February has me thinking of the perfect vintage slip.
I am not immune to the beautiful silks that seem to be everywhere in February! Luckily, a vintage slip falls in line with Spring/Summer sewing plans, so I’m very happy to start filling my wardrobe with basic pieces that will be used time and time again.
I decided to take on what I thought would be a rather simple garment- a vintage inspired slip, but as I started with it, the project turned into a pattern drafting challenge. I found a free beautiful Vintage Slip pattern by House of Jo and set down to work.
The pattern itself definitely needed a lot of wrangling, though.
When I sourced the pattern, it didn’t really include any directions, let alone sizes. The pattern designer left minor notes in comments below their original upload so I had to piece a lot together– converting the sizing to inches, deciphering the sizes on the pattern paper, and then going deeper into the directions than the summary. Apparently this slip was originally published in The Vintage Pattern Selector and featured in Sew Magazine at some point, but the online upload was very vague. French seams weren’t discussed, or even straps with bra hardware. Also, this pattern calls for everything to be cut out on grain, but in future iterations I’ll be doing everything on the bias for a better feel. Basically, I took what I learned from my Savannah camisole and applied it here.
Necessary pattern drafting skills:
- Slash and spread
- Repositioning a dart
- FBA on an empire bust
- Manipulating a dart to shift fullness
Thankfully I have experience with the above skills. However, it’s not as if these things are super simple to do since they build on each other and must be done in order. A couple resources I read up on before beginning the entire process include Full Bust Adjustment: Gathered Bodice by Alana at Lazy Stitching and Another Little Crafty Creation: Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) tips.
Still, I love the different lines to the design. Some of the pieces could have been cut on fold (front bodice and back yoke), but I also like how the different seams give it a different effect. Yes, it added more work to the French seams, but they were worth it. Also, stay stitch every curved part of that pattern as soon as you cut it, you’ll thank yourself later.
It was necessary to do some quality control when it came to the silk I used.
I went with a basic silk, but it did involve some testing. Essentially I ended up walking around the fabric store, rubbing fabric against my tights to be certain the garment wouldn’t ride up during wear. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to do that, but if you’re sewing something similar for yourself, putting the fabric under a (reasonable) stress test while you’re in the fabric shop is essential, and for me that was making sure it didn’t ride up.
My favorite part of this reproduction vintage slip is how feminine it makes me feel. I want more of these in every color as soon as possible.
For a vintage slip reproduction pattern, I’m super happy with how it came out! I ended up working out most of the kinks of this pattern on a wearable muslin with some random fabric in my stash.
As I started working on this piece, Seamwork Magazine featured a lovely Behind the Seams of a Vintage Slip so I was able to incorporate some of those details into my slip. I used bra strap hardware I bought from Tailor Made Shop on Etsy, French seams, and lingerie lace I was able to source from a nearby fabric store.
This reproduction vintage slip is the first of my 2016 Vintage Pledge pieces.
While I sew a majority of my items from vintage patterns, I think a “modern” reproduction still counts! I’m very happy that this vintage slip is a good way to practice basic skills and continue to perfect them on basic garments. Neglecting the simple skills can really kill a project and working with lace, french seams, and even learning how to make spaghetti straps can be vital!