Friday, December 12, 2014

Sewing Your Own Retro Lingerie: Are You Into It?

As you may know, last year I released a lingerie pattern with Butterick for a vintage-inspired knit slip, cami, and panties.

Since then, lingerie has been on my mind: sewing it, researching it, shopping for it. My Butterick pattern was easy to sew and super simple. A big part of me wants to go deeper into the whole subject: more complex designs, more authentic retro styling, more lingerie knowledge for everyone! I love the vintage-inspired designs from Gossard (see the Retrolution collection at the top of this post), What Katie Did, Dita Von Teese, Agent Provocateur, and Kiss Me Deadly--to name just a few.

Agent Provocateur Abby Basque
What Katie Did Valerie Cathedral Bra
Dita Von Teese Star Lift collection 
I suppose this post is an informal post of sorts. Do you share this interest in sewing retro lingerie, readers? How into it are you: would you make your own slip? Your own bra? Your own corselette? Would you buy a whole book on the subject, or maybe just an individual pattern?  

If you are interested in sewing lingerie, what has stopped you up to this point? Difficulty finding patterns, notions, and instruction? Lack of time? Fitting concerns? 

I'm so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. Several years ago, I brought up the idea of writing a lingerie sewing book, but there's always been a concern that it's too much of a niche topic. What do you think? 

107 comments:

  1. I've recently become interested in sewing lingerie, but it's still intimidating to me. So much of it seems to require specialized items that aren't readily available where I am, plus many patterns seem to rely on a serger.

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    1. I have a lot of vintage books that include sewing lingerie and you certainly don't need the gadgets!

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    2. Thx for the post - I will love to see a lengerie books

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  2. I love your books and blog (though I don't comment) and would love to see a lingerie book. There are not enough lingerie books out there, IMO. I have made bras in the past and am about to take an online lingerie sloper-making course. I would love to know more about retro lingerie. I think there are many women who are intimidated by the thought of making their own, but shouldn't be. It's so nice to have pretty things that fit better than store-bought and are much more affordable (if willing to put in the time). Please consider a book!

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  3. I would gladly purchase a book on the subject. Sizing issues and lack of knowledge have prevented me from tackling the projects so far. I have trouble with bras because of my small band size and large cup size. I don't feel confident that I would be successful making my own lingerie yet, but I'm definitely interested in learning more. If I could get a book like those you've already created that explores lingerie I'd be very, very happy.

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    1. I would write exactly the same comment. :)
      So you can count +1.

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    2. Me too. I already own a bra making book, but my attempts have failed because of my size (small band and large cup - 30H). I can't seem to find a pattern that comes in my size, or instructions on how to alter it to my size. If you include either of those, with fitting advice, I'd be all over it! I'd also love if it included patterns to make lingerie like basques and bustiers sized by bra size, because I've never seen a pattern for that, and ready to wear doesn't carry my size!

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  4. I also would buy your lingeriebook, even though it is in English and that is not my native language. I have already one of you're books and ik love the detailness you put into the writing. When i can pre-ordering it now and that will help you decide.... I love books more than just the patterns

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  5. A book would be amazing! I don't think it would be niche now.

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  6. Gertie, lingerie sewing is really on trend and growing right now. You should totally do a book. I love your Butterick pattern, but it just wet my appetite and now I need some serious lingerie sewing.

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  7. I wish I could...

    I'd like to sew mine because I usually can't find beautiful lingerie in my size. But I don't have much money, and I think those fabrics that are stretchy and blinky must be too expensive. I also don't think I have the skill to do that (I'm a beginner). Lingerie has so much different pieces...

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  8. I would love to, but alas, I've yet to find underwires in my size--apparently if you're above a D cup you're expected to just rip your underwires out of your old bras to make new ones. :C

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    1. Any of the lingerie suppliers that I know of have large underwires, they are just usually numbered according to the band size of the B cup, so you order the sister size you need. Sew Sassy, Fabric Depot, Bra Essentials, Bra Makers Supply all have underwires that go to fairly large sizes.

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    2. My interest in this stems from my desire to wear bras WITHOUT underwires, but as a 34EE, I can't find them anywhere (frankly, it's hard enough finding bras that fit, let alone ones that are appealing or meet my likes in a bra). I don't mind a little boning under the arm, but I can't stand underwires.

