In my last post, I mentioned I took a sewing lingerie class. Practically minded, of all the things I thought I would learn to sew, lingerie was at the bottom of the list. But I thought it would be fun to work with delicate fabrics, a way to both push and spoil myself. And, I told myself, I'd been hankering after a slip for light dresses and some sultry bedtime separates for those unbearably hot summer nights when I wish I could move into the freezer.
We were supposed to sew a camisole and panty set, but none of us had time to finish the latter. I traced the slip in Folkwear 219: Intimacies off of one of my classmates, which Folkwear describes as a "treasure chest of lingerie styles from the 1920s and 1930s includes a camisole, tap pants, bias teddy, and slip."
A lovely illustration:
I particularly loved those insets at the bust, it does feel very much from a different time.
Using habotai gold silk and three yards of lace, I made a slip and I'm utterly delighted! It's by far the most luxurious thing I own. The silk is a bit transparent and the sewing's not perfect, but I'm not gonna sweat it.
It's a great pattern, just three pattern pieces in my version. With this project I learned to cut delicate fabrics by placing it between a sort of paper sandwich -- so easy! This is also my first bias cut piece, and I love how it just slinks around the body.
Also, I learned to finish edges with lace. Colette Patterns has a nice tutorial on it here. Here's the scalloped edge of the neckline:
And the lace at the hem:
I did chop off 7 inches from the length—about mid-thigh on me—to be the most versatile. I worry it's a bit too short, but the problem I have with my current slips is that they're too long and too light-colored for my skin tone.
And look! French seams! Also not as hard as I envisioned.
I know this wasn't technically part of my Summer Essentials list, but I'm so pleased to have this in my wardrobe. Definitely one of those projects that gives you energy, opening you up to potential projects you hadn't envisioned before. If I've the time, I'll certainly sew with silk again (so, so lovely), and I am already dreaming of a cami-and-tap pant set. (Wistful.) And now I can sew all those light-colored fabrics into pretty summer dresses!
This has also sent me down the path of obsessing about slips and their usefulness in a modern woman's closet. Do you wear them? What kind of slips do you find most useful for your wardrobe? I'd love to know!
‘Latin Lovers’ -1953 film poster, starring Lana... - ‘Latin Lovers’ -1953 film poster, starring Lana Turner and Ricardo Montalban