Art Deco Boudoir Bra

by brocobelle on August 21, 2011 · 8 comments

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

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– 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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