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  9. Sewing lingerie involves not only a great pattern, but a great understanding of fitting, fabric and tons of supplies, infinite patience and great taste. I've been sewing for 20 plus years and don't think I'll go the lingerie way. Too complex and expensive if you want to sew something like Ditta or Agent P. Not for me, thanks.

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  10. I enjoy sewing my own lingerie. I mostly buy up vintage bras that fit, take pattern from them and make copies. I've been lucky and found 2 vintage longline bras, one from the late 50's/early 60's I think, the other has the shape of a bullet bra, but not quite as pointy. I own quite a few vintage bra patterns as well, but I find them hard to fit properly. I suspect that some of it has to do with building experience with what type of pattern/bra flatters your figure. For me bra patterns relying on darts for shape doesn't really work.

    I've considered sewing girdles as well, but haven't gotten around to it yet. The same goes here. I've bought up vintage girdles that fit, and will use them for patterns. I had always wanted one of the boned hight waist girdles that fastens with heavy duty hooks and eyes and got hold of one last year. Turns out it's really stiff and uncomfortable. I'm glad I found that out before taking the time and energy to make one. In my opinion the best girdles are the pull on ones made for gentle shaping and support.

    Rather a long comment, this, but yes; if you put together a book on vintage lingerie sewing including patterns, fitting instructions etc I would be interested. Especially if you include information on what types of bras work well for different body types.

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    1. If you feel that darts in a bra don't work for you, you might want to consider a 3-pc cup for shape. As someone with a large cup size, I find these fit better for me.

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  11. I think bra and lingerie sewing is becoming very popular right now! Gorgeous, vintage-looking lingerie like this would be very excited to see as either single patterns or possibly a book.

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  12. i've noticed increasing numbers of bloggers talking about sewing their own lingerie and the orange lingerie book seems to be popular. i reckon it would do well!

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  13. I make corsets and girdles using historical patterns and vintage ones. Try the Jill Salen books for some inspiration. ;)

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  14. I read that the bra making class is Craftsy's #1 seller. I think that you were just a bit early with your book idea and now's the time.

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  15. I started making my own corsets in 2014, and I love that. I would dearly like to see a book on lingerie that gets deep into the really pretty stuff and leaves the endless simple slip and jammie patterns alone. (A shaped slip made out of woven fabric would be nice). No knits, outside of undies.

    A lingerie book that showed me exactly how to make what Dita up there is wearing, or something similar? I'd buy that in a hot second. Yet another "look, I attached a doily from the thrift shop to a cheap slip and dyed the lot to match!" book? No.

    I think that a book that challenged your readers would be more interesting to read. And the research for the book might make good blog material

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    1. That doily comment cracked me up! You're absolutely spot on. I hired a book from the library which promoted itself as a definitive book of lingerie patterns...it was really more like 'sew lace trim on your singlet'! 'How to rock the skanky 90s look with a doily bra!' Etc.

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  16. Yes please. I really want to sew my own. It is one place I think you really get the cost benefit on the end product!

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  17. I've been interested in learning corsetry, I've been turned off by the flimsiness of the offerings in pattern catalogs. These curves need support and if I'm gonna go to the work to make a true structured piece I want high quality materials (like spiral steel boning, not the plastic stuff at JoAnn's). I think there is a place for this to be explored, whether by book or some other means.

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    1. There's an excellent book on corset-making: The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners by Linda Sparks that you might find helpful. Most of the costumers that I know use it.

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  18. I have sewn a few bullet bras for myself and found it fun and satisfying, and way more affordable than buying vintage reproductions. I would definitely be interested in a book on the subject of vintage lingerie, and I think plenty of girls are going to agree. I think patterns for individual pieces would also be a great idea, and would probably be good sellers, because sometimes people don't want to buy a whole book when they only want to make one or two different things, especially if they are already experienced. I am more interested in things that are more true to the vintage pieces they are based off of, like cotton bullet bras... not a huge fan of knits or underwire. If you were to write a book, a good balance of true vintage type pieces and those that are more "wearable" and modern but vintage inspired would have something for everyone.

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  19. Puh-LEASE make more patterns or a blog series or book about sewing retro lingerie! I have no experience with sewing lingerie, but I'm looking into it, as reproduction vintage lingerie is so very expensive. It would be so amazing if you went further into it!

