Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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V351: How To Make the Simplest 1920s Slip

Yesterday I showed you some original 1920s slips, and now today it's time to show you the results, as promised, of my own little project.

Here is my finished slip - the successful one:


Boring? Yes.  And yet I'm dang proud of this, primarily because my first attempt suffered from bad fabric choice (yep, I'm still making rookie mistakes):

The Horror! The Horror!
Ladies, make your 1920s slips out of very thin, drapey, soft, silky fabrics like silk charmeuse.  Do *not* make your slips out of bridal satin.  Ever.  No.  Bad.  You don't want body...you want slinky drape.  You may be tempted to the modest opacity and slick surface of a satin, but resist!

Now, onto the pattern.  Luckily, 1920s slips are geometric.  There is little to no shaping, and though godets and gathered sides were common, you can make a slip from simple gored panels, like I'm going to show you right now.  You just need a little patience, perhaps some courage, and some light math skills.

*The front and back piece are the same, yippee!  Also, very important - you MUST add ease, especially to the hip.  You do not want the slip to stack up on your hips, but to hang gracefully down, unhindered.  Add at least 2" of ease over your hip measurement.


*Make sure the strip for the top binding is the same length as your high bust + ease measurement. Larger ladies, you may need to join two strips together if you fabric is not very wide.

*At this stage, if you wish to add pintucks or lacey bits to the slip, go for it (pintucks before the top binding!).  Pintucks in particular are a good way to take up any excess in high bust.  Try your slip on and see if anything needs to be taken out.  Pintucks were used in both the front and back on original slips.  You will see I have 4 pintucks on the front of my finished slip.

Once again, this is just the way I constructed my slip.  It is neither right nor wrong, and if you have a preferred method of doing things, by all means, stitch in the way that is comfortable for you!

Also please note that, in general, 1920s slips are most flattering to boyish figures with small busts.  Many curvaceous women in the '20s wore corsets, girdles, and bust-binding devices, to achieve the tubular silhouette.  If you try on your snazzy new slip and find it horribly unflattering, you may wish to bind your chest (an Ace bandage works), to flatten it.  Remember, too, that this is an undergarment, and is serving a purpose - be sure to try your whole ensemble on together before determining if you love or hate your new slip. :-)
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13 comments:

  1. Looks like a good pattern! I would advise that the hip ease be at least 2" over the SEATED hip and/or joint thigh measurement. At least for those blessed with lots of hip, sometimes the hips "grow" when we sit. And that can be pretty uncomfortable, besides hiking up the slip!

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    1. VERY good point!!! I would say that you can't really have too much hip ease in a pattern like this, which is not true for the high bust - you want that to fit well. You also need enough flare in the skirt, where it drops from the hip, especially is you are dancing.

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  2. I have some friends who bind occasionally for costumes, and it's generally not recommended to use an ACE bandage. If you're not careful, you can make it too tight and cause yourself serious discomfort. ACE bandages can also slip, preventing you from having a smooth silhouette. It's definitely cheaper than getting a binder, but just be careful and don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or like you can't breathe. Some bandeau bras (if they aren't made very well, honestly) can have the sports-bra-like flattening effect, too.

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    1. Good information, to be sure. Yes, ladies, don't bind too tightly!

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  3. Rookie mistakes still happen to the best of us ;-D
    Whenever I'm asked how I learned to even make clothes at all, the reply I most often give is "Trial and error!".
    XOXO!

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    1. Yes! I've never taken a sewing class, haha, just sortof bumped through things (and still do). Glad I'm not the only one.

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  4. Not boring at all. It's very nice.

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  5. I have found out by trial and error-method over the years that most comfortable materials for slips are thin silk fabrics, perhaps silk satin (which is absolutely luxurious) or silk crepe and natural fiber jerseys, like viscose or silk jersey. All artificial materials (except cellulose based like viscose) are not comfortable enough and at least on me they tend to make me sweat more than natural fibers.
    Also cutting the pattern in bias helps on the ease at hip and bust and makes it smoothly figurehugging, despite of the shape of the pattern.
    I love wearing silk slips, they give me the everyday-luxury which is very much needed. And they feel so soft on skin.

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    1. Good advice on material choice. Cutting on the bias would indeed allow the slip to skim over, though it was not done until the 1930s. That being said, who cares, right? It's underwear!

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    2. Actually, though the bias cut really hit its stride in the 1930s, Madeleine Vionnet and others were using it extensively in the 1920s, as well. I don't think this transferred to the home sewist, though.

      Thanks for the useful post!

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  6. But if you are making a "costume slip" to be worn under a tunic, for example, the bottom of the slip will be showing so you can't use a thin fabric in this case

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  7. This post is super old, but I just wanted to say that you should never ever bind with ace bandages! It can cause some serious damage to your ribs and lungs. Please use actual binders or bras (sports/bandeau/etc).
    xx

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  8. This post is super old, but I just wanted to say that you should never ever bind with ace bandages! It can cause some serious damage to your ribs and lungs. Please use actual binders or bras (sports/bandeau/etc).
    xx

    ReplyDelete