1940s | 1950s | 1960s | Burlesque / Pinup | Lingerie | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

The Great Vintage Bra Debate

By on May 9, 2013
Vintage 1950's Perma Lift

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?

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1970s | Lingerie

My Unmentionables, Mentioned

By on November 11, 2011

I have been wanting to try sewing underwear for a while. Last time I bought some cotton ones with stretch lace at the store, the stretch lace ripped on every pair after the first wash. That ticked me off! I knew I could at least do better than that.

Well, I have come across several lingerie patterns and bra patterns in my thrifting, some of which I have kept, but it wasn’t until two days ago that I happened upon some vintage undie patterns for 10 cents each. There were two patterns for me, and there was even one for my daughter, which I will have in the ready when she graduates from diapers.

So, today, I made these…

I used this 70s pattern…

Image from the Vintage Pattern Wiki

I went by the fabric store yesterday, and checked out the cotton knits. There were prettier patterns, but this is some of the softest cotton knit fabric I have ever touched. I also bought the stretch lace there- the selection was very limited. I had the lingerie elastic; I inherited it from Grandma’s stash.

All in all, they cost me about $3.00, and they are not perfect (a first try!) but they are the Parthenon of underwear- by that I mean I think they will still be around in the next millenium. Who knew my machine had such an amazing and sturdy elastic stitch?

Sewing underwear is a whole new skill set for me. I actually did a sort of muslin (that I botched terribly) in order to get the elastic stitching down. It also required a lot of testing with various needles. I ended up switching between a small ball point for sewing the knit seams and a larger universal for the elastic.

I enjoyed learning to do the stretch lace cut outs. What does that say about me as a person? This is the kind of stuff I dig. Oh well. You just place it and stitch it on the front, and then cut the fabric off of the back close to your seam lines. It’s pretty easy, but I can see how you could apply a similar technique on blouses and dresses for pretty details, say at the neckline.

These are practical undies, and they are a little granny-ish in the thigh area. That’s ok with me, I like my undies a little on the granny side (T.M.I.?) but I may cut them higher in the thigh next time. The instructions were great, and helped me overcome my fear of stitching skivvies. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to give some drawers a try!


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