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  20. I think a book would probably do well. My interest is piqued, and I did buy your pattern. I am a bit intimidated by advanced lingerie, but a book that had projects for varying skill levels or projects that built your skills as you went along would be interesting. I always look through books before buying to see if there are enough projects I would actually make. If there are only one or two, I don't buy it, but if I am interested in half or more, I often do--or if I feel that the book is a good reference with information that I can't get elsewhere, then it seems worth it. I do think this topic is on trend and will still grow some, and more information is definitely helpful. I haven't decided if I will plunge in or not, but I've been looking into making lingerie. Love your pattern, by the way.

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  21. I would love a book and pattern! I love 40s style bras (and things without underwires), but I'm intimidated by the fit issues. I don't really understand how to alter the fit of a bra cup, and I could even use knowledge on how vintage bras are supposed to fit in the first place! I have one, but I'm not sure it's actually correct, since the old, more pointed styles are very different from today's bra fit.

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  22. I've been sewing my own lingerie for a few years. I LOVE Dita Von Teese's line of lingerie and would love to see you create patterns with her aesthetic!! I like that her stuff is retro but lots of it is very wearable. Cute garters, saucy bras and undies. The particular one you post here I see as 3 patterns that would be easy to sew up for me. I'd love to see more patterns with vintage appeal but functional for everyday wear and some that are nice for special occasions. Maybe a touch of corsetry that's not a full on corset? I'd prefer to see contemporary shaping on the bra cups. Something a little more advanced then say a soft cup bra with little detail would be great. Lingerie sewing is becoming a hot topic in the sewing world at the moment and it would be so nice to see it flooded with beginner patterns. Give us something beautiful and a retro, I know you will! If you plan to use this as a spring board for actually teaching lingerie sewing, I would imagine lots of folks new to it would enjoy anything you put out be it beginner or for the more advanced. I am excited to see where this is going.

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    1. I mean it would be so nice to NOT see it flooded with beginner patterns.

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    2. Yes to all of this. Maybe a pattern for a Dior-inspired "Waspie" could be a nice introduction to corset-making for those of us not ready for a full-on corset.
      It would be nice to see a book on this subject, with the same attention to detail that your first two books have, and with a variety of patterns that go beyond bralettes and tap pants.
      I look forward to seeing how this idea evolves...

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  23. I love sewing lingerie and would love to be able to do more than just the basics but the patterns and notions just don't seem to be readily available :( I buy almost every book or pattern on the subject I can find and would welcome something that covers construction and patterns more in depth.

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  24. I would love to be able to make my own bras, bodies and corsets. I am a rather well endowed lady and being able to make something that fits perfectly and gives me the shape I want for different styles of clothes would be practically invaluable!

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  25. I don't think I would be game to sew my own bras and complex lingerie but I do like the idea of making my own slips and panties. The problem I have is finding suitable fabrics. If I am going to sew my own slips etc I want to make them in luxurious fabrics and laces :)

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  26. I love your aesthetic, I'm sure I would love a (singular, for the moment) lingerie pattern if you came out with it (something like the ones in the first pic?). I haven't tried making lingerie before because of all of the factors you mentioned (fit, sourcing supplies, lots of fiddly details when I usually want a quick make). But so many sewing bloggers are posting about their bra makes lately that it's making me think I could probably do it, too.

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  27. Oh my would I!! I've taken the craftsy bra making class and got the kit but I so want to just make all my undergarments. The right fabric and elastic is somewhat confusing. If I'm making plain cotton underwear am I using a four way knit? If I'm making something in a shape wear is power net the right thing to use and what do I pair it with or is the whole garment made from that? See...so many questions and that's just the tip of my iceberg.

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  28. Thanks Gertie! I'm interested in sewing my own bras and a corset, but I've been blocked by this feeling that the supplies would be overwhelmingly expensive, or something like that. That's silly, since I tracked down some tools and it was hardly more expensive than sewing, but I still have a mental block. I'm also worried about screwing it up; I feel like there's much less of a fudge factor with a bra.

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  29. I'd buy a book on it! I've always wanted to sew my own undies and bras and such, but am intimidated by lack of knowledge and how to find the best supplies. I made corset once and would like to make more. I'd be more likely to buy a book than a series of patterns.

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  30. Hey Gertie,
    It's something I've always thought about and sewing swimwear a my clothing construction course was one of my favorite things I did, but I think there is no biggest hurdle as opposed to a collection of smaller ones. Patterns are had to come by short of cutting up your best fitting bra, notions are easy enough to find online but price can be an issue, proper cute elastic is rare but mostly it's the machinery, a lot of pro made lingerie requires gnarly machinery to get that finished look.
    Regardless, I'd still love a book on how to do it as pro as possible using regular domestic machines, There are some cute, satin woven ideas out there that need to happen!

