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 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.
Right, 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.
So 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:
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.
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).
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.