As part of the Show Off Your Skivvies Challenge, I made a pair of French knickers and a matching pajama top. I got both patterns from Vera Venus, but I mixed genres somewhat. The knickers are based on 1940s patterns and the top is from the 1930s.
I love the patterns but I cut them a bit too small and had to improvise with the lace to make inserts and also make it a bit stretchier. The top is still a bit too tight, but the knickers are perfect!
Also, I had no idea that knickers were once considered a form of undies – I thought they were mostly lounge clothes!
If you’re interested, you can read more on my blog.
French knickers-a.k.a.tap-pants, petti-pants…. whatever you call them I love them, wear them and keep making more. These are my most recent efforts:
As a rule I draft my own patterns and while doing these it occurred to me that there is no reason anyone else couldn’t do it too, to their own measurements. It’s a simple skirt block turned into a culotte block. Cut it out in soft thin fabrics, gussie-up with lace and there you have pretty french knickers. The pattern is also the basis for making 20′s/30′s style pyjama bottoms similar to those I made to go with the 1930′s style top I posted a pattern for on my blog a while back.
So to that end I’ve written a knicker drafting tutorial for the DIY pattern-making inclined. At the end is included how to turn the pattern into an elasticated-waist wide-leg 30′s lounging pj style as well. There is also a brief text-only knicker sewing tutorial that accompanies it. However, in a couple of weeks I’m hosting a full french knicker sew-along for those who’d like more pictorial step-by-step sewing instructions. (If you don’t wish to draft your own I even posted a pattern in two different sizes UK 10&14 (US 6&10))
The lace bow appliqués..fun to do!.. were inspired by an article in 1939 Marie Claire magazine I bought a few weeks ago.
To make them you take a length of lace, tie it into a bow and tweak it about until you like it. Anchor it with a few pins onto your ironing board and gently press it flat. Carefully place and re-pin it in position on your fabric. I used a small straight stitch to sew it on…without basting first. But I will admit basting would have been a good idea; all the pins really got in the way and there is a big risk of breaking a machine needle. A minor miracle but this time I didn’t.