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  31. I've sewn my own bras before, what turned me off was not finding a good pattern for multi-Ds, and feeling like I was wasting time/materials - my first 2 bras were never right, but the 3rd one always was. Also, I wasn't able to find the kind of supplies I was looking for (again, DDD needs actual support, thin stretch fabric just doesn't cut it!). In theory, I'd LOVE to sew lingere, but supplies (patterns, fabric, notions).

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  32. Yes! Please! I'm a 34F and my options for beautiful lingerie (to buy or make) are limited. I would love patterns for structured, supportive, yet beautiful garments. I would love a book or individual patterns, but would certainly purchase a book.

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  33. Sewing lingerie seems to be on trend right now! I've started taking baby steps into it but nothing complicated! A book would be amazing I don't think there is enough books or patterns out there! So there is a market worth tapping into.

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  34. I would deeply appreciate a book on vintage styled lingerie sewing! I hate shopping for my undergarments! It is so awkward, besides the fact that I can never find bras that fit me correctly due to my medium sized bust and "small" band size.
    I have considered sewing my lingerie and I know that I will someday, but at this point it is SO overwhelming that I chicken out before I even start. With all the notions, fabrics, and patterns out there, I am scared out of my wits to begin. It is rather hard for me to want to sew lingerie that very likely would not turn out, due to my ignorance. If I had a book similar to your other sewing books that included a comprehensive glossary discussing all the different components of lingerie sewing, and some lovely patterns I would be so extremely grateful!

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  35. I just started sewing bras, with the help of Craftsy class by Beverly Johnson, of Bra Maker's Supply. I would love to know and do more but the availability of supplies and patterns on my size have deterred me a bit. A book about making retro lingerie would be amazing!

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  36. Gertie, you are a great teacher and are clear in both written word and video. I would love to see a book with CD about bra-making - maybe not JUST vintage? - by you! They are few and far between so far, but I can see that it is already a trend happening in the many blogs I read.

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  37. I am interested in sewing the kind of vintage lingerie that makes me feel glamourous but is not too difficult. I remember someone on We Sew Retro did a stunning brunch coat last Christmas that was very popular. That is the kind of pattern I want. If you did an everyday glamour book of lingerie, I would have that on preorder as soon as possible.

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  38. I would love a book on sewing lingerie. I love the idea of sewing my own bras but haven't tried it yet.

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  39. Yes Yes Yes. I sew my own bras for the best fit. The gorgeous lingerie lines don't come in my size as I am a little more buxom than their sizing :-) I would definitely sew my own vintage inspired lingerie. Very excited that you are heading in this direction.

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  40. I'd be very interested, but very few commercial lingerie/bra patterns come in my uber-busty size (I'm a G-cup), and while I can FBA most regular garments, the idea of trying to do that large of an FBA on a lingerie pattern is really intimidating. If you made it in my size, I'd buy it.

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  41. Yes, yes, yes! I'm "curvier" than I was when young, and a lot of the lingerie available doesn't suit me at all. I bought your slip pattern so that I could make a slip that skims those curves, instead of clinging to them (I'm looking at you, Jockey). Commercial undies are too long in the rise (I'm 4'11"), and my 36F bras cost $56/each in the shop that is 21/2 hours away from my home. I'd certainly buy another of your books.

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  42. Yes. Please. Want more lingerie patterns and books! Love your sewing books!

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  43. nope too cheap and easy to buy it

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  44. I would definitely like to learn more. I do believe its difficult to find some good information and food patterns. I recently purchased your pattern from butterick (can't wait to make it) and it would be awesome to see a book from you. I hope you go for it.

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  45. Yes! I also wish you'd bring out your kits for your slip pattern again (I really want to make one!), as I'm not sure about finding the correct notions and fabric and how to go about it. That's the scariest part for me, I think. I'm not sure I'd want to make my own bras (not yet, anyway), but who knows where I"ll be later on? I'd definitely give a book a read if you made one.

