Vintage slip – Monthly Stitch challenge

As a couple of the things I have recently made really require some kind of slip, when the Monthly Stitch September challenge was announced as vintage patterns I decided to be practical and look for a pattern to combine the two (so I can wear the dresses I have made, rather than making another dress I might not wear).

A quick ebay search found me this:

simplicity 4218Simplicity 4218: According to the Vintage pattern wiki “Instructions indicate a Copyright date of 1958, although the pattern number would indicate a 1960s issue or re-issue”. As the back of the instruction sheet is printed with an advert for the Simplicity Sewing book from 1963, I think I can fairly safely date this issue to then.

simplicity adRight, a couple of things you should know about me: 1) Although I have known how to sew for many a year I am not really all that experienced – I’ve made, maybe a dozen garments in the last 3 years. 2) I am lazy and slapdash, especially when it comes to prep. I try not to be; my intention is always to work with care and precision, but when it comes down to it my motto might as well be “the right way is the quick way”

So, bearing this in mind, making up a pattern in bias-cut satin could be considered a bold, interesting, stupid choice.

Now, confession time. I did a bad thing. I (whisper it) cut my vintage pattern.

(Pause for sharp intakes of breath)

I know, I know – I am sure I am going to be struck off some list somewhere, but bear with me; some pieces of the pattern were already cut. All of the others were cut around, rather than on a full sheet, and it is a one size pattern, so I have not lost anything by cutting it. And I did then used weights and – very carefully –  a rotary cutter, so I did not further compound my transgression by pinning it or anything like that.

Anyway. I first made up a test garment – the pink slip I posted about earlier. The major change I made to the pattern was omitting the side zipper. I really felt that having to zip yourself into your underthings is unnecessary, so I checked that I could get into it without one and happily I could. Rather than try and work out how to grade down a bias cut pattern I increased my seam allowances and then tried on the bodice and decided I needed to hack another inch off either side. I ended up with quite the pile of scraps.

pink slip scrapsSo when it came to making up the slip again in my black satin, rather than trace and grade the pattern I made strategic folds in the original and cut this one smaller (lazy and slapdash – what did I tell ya?)

So, we’re back to the crux of this make. Bias-cut. Satin. I cut out my 4 supposedly identical bodice pieces and this is what I ended up with:

satin slip bodice 1 satin slip bodice 2

Yup – no two of those pieces match one another.

So I did what anybody would do and recut them.

Ha! Don’t be daft. LAZY and SLAPDASH, remember – I just paired up the ones which were most similar and sewed them all together hoping that the magic of stitching would somehow even them up.

And, do you know what? It almost worked. I certainly ended up with something I can wear. Though I am not going to put my middle aged bod in underwear out on the webz.

satin slip 1

Unfortunately black satin does not photograph particularly well, but this does look better on me than it does on my tailor’s dummy  (it would probably also look better properly pressed, but I think I have made it clear already that I am not careful and painstaking).

satin slip 2I did take the time (4 episodes of the Office) to handstitch the bodice facing and the hem

satin slip 3(pretty neat stitching, if you can make it out!)

But we all need a break from lazy slapdashery sometimes.

I was going to make the rather charming knickers from this pattern, but I would not ever wear them and as bias-cut satin is a royal pain in the butt to work with I am not going to put myself through that. (I also feel that I probably do not have a 30′s evening gown in my near sewing future.)

In summary, this is actually a reasonably simple pattern, and I might one day get around to making it up again in a light cotton or something slightly easier to work with, but in the meantime I am going to try drafting my own slip pattern based on one I own. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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17 Responses to Vintage slip – Monthly Stitch challenge

  1. Pingback: Vintage pattern challenge – black satin slip | The Monthly Stitch

  2. wow, biased AND satin, I get sweaty from the mere thought of it! It looks really, really nice on the pictures. really. lucky you! and the pattern cover is to die for. I always think I should hang them on the wall

  3. char83 says:

    I have this pattern at home too. I haven’t made it yet but actually just bought some fabric for it. Your black slip looks great.

    • rachsews says:

      Ooh – what kind of fabric are you going to use? I think it would be lovely in a lawn or lightweight cotton!

      • char83 says:

        I had picked up a stretch silk charmeuse. So it will be as tricky as your fabric. I may wait until I get a better sewing machine before making it up. I think my sewing machine may dislike my fabric choice.

      • rachsews says:

        Oooh – good luck! I did do some hand-basting on this before machining it, which is something I would never normally do, but felt it necessary with something this shifty!

  4. nishi says:

    Wow! I am very impressed! Bias cut satin really really sounds like a total nightmare to work with and it looks like you did a great job! I think I am far lazier than you – I have never even considered making undergarments so you are already a good few steps ahead of me…!!

    • rachsews says:

      Thanks, Nishi. I am totally in awe of all those people out there making their own bras and knickers! I quite fancy giving it a go, but there always seems to be something else to make first…

  5. Amy says:

    I always cut out my vintage one-sized patterns. The first one I ever bought off of Etsy was already cut, so I figured that’s what everyone did. I had no idea the community would disown me over it! Hahaha! Great slip, by the way.

    • rachsews says:

      I think that if a vintage pattern was used by its original owner there is a good chance it will have been cut out – my mum and my grandmothers would never have thought of tracing a pattern – and I still wouldn’t bother with a modern big 4 pattern.
      So we can always pretend they were like that when we got them if the vintage pattern police come knocking!

  6. Zoe says:

    Love the slip and great job with the bias cut satin! I’m currently waiting for a vintage pattern to arrive in the mail for my monthly stitch contribution :)

  7. Pingback: Running before I can walk | Is it fitting?

  8. Gjeometry says:

    Just lovely! And, yes, I would have omitted the zipper, as well. I don’t really want to much hardware on my underthings. So, how did you end up grading it down? I have so many patterns that require grading down and for my Monthly Stitch Vintage Pattern, I photocopied it down smaller.

    • rachsews says:

      Haha. Grading is really not the word! I guesstimated how much I needed to lose and made a fold that size in the pieces, then folded the edges to smooth out the lines! It worked, though, cos I wear it a lot!

  9. My Sewing Suite says:

    It turned out well. I recently tried to make a bias cut slip from a 1930s pattern. I agree about the zipper. Many of the 1950′s slips were designed that way and being zipped into a slip does not seem that comfortable. Good luck with your next one.

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