Art Deco Boudoir Bra

by brocobelle

in Vintage Sewing

One of my 1930s needlework books (from my ever expanding vintage craft and sewing library) had some very basic instructions for making a bra out of a hankie. I decided I would use an original Art Deco silk crepe hankie and some ribbons from my ribbon box to have a go. There was a lot of improvising – the only instruction that seemed to be precise was to make a 2″ dart – and with a lot of pinning and checking on my (size 12) mannequin, I finally got there with the delicate taupe and cream creation above. I was glad to have a couple of little ready made bows that matched, but when I make this garment again I am going to ensure I have toning ribbon flowers prepared (can feel a shopping trek to VV Rouleaux coming on already …). Plus, I will make longer ribbon ties for the back and am going to try it with gathers instead of a dart as well as experimenting with different size hankies. No cheeky comments about extra large men’s hankies, please!!
Below is the diagram from the sewing book plus a couple more views of the bra.
If you want to read more, I am Karen (brocobelle) in the contributors’ list to the left or click my link here brocobelle

This post was written by...

– who has written 13 posts on

I love vintage needlecrafts; live in the English countryside & enjoy local auctions and thrift stores. Sell vintage & handmade online & at vintage fairs.

brocobelle's posts / brocobelle's website

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dilan Dilir August 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

it´s cute!


Molly August 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Lovely, the fabric looks just so art deco! If I recall earliest, simple bras were made from this method, I didn't think it would look so elegant!


JennySlash August 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

That's adorable and the fabric is so perfect!


brocobelle August 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Glad you like this, I am going to make some more using different size & coloured hankies to continue the experiment! K.


Clio August 24, 2011 at 11:04 am



The Creative Miss W August 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm

That's really pretty! maybe you could do a tutorial on how you did it.


brocobelle August 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

Yes, I am gradually putting together instructions for various projects on my blog. Also, I hope to demonstrate making this (& some other make do & makeover garments) at the Discover Vintage Festival in York next April – will keep you posted!


Inkdork November 7, 2011 at 11:03 am

This is darling! And so simple, looking at the diagram! Maybe I’ll give these a try soon.


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