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  46. Yes please! Maybe even individual patterns rather than a book? And with kits in your shop. Anyway the time is definitely right for lingerie sewing. A retro approach which isn't just two cloth triangles sewn to some binding would be refreshing :)

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  47. I love the idea of it, and I did buy your pattern, intending to make a slip, although it hasn't happened yet. I think the problem is the cost and lack of availability of supplies - I don't mind buying some stuff on Internet, but fabric needs to be touched, and colours checked, especially matching fabric to lace and ribbons etc. So, that's probably a no from me, although it sounds like you have lots of 'yeses' .
    Maybe it's because these days I don't have a man in my life to appreciate the results (nor a body like Dita, sadly!) that's not to say I don't wear nice underwear for myself, cos I do, but I don't think I'd be willing to put all that effort in! I WILL make the petticoat one day though x

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  48. I think a lingerie book is needed in the marketplace but to confine it to retro would not work for me. I've worn those garments. No, thank you.

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  49. A book would be lovely but in that case please take us large-breasted ladies into account too. (I mean like double-Gs like in my case, and even bigger.) We cannot often wear the same bras that women with smaller breasts do, because the patterns just don't work after a certain amount of mass. :P

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  50. I would definitely be interested, especially in a detailed section on bra-fitting, but only if the sizing options are widely varied. I know I was surprised when I figured out my real bra size (how could they be THAT big?), and it's a challenge to find bras that fit! Maybe incorporating drafting instructions vs specific patterns?

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  51. I too have become obsessed with lingerie sewing (more exact authentic foundation pieces).... To be honest what has held me back most is sizing and not understanding the information presented in the texts currently available(Oh and lack of a serger, come on santa baby lol). I have to grade every pattern I sew as it is and coupled with something that's already so scary discourages me. I'm a curvy plus size girl (sz 18 us) and foundation under my vintage outfits is so IMPORTANT, I would love to know more about constructing my own.
    Are you taking any sew along request from casual wear yet??? I need help!! P.S You're so awesome!

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  52. I'm actually in the process of sewing my own bras but I am one of the unfortunate ones where RTW bras do not work for me. I have a 20" difference between my bust and underbust measurements so RTW lingerie companies do not make a cup size that large. Been working on my bra pattern for four years now. It's almost perfect (jumping for joy!!!!!). But when this journey is finished, I have already decided to start making my own vintage styled shapewear and undergarments. I would love to read about the different structural techniques used, about the various materials and what designers did to help women achieve the ideal figure of the era. I have acquired three books on bra making and subscribed to several online forums about corsetry but nothing really centers around vintage undergarments.

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  53. Lingerie is becoming a hot trend in the sewing world - especially as more folks are being inspired by the classy looks of old (thank you Downton Abbey and Mad Men!) and finding that today's undergarments just don't cut it. If you want to go full-on retro, the right undergarments are so crucial! I've made corsets for years and I made my own longline for my wedding because nothing I could afford at the time gave me the silhouette I wanted. (Just don't wait until the week before while still building your dress...I had to call my mom to the rescue.) I think a book on retro lingerie would be wonderful and the retro-loving community is large enough, I think it would do very, very well. Definitely cover bras, longlines, girdles and garter belts - they are the big four. ;) Under longlines, one thing that a lot of folks seem to skip is how to properly fit the cup area so that the bra will actually sit against your body and not want to stand away from it at the CF (something I've noticed modern-style RTW longlines often do) - would definitely love to see more tips on this.

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  54. I would love a book on lingerie sewing. As others have mentioned, lingerie sewing seems to be getting very popular now but I think there is still a lack of resources such as books, sewalongs or accessible patterns for complete beginners. I am just trying my first bra at the moment (Marlborough Bra by Orange lingerie) and things are going pretty well so far but I had to look at a ton of different sites to get a good understanding of the fabrics and techniques. Having a book with all that information in one place would be amazing. I found it a bit overwhelming at first, even though I have a lot of clothes sewing experience under my belt. Lots of new fabrics to try and understand, many you can only buy on the internet from websites which look like they were built in 1995! I find Clothing Engineer and Cloth Habit websites are very good for information about bra sewing. I would also like more patterns which are not full coverage cups, lots of the patterns out there have this type of design which I personally don't like. I much prefer demi style cups. Please bring out an in depth bra/lingerie making book - I would buy it in a second : )

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  55. Too "niche"? Vintage patterns and clothing are pretty niche-oriented, and you seem to have an audience/book-buyership! You'd reach a wider audience, of course, if you didn't write exclusively about vintage shapewear (and the title made that plain). I think I'd be interested. A well-fitting bra would be worth the work . . . and cheap lingerie (even if Bali DOES make a bra that actually fits me quite well!) is cheap mostly because it's made by people in third-world countries for low wages. * sigh *
    Um, does anybody else think most of those models need an FBA to their bra cups?

