Okay, Ladies! Let’s talk brassieres! The more vintage sewing I do, the more I hate my bras. The grapefruit shaped T shirt bra just looks all wrong. So, here’s the $64,000 question. What sort of shape do you prefer under your vintage style clothes? Do you go all out for the torpedo shaped bullet bra or is that just too much? I personally like a 1940’s shape, which is right between the grapefruit and torpedo. Sort of like the brassiere equivalent of Goldilocks. Just right! Have any of you made your own bras? Would you buy a vintage style bra pattern? Thoughts?
Lingerie. Underthings. Smalls. Whatever you call them, you can never have enough panties, particularly the amazingly gorgeous variety made by Ohhh Lulu.
January is the perfect time to dig through that underwear drawer, cast aside the sad, tired underpants of yesteryear and get some spanky new underoos into your life. To this end, I’ve got two treats for you to kick off the new year:
Treat for Everyone:
All WeSewRetro fans get 10% off your order at Ohhh Lulu for the next seven days (Friday, January 4th to Friday, January 11th) with coupon code WESEWRETRO13
Treat for One Lucky Winner:
When you win the giveaway, Ohhh Lulu will custom make you a pair of panties in the style of your choice, plus you’ll get a PDF pattern for the Betty High Waist Panties so you can stock up your underwear drawer.
There’s nothing more awesome than having your own custom made underwear to strut around in, so here’s how to enter:
To Enter the Giveaway:
Head over to Ohhh Lulu and decide what style of panties you simply must have then pop back here and let me know which style and why in the comments.
The lucky winner will be chosen on Friday, January 11th. (You can pass your measurements to Ohhh Lulu privately when you win so don’t feel like you have to post a size in the comments.)
The pattern is care of Burda Style magazine, issue 01/12 from their Lovely Lingerie section. And the fabric I used is 100% stretch silk.
The pattern pieces are dead easy to work with but the elastic lace took a while to attach. It is stitched to the right side, turned inside and top-stitched twice. A bit fiddly to keep stretching as you sew whilst being mindful of the slippery fabric but if you take your time the result is very worthwhile.
This is my first time making undies and definitely not my last. They are without doubt the most expensive knickers I own, considering the cost of the fabric and the time taken to make them but undoubtedly the most luxurious and best fitting. And no VPL!!
I hereby reaffirm my allegiance to big pants!
More over at ooobop!
It’s been a very long time since I posted anything on here (or on my own blog for that matter) but I have several projects from the last few months that I’m working on getting photographed and posted.
One of my favorite (and most recent) projects from the past few months is this 1943 nightgown in black silk, trimmed with silk ribbon bows.
I bought this fabric some time ago with plans to make a pair of 1920s/30s combinations, but the company I ordered it from accidentally sent me twice the yardage that I ordered (at no extra charge) so I had to reassess my plans for it. At some point in the last couple of years I came across an original copy of McCall’s 5441. The yardage required was just under what I had of this printed silk, so I decided to make myself a snazzy nightgown for lounging around the house while I grade papers and do laundry, because even those mundane activities deserve a little bit of fabulous, right?
|Couldn’t help sneaking a my darling Bruce into the picture as well.|
It was a very quick pattern to put together. I had the whole thing finished in a day, more or less. It did take me much longer to decide which color ribbon to use to trim the shoulders, but I got it figured out the next day with a little input from my main squeeze. He turned out to be a pretty good color chooser.
Please excuse all the wrinkles. Having just moved everything has been in and out of boxes and bags and I haven’t had a chance to iron anything as I’m still trying to just get things organized. I decided it was more important to get pictures taken than to make sure everything was wrinkle and crease free. The nightgown is ankle length, with a rolled hem at the bottom and the armholes. The neckline is faced front and back and hand stitched. I will admit, I didn’t get the shoulder straps lined up perfectly with the inverted pleats on the bodice fronts, so the bows were partly to camouflage my minor mistakes, but everything is better with bows anyway. It took me forever to decide what color ribbons to use, but my sweet Mr. S. decided the lavender and copper were the best of the bunch and asked why I couldn’t use both. Good question. Both it is then. I think he did well.
Other than the gentle shaping in the pattern pieces themselves, the inverted pleats at top and bottom in the bodice fronts and the self-fabric waist ties are the only real shaping to the nightgown, which keep it looking just tailored enough while still being very comfortable. The silk itself is a dream where comfort is concerned as well. It’s so soft and feels light as air since it’s such thin fabric.
