Right now I'm working on the "slim, supple skirt" from Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing (VoNBSS). I noticed right away that the skirt is not intended to be lined, so my first instinct was to add a lining myself. But then I thought, "What would a home seamstress of 1952 do?" Why, she'd probably wear a slip under her slim, supple skirt! So, by golly, I will too. You don't even need a pattern to sew a simple half slip. Here's how you can make one too.
-a yard of fabric. I'm using a silk jacquard, but you can use any fabric that you'd normally use for lingerie (nylon, rayon, cotton, etc.)
-a yard of picot edge lingerie elastic (You can order this online at Sew Sassy Fabrics.)
-a yard of lace trim
-a bit of velvet ribbon trim for a bow (optional)
-a gridded cardboard mat or cutting mat (not completely necessary, but will be very helpful)
-tracing paper (I'm using Swedish tracing paper)
-clear plastic ruler
Your pattern will be a simple rectangle. You just need to get 2 easy measurements: the width and height of the slip.
Measure the widest part of your lower body, keeping the tape measure relaxed. Your widest part might be your hip measurement, but for some women, your derriere will be the largest measurement. Add 3 inches of ease to this number. So, if your measurement is 41, you'll get 44. Divide this number in half. Your first measurement is 22".
Figure out how long you want your slip to be. Make sure it's about three inches shorter than the skirt you plan to wear it with. My desired length is 22 inches. Now, add one inch to this number to account for the waistband and the lace application at the bottom. Your second measurement is therefore 23".
So, to make your pattern, draw a 22 x 23 inch rectangle.
I use tracing paper on top of my gridded cardboard cutting mat to make the rectangle. Add a 5/8" seam allowance to the sides only. This is your pattern!
Lay out your fabric and cut two of the pattern. (You might be able to do this with the fabric folded, but because of my measurement and the width of my fabric, I needed to do a single-layer layout.)
Pin the two pieces along the side edges with right sides together, forming a tube. Stitch with a 5/8" seam allowance. Press the seams open, and finish the raw edges in your preferred method (serging, zigzagging, overcasting, pinking, binding, etc.)
Now you'll need to cut your elastic to the right length. To do this, wrap the elastic snugly around your natural waist, or the smallest part of your torso. (You'll want it to stretch a bit. Your cut length of elastic should end up being an inch or two smaller than your waist measurement.) Mark this length. Add 1/2", and then cut the elastic.
With right sides of the elastic together, stitch the ends together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Stitch back and forth a few times to make sure it's secure.
Trim very close to the stitching.
Divide the elastic into quarters and mark with pins. The seam will be the first quarter spot to mark.
With right sides together and the picot edge of the elastic pointing down, pin the quarter marks of the elastic to one raw end of the fabric tube. Start by pinning the elastic seam to the center back of the slip. Then pin the other quarter marks of the elastic to the side seams and the center front seam.
Your elastic will be pinned to your slip in four places, and you'll have a lot of loose fabric.
Now you're going to zig zag the elastic to the slip.
Starting at the back seam of the elastic, use a zig zag stitch to stitch the elastic to the slip. Stitch close to the picot edge of the elastic. You need to stretch out the elastic to fit the slip as you go. Pull with both hands, from the front and back of the fabric.
Trim the excess fabric from the top of the elastic to neaten.
Next, turn the elastic to the inside of the slip. Now use a zig zag stitch again to stitch the elastic onto the slip, having the your needle first catch the slip, and then the edge of the elastic.
Here's how it will look as it's coming out of the sewing machine:
And from the right side:
When you're done stitching, you'll see that the elastic has stretched out. You need to steam it to shrink it back to its original size. (This is my favorite part!) Hold your iron an inch over the elastic and steam the heck out of it. It will shrink up right before your eyes. Amazing!
Now stitch the lace to the bottom of the slip using a very narrow zig zag stitch. Use a thread to coordinate with the lace, not your fabric. The scalloped edge of the lace will meet the raw edge of the fabric.
From the back side, trim away the excess hem fabric, close to the zig zag.
If you'd like to add a bow, stitch it by hand to the center front.
Voila! Your slip is done. Wasn't that easy?
Let me know in the comments if you have questions!