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  56. Lingerie sewing does seems to be 'hyped' right now, but I'm still in search of a good vintage pattern. And perhaps a decent manual, that's why I would care more for a book than a pattern. For me buying merely a pattern just seems a bit too scary. A good book gives so much more information, when you're feeling a little insecure about certain techniques. And you have different patterns to try, mix and match. You can put me on the YES-list!

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  57. I have the lingerie-making bug! Just simple things at the mo, but you know what they say about practice! Currently loving the book Secrets Of Sewing Lingerie by Katherine Sheers and Laura Stanford- lots of projects for all levels! Would love to see you do one too :) T xox

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  58. I would buy a book, an online course, patterns and whatnot to sew my own retro lingerie!!!
    I've always wanted to do so but the lack of tutorials and patterns (+ instructions) held me back. I'm still, after 11 years of sewing, kind of afraid of all these tiny pieces you need and to get the right fit.
    Also: boning in corseletts or waist cinchers? I would die for a psttern of the latter!!

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  59. I'd be very interested in buying a book on sewing bras and lingerie. If you could see my wish lists on various book sites at the moment you'd see they're stuffed with books on the subject (alas, they are usually out of print or incredibly expensive text books).

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  60. Gertie, how about this for your next book "Gertie sews vintage lingerie", you would have us lined up around the block (so to speak) for this!! You go girl, I know you can do it!!!

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  61. Omg! I have always been into sewing my own vintage clothing and recently have become obsessed with sewing my own vintage lingerie. I think that it's a logical progression since vintage lingerie creates the perfect structure for vintage clothing. Your next book should totally be: Gertie Sews Vintage Lingerie!!!!

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  62. If I could sew I would sew them. It's so hard to find a decent practical bra especially in the smaller sizes and they are so expensive. I think lingere shops all assume that skinny people want fake push-up boobs and I'm not like that...

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  63. If you would write a book about it, I would buy it and try it! I've been wanting to try it out for a while, but it scares me a little...

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  64. I'm actually very interested in sewing vintage slips. Nice good quality slips made with silk :)

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  65. very very interested have bought some patterns already but to have a good resource book with good fitting instructions and resources would be great, not used the patterns yet as been working through a few of your other patterns in your other books. So, yes please bring out a book I'm sure there would be many who would be interested.

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  66. Yes!!! Kits, book, absolutely. Gorgeous photos too!! So much prettier than the everyday stuff that's out there for most

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  67. I have both your books Gertie and I would buy a retro lingerie one just as quickly. I have made a few underbust corsets (with spiral and spring steel, busk, coutil) and would love a book on corsets (over and under busts), LONG LINE BRAS (not shouting just enthusiastic!), a proper bra slip (with built in bra with cups with slip to above knee, all in one bodysuit with built in bra with cups, girdles (like RAGO) and all other manner of retro lingerie. I'm making a custom dress form in 3 weeks and plan to draft a long line bra and eventually make a boned girdle so a book, course or sewalong would be awesome!
    Cheers,
    Mel

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  68. I think the general feeling here is YES! However I want to be very specific as I am a vintage wearer and have specific needs. I need a bra which is strapless, ideally a longline one, adaptable for a narrow ribcage and larger cups. Without darts and without wires. I would also dearly love a good girdle pattern. Another very much needed item is a good underpants pattern which is high in the waist and low in the leg, full coverage in other words. Apart from the pants I would be very concerned about making stuff with mesh and stretchy fabrics as I feel they would be hard to get enough support from them - I would want SUPPORT and I would even require some boning in the cups and for shaping around the waist. Cathedral boning in WKD's designs are ideal. I told you I was going to be specific!

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  69. I would love to see a vintage lingerie book. I took a workshop and made a corset, but I still don't feel confident trying my hand at a bra (though I would love to learn!). The main things that have held me back are: 1. difficulty finding appropriate fabric and notions; 2. difficulty finding patterns and clear information about construction. Like many others here, I have a very small ribcage and larger cups, so I often settle for "good enough" fitting bras. I'd love to have a beautiful vintage-style bra to match my clothes instead of a really expensive, ugly, boring beige one. Beyond bras, I'd like to know how to make girdles, garter belts, and maybe some pretty sleepwear.

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    1. Also, Gertie, I've wanted to let you know that I credit your first book with my transformation from "beginning" to "intermediate" seamstress. The hand finishing skills in that book are the same ones my grandma uses, but I could never get her to teach me...now she is always impressed when she turns my work inside out! It's difficult to find sewing books that teach anything beyond very basic techniques, so thank you for creating a book that goes one step further.

