it is , is without a waist definition but that is not to say that you cannot have a waist. Give waist definition if that is what you want. It is your chemise after all

Method 1

The first pattern is for a chemise which has a lace edge to it on the neckline

Here is the pattern

You need some wide lace of about 3/4 meters; I have 1.5 inch wide  borderie anglaise lace in white colour

chemise sewing pattern

Step 1. Cut out the front and back bodices – same pattern. Keep aside back pattern( one of the bodices you have cut)

chemise pattern

Step 2  – Make pattern for the lace edge

Measure the width of your lace. Minus ( subtract) 1/4 inch from this – take this measure as A. I have a 1.5 inch lace . so I will take 1.25 inch as A .

Take the front bodice folded by the center.  Measure the A measure from the neckline down. Keep a scale at this point ( 1.25 inch down for me) slightly diagonally on the strap ( as in the picture below). Mark this. Cut out this portion

(No self respecting patternmaker would be making patterns like this – hope they forgive me) 

chemise pattern

chemise pattern

Keep aside the bodice.

Now you need to cut an extra strap ( 2 actually for both sides) – because the old one doesnot have seam allowance

Cut out the neck portion from the strap you have cut and kept aside. Keep this strap piece on another fabric and mark 1/2 inch extra . Now cut out this fabric. ( Basically adding the extra sam allowance to the strap)

chemise pattern

Now you have two new straps with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Discard the old ones.

Step 3 Stitch the lace edge

Take the lace . Cut it into two pieces of length the measure of neckline edge ( 1/2 of it) +2 inch extra

chemise pattern

Keep the lace pieces right sides together and stitch together as shown below 1″ from the top edge to a point to the bottom edge. This will give a diagonal seam in the middle

how to sew a chemise

Step 4 Finish edges

Stitch the side edges of the bodice and the straps . A narrow hem with the hemmer foot would work .

Stitch the armhole line edges and the neckline of the back bodice as well. Most of the store bought camisoles / chemises have these teeny veeny edges – thankfully you can get the same look with the hemmer foot. Checkout the tutorial to use the hemmer foot properly here.

Step 5

Sew the lace to the bodice

chemise pattern

Keep the lace on top of the bodice edge right sides together . Then keep the strap on top aligning the outer edge right side down ( It should be facing to the outside – see the direction in the picture below) . Stitch all the edges together 

sew a chemise

Turn  to the front – Keep the lace edge straight and top stitch in place.

chemise pattern

how to make a chemise

Sew the side seams and the hem.

how to make a chemise

I made it waist length. Then I knew I wanted it longer –  hip length or knee length with some embroidery and made it in satin. I got some cheap satin – Please donot do this – buy quality stuff. You will have a better time sewing the satin and maintianing it

So here is the pattern and how to sew instructions for making a chemise which is longer and with sphagetti straps

chemise sewing pattern

chemise sewing pattern

Step 1. Cut out the pattern pieces – same for back and front except for the neck ( make it same if you wnat to)

chemise pattern

Step 2 Embroidery

You can add simple embroidery to add to the beauty of your chemise. Keep a tear away stabiliser in the back where you mean to embroider/ have marked the pattern. Checkout the 10 inspirations for embroidery designs or post on some embroidered flowers  or this piterest board for some cute embroidery designs.

chemise pattern

Simple  branches in back stitch and small french knot flowers. I love elaborate embroidery but donot have the patience for it.


how to make a chemise

Step 4. You need bias tapes for binding the neckline; also to make the straps and bind the armhole in one go. For the straps I took a double folded bias tape. For the neckline single folded bias tape would do. For more details on bias binding checkout the tutorial 

chemise pattern

Bind the necklines of the front and back bodices. You can keep the bias tape on top of the neckline edge, right side of the bodice up and stitch the edges together. Then take the tape to the back and stitch in place  (machine stitch for the back neck and hand stitch for the front neckline)


Then bind the armhole lines with one long bias tape – which will also include the strap

To calculate the measure of bias tape you need – measure the armline of front and back bodices and then add 6 inch to this ( 6 inch for bust round of 28-32 inch ; 7 inch for bust round of 34-38 inch ; 7.5 inches for more than 38 inch). This is the length of double folded bias tape you need) Measure around the armhole to make sure about this measure. 

how to make a chemise

chemise sewing pattern

chemise sewing pattern

chemise pattern for sewing

Do the same for both the sides

Step 4 Sew the side seams  keeping front and back bodice right sides together.

Do the hem – Simple turned under hem would work – I did a narrow hem with the hemmer foot.

Bust measurement inchesArmhole depth

327 1/4
347 1/2
367 1/2
387 1/2
407 1/2
427 1/2