As far as the pattern itself goes, as I said it was a very easy pattern to put together, and while you may or may not be able to get hold of an original copy, Evadress has it available as a reprint in multiple sizes. I haven’t used the jacket pattern yet, but I’m sure it’s not too much more complicated than the gown. Being silk, it took a lot of pinning, but the pieces fit beautifully and the construction was very straightforward. The waist seam is top-stitched, I hemmed the armholes and bottom with my rolled hemmer on my Featherweight, and did all other finishing by hand. As the copy I have is a size 12 (just a tad too small for me) I added a little at the side seams, but this was done very easily without requiring any alterations to the pattern pieces themselves. I think this pattern would work up really well in a very light cotton as well, for something a little more practical perhaps.
The nightgown didn’t use up all of my fabric, however, so I had to find something else to make and decided to try out the Pauline bra pattern I’d had sitting around for months. I was, as usual, impatient and didn’t make a muslin, but it turned out pretty well for a first run through.
I ended up with a little bit of wrinkling in the left side of the bias band, but other than that I didn’t really have any issues. The top edges are faced with a bias strip and hand stitched, and I made a matching bow from the silk ribbon I used on the nightgown to trim the center front. I used the findings I had cut from an old bra to finish the closure and straps. I really could have taken a tad out of the center back to accommodate the bra hooks, but it still fits pretty well, while perhaps not quite as snugly as I would like. This may also simply be a function of the fact that I generally wear much more structured bras. It’s really comfortable all in all though, and great for hanging around the house when I don’t want all the extra elastic and wires. I generally wear a 32C and this fit pretty well straight from the pattern, which says it is for a 34 inch bust.
I still have some of this silk left, even after the nightgown and bra, so I’m going to make myself a pair of silk knickers (with bows also of course) to use up the last of the scraps. Hopefully I’ll have those together in the next couple of weeks so I can get them on here as well.
I had a revelation this summer. Where do all my panties go? They are worse than socks for going missing in the wash! Me being me, I, of course, went straight to the internet to hunt up some cute vintage pantie patterns. I was thrilled when I found this 1970
Sew Lovely bikini pattern. I was never going to buy panties again. I think these are just as cute and stylish as the over priced ones I was buying at the mall. They are made from hand dyed bamboo stretch knit fabric, black net mesh with red swiss dots, and black picot elastic. The best thing about them? They are so easy to make!
Hi all and happy new year! My resolution this year is to start making my own bras and matching underwear. I have no experience in this type of sewing at all and I am hoping some of you can recommend any patterns and sewing books/guides that you have found useful. I’m a huge 1950’s fan so I am interested in making my own full briefs and perhaps garter belts. I like long line bras but want to make something not too pointy. But anything that you can recommend would be useful – I’m sure if I can get the basics down pat first then I can progress to more retro styles.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hello! Wanted to pop in and share my latest project 🙂
Autumn has me dreaming of pretty 1950s frocks a la Funny Face, but first I thought I needed to address proper foundations to help the silhouette. Since my last petticoat met an unfortunate demise at the paws of our two felines, it was time to re-address the petticoat question. I had previously made over a 1980s prom dress from a thrift store find into a 1950s skirt, and I was never too happy with the shape. I pulled it out of the closet as the perfect candidate for a make-over. I cut it apart, and with the addition of some solid black taffeta, I had enough fabric to use the pattern I had in mind.
The pattern I used for this project was Simplicity 4137, a vintage pattern from 1953. Mine is missing a front cover, but here’s the illustration image from the instructions:
I made view 1. This pattern was EASY and was pretty fast to sew! It probably took me under 4 hours to sew, and I wasn’t moving fast.
I also have to add, in case any of you are thinking of making up this pattern, that the tulle underlay was NOT originally included in the pattern or instructions. I just wanted extra fluff, so this is the piece that was cut straight out of that 80′s prom dress, just trimmed down at the top and added at the bottom of the petticoat yoke. I think it does the job really well, and I’m also quite pleased at the extra body given by the taffeta! Below is an inside-out shot in case any of you are interested in attempting a similar project:
So that’s it! My latest little sewing project. More on blog Wearing History.