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  70. I definitely have an interest in learning to make lingerie (I'm sure my husband would love it if I did!) So far, the main things holding me back are sourcing supplies, being concerned with how a seamed cup will look under my many knit tops (I always buy the smooth cups in RTW bras), and just getting sidetracked by other projects that I needed more immediately. Though I have to be honest and say that another huge factor holding me back at the moment is that I'm pregnant, and I honestly don't want to invest the time in attempting to fit any undergarment patterns when I have no idea what size I'll end up when this is all over!

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    1. bramakerssupply.com is a great source for supplies. I think they even have a pattern for a nursing bra, if you're planning on breastfeeding.

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  71. A book would be great. I've looked for books on how to sew your own bras and the options are very limited.

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    1. Have you tried barkerssupply.com? Not only do they sell patterns, fabric and kits, they also sell bra-making manuals. Beverly teaches bra-making classes all over the world and has developed a manual that you can get in print or as a CD. I think she's been doing classes on Craftsy, too.

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  72. Retro lingerie belongs in the retro/past unless it can be made more comfortable that it was the first time around. Women are so much bigger now and unless it can address the very large plus sizes it sounds like it may only cater to the smallest of women. It will need a lot of information on support, heavy duty support in some cases and not just focus on the pretty little touches.

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  73. I am interested in a lingerie book. My biggest hang ups with sewing lingerie are the cost of classes ($80 or more) and sometimes the lingerie in books isn't something I want to wear. I saw one book with some retro lingerie that was certainly period accurate but looked a but complex and possibly uncomfortable. Another book was more focused on making lingerie from already existing materials, like take an old tablecloth and turn it into a bra! I was hoping for more camisoles, slips, different kinds of panties, a teddy or two, a corset, garter belts, babydolls, even pajamas. Some different style bras could be nice, too. Those photos you posted are things I would definitely make!
    I have been working intermittently on a slip for myself from my grandmother's pattern stash. It's an early 1950s design with unlined/unwired cups and a gored skirt. I'm using a silky knit leftover from her stash, so my version is several inches shorter by necessity but the simple design offers lots of places for lace and it's got a cool diamond shaped piece between the cups.
    Sometimes I also have trouble finding specialized lingerie items in stores, like lingerie elastic and stretch lace, but Etsy has so many great sewing supplies in their shops and in so many colors, I just search there now to get what I need because I can usually find it. I got the lace for my Gertie pattern there!
    I say, go for it. A lingerie book with pretty, diverse, retro lingerie is needed. At least by me!

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  74. Yes! I would definitely be interested in it. A whole book would be awesome, but individual patterns with thorough instructions would also be great. I've done a bit of lingerie sewing so far (just undies and bras). What's mostly holding me back from sewing more is a lack of good and interesting patterns to work from.

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  75. Yes please! I would buy that book in an instant! I would love to see in-depth instructions on making bullet bras and underwire bras!

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  76. I would sew a slip. I'm most interested in dressing gowns and long nightgowns though, especially if they're available in plus sizes.

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  77. I have been sewing lingerie for a couple of years. I have taken classes to make my own bras and loved them. I just finished taking Burda patterns drafting 8 lingerie patterns. I learned how to make my own bra block and pattern to my size. I found the course lacking in demonstration, straight forward learning materials, and being able to follow the videos precisely. I would love to see a book written for it. I would love to design my own bras and panties. I would love to try a corset. I also have problems finding lingerie type fabrics and findings in my local fabric stores. I have bought from online sources. I say go for it! If you have classes on this I would be the first to sign up. Also, if you need someone to test the products I would love too.

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  78. I'm intrigued by the notion of making my own lingerie and have the Craftsy bra class on my wish list. My primary focus would be pretty and comfortable. And since I live in a region that is hot and humid more than 6 months out of the year, suitable fabric and trims for staying cool would be nice. Oh, one more thing! Is it possible to address how the body changes over time? Now that I'm over 40(6), my lingerie sizes are different than they were in even in my late 30s. It's not just size, but support needs that change. Curse you gravity and Father Time! For the new mommy who posted earlier, congrats, enjoy your baby and remember the changes won't end there.

    It seems to me that the subject of lingerie is very diverse; enough to warrant at least 2 separate books - one on foundation garments and another for nighties, PJs, robes, bed jackets, etc. While I do have some vintage foundation garment patterns in my collection, at least a quarter of my entire vintage collection is occupied by 1930s lounging PJs, 1940s nighties, and 1950s hostess PJs & kimono robes. The "at-home-wear" patterns are some of my favorites, and I have fabric/notions for 1 each of the 5 aforementioned items. (Yes, all 5, including the 1950s hostess PJs. That pattern is Asian influenced with a full-skirted button down dress - long or just below the knee. The daring hostess can leave the skirt unbuttoned so she can show off her ankle-length cigarette pants or capris. If memory serves I got my dark green/metallic gold silk sari fabric from a seller in Thailand along with gold silk dupioni for the pants. My joy would be overwhelming if someone could tell me where to find kitten-heeled "I Dream of Jeanie" slippers like those shown on the pattern model.)

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  79. I would love it, especially if it included wearable shapewear.

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  80. I have two girls with a spandex allergy so I make their clothes and undergarments. As they are growing older I am needing to learn bra making (heading into a craftsy online course-thank you craftsy for responding to my request for spandex free bras!!!) I would love to be able to teach them how to make lingerie when they get older since they will need to make it themselves if they want to have some to wear.

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  81. There are lots of comments about corset-making and I have to say that there are a lot of really good books out there already for this. Not to say that you couldn't make another great book, but corset-making can take up an entire volume on its own. I recommend to most people The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners by Linda Sparks. There is a Canadian company called Farthingales which sells the book, as well as corset-making supplies, patterns, and even does classes.

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  82. I know I am a bit late here, but I would love to sew some lingerie for me, but I would want a really reliable pattern and instructions. I have never done it before, but would be interested for sure. Especially garters, bras, panties, and anything else. I have decided to be more vintage for my curves. :)

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  83. Yes. PLEASE do a vintage lingerie book! I would buy it and buy it for all my friends. LOL! It's an awesome area.

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  84. I love the idea of a whole book devoted to lingerie! The construction of lingerie (even modern day stuff) is so fascinating! I would much rather have an entire book on the subject than just a pattern.. Lingerie is so fussy! A whole book would be encouraging and informative on this somewhat daunting topic.

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  85. I adore the lingerie made by Kiss Me Deadly and others but most do not stock my bra size so I'd be very interested in a book. What's put me off so far is not being able to find a pattern in my size and lack of confidence in fitting. I have lots of the how to sew your own lingerie books that are already out there but find that they focus mostly on camisoles, slips and the easier to construct garments. I'd love to see something with instructions for bras, suspenders, girdles etc. Please, please write one :)

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  86. I like the idea, but if you are not going to include larger cup sizes then what's the point? The average cup size is C, not B, so patterns that go up to at least a DD are what's really needed. Trying to find well fitting lingerie, bras/bustiers for D cups and above that isnt made of foam cups is nearly, if not, impossible. The selection in larger cup sizes is so insignificant that oftentimes we are forced to buy something that doesn't flatter or fit the way it should because that's all that's offered.

    Full bust adjustments on multi pieced bust patterns are NOT fun. For example, I was so excited when you came out with Butterick 6019, because I wanted a bodice with that type of close fit at the bust. I was really dissapointed when i found the cups and full bust to be too small and no straightforward/calculated way of increasing the bust or knowing how to grade those pattern pieces. I'm not picking on you, feedback is important as I and many other women have these issues.

    Since larger cupped women are the ones who NEED patterns for supportive and close fitting lingerie, its not an issue of "wouldn't it be nice" but more of a "Stop ignoring our needs, our dollars should matter as much as anyone elses." Be truly inclusive and realize that women who cant find RTW items like these would happily be your bra pattern customers! I say this as someone who has bought both your books (love them both!) and 4 of your butterick patterns and would like to continue to support your efforts with my dollars if you will address our needs.

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  87. Definitely put off making by the lack of information on how to select things like the correct size underwires for a bra... and getting the right colour bits like elastic to go with pretty bra type fabrics..
    If these things were a bit more simple, I would be into it like a shot!

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  88. If you wrote a book like your others on vintage lingerie/foundation garments/nightgowns, I would buy the hell out of it. Seriously. I want to make some so bad, because vintage clothing looks so much better with the proper foundation garments, but there aren't many patterns, they're really expensive, they're difficult to figure out, etc, so a book like yours with basic patterns and explanations and tips would be AMAZING. Actually now I'm kind