Today’s garment is easily the best example of whitework I own. It’s a beautiful white cotton wrapper/ robe de cambre, dating from the 1850s.
The wrapper closes with buttons down the center front. There are 17 total (technically there are now only 15), but only the top 6 are functional. Below the 6th button the front is sewn shut, and the buttons are decorative.
The garment is trimmed with tucks and white-work insertion. The armsyce and the edge of the yoke are finished with piping. The garment is entirely stitched in one of the most beautiful, even, tight, back-stitches I have ever seen. There are 24 stitches per inch the seams, and the insertion is sewn in with double-seams. I regularly re-check that it is indeed hand-sewn, and not machine, it is so perfect and even. There are two gores in each side seam to give it it’s fullness. The raw edges on the inside of the garment are overcast.
The collar is finished with a bias band on both the inside and outside.
The sleeves are full “bishop” sleeves and have a white-work cuff.
The back of the garment’s only trim is the yoke. The back’s fullness is controlled with gathers, whereas the front is controlled with the pleated panel.
Even the hem is stitched with just the finest little stitches you have ever seen! If I ever develop a great amount of patience, I would like to reproduce this one day!