I happened across a pattern for an 1850's - 1870's chemise in the Chapman Historical Museum that Cassidy from A Most Beguiling Accomplishment drew up. I thought it looked fairly simple, giving that it was all one piece (except for the gussets), so I decided to give it a go. I bought a plain white sheet. I thought it was cotton, but then I saw the tag said muslin. It feels thicker than most cottons to me.
Here's her sketch:
It took me a while to figure out how big to enlarge the thing. I ended up around 27" wide and while it isn't uncomfortable to wear, I think next time I'll make it a few inches wider. I was going to model it for you myself, along with my drawers and corset, but lately it has been quite chilly and I didn't really feel like walking around in my undergarments. :) My new dress form will model it for you instead. (Read more about her below)
There is some excess fabric below the arm, because of the way the pattern is, but it really doesn't bother me.
I used a self-drafted pattern for my split drawers, found at Auntie Maude's Compendium. They were fairly easy to make up and are very comfy! You can somewhat see them on my dress form, but they don't look very nice because she doesn't have legs to fill them out. :)
On to my dress form! I had been wanting one for some time now, but I waited until I made my corset so I could fit my historical dresses onto the correct silhouette. I started out with an old t-shirt and, with Mom's help, started slathering. You pretty much have to have someone help you, otherwise you can't get your shoulders correct.
I think she turned out quite nice. I've named her Mabel. I haven't used her a whole lot yet, mainly just for modeling.
Hope your summer is going well!