I had always wanted a chemise gown, but not the type with the super fluffy sleeves. There are several more streamlined examples out there (which I can't show you because they're from private Flickr accounts) as well as portraits like the Comtesse de la Châtre (Marie Charlotte Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps, 1762–1848) by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1789, which lives at The Met.
You can see how clean yet elegant the style is here with the long sleeves, and I was going for something similar...except I had the GENIUS idea to make the top and bottom separate so that I could re-use the bottom as a petticoat with other outfits.
Dear Reader, I failed.
(Me running away from my experiment-gone-wrong. Aiieeee)
Firstly, I very foolishly thought that surely it wouldn't be too bulky if I treated the dotted cotton and white cotton lining as one when gathering it all up. I mean, it's all fairly lightweight! Ugh no. The 'blouse' top-half was such a nightmare and so puffy and bulky that I tried to reduce it three different times with very little success. The sleeves, for once, gave me no trouble at all by comparison!
(Looking just fine! ...from a distance)
(sigh. Such pretty fabric. Such great shoes too from Target -- I'll be painting them eventually for use in Regency-wear!)
Unfortunately I also realized that with the Chemise a la reine generally having a fairly low-profile skirt, separating the skirt from the top wouldn't even render it useful as a petticoat because it wouldn't have worked with any of the common skirt supports I might need to use if I wanted to be a fancy shepherdess or the like. I'd have to completely re-do the hemline and it would probably end up too short if I used a bum-roll or small hip pads (definitely wouldn't even be wide enough in fabric for pocket hoops). So this whole thing is in the scrap pile right now, and will probably get salvaged for an Edwardian blouse eventually. Ah well. Sometimes those genius ideas sound great in theory but don't quite work in practice.
I've got a lot of the dotted Swiss left in yardage so I'll probably be making a 1790s transitional gown with it eventually, without trying the gimmicky separates route again!