Friday, April 7, 2017

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Sewing Vintage Lingerie - Am I Crazy?

French knickers, 1920s, The Met 1986.532.2a-c
There comes a time in the fashion evolution of every vintage gal where the mind turns to vintage undies. This may happen early on or it may happen later, depending on the styles and decades you love.

In my case, it's closer to the tail end of my retro metamorphosis. I've had a rather casual and long conversion to vintage style. I've always been interested in vintage style undies but I've never had good luck with them, so my day-to-day underpinnings remain modern.

I'm not *bothered* by modern underwear under retro clothing, but I am *interested* in "the real deal." I've always been interested in historical experience - it's why I'm into historic costuming of all centuries - so I would like to try 1920s, 30s, and 40s from the skin out.

Vintage lingerie isn't easy to find. Repro brands tend to focus on 1940s and 50s (What Katie Did, Secrets in Lace) and I've had bad luck with fit; small brands with 1920s and 30s offerings are out of my price range. Originals are a no-no for me. So......the natural inclination of a crafty girl.....let's make it ourselves.

A reproduction 1920s slip by TheDecoHaus on Etsy

I have a fear of sewing with fine fabrics like charmeuse, but I'm also interested in lace insertion and finishing tricks, and how rough lingerie can sometimes be on the inside. It's both fine and functional sewing.

The good news is that there are lots of vintage lingerie patterns available, whether original patterns, pattern diagrams, or PDF print-at-homes:

1930s brassiere and tap pants from LadyMarlowePatterns on Etsy
An e-book for making your own 1920s step-in, from MrsDepew on Etsy
1930s Simplicity S605 teddy pattern from LadyMarlowPatterns on Etsy

So I think I'll give it a try. Off to the fabric store!

Have you ever sewn your own vintage lingerie? Do you have any tips or tricks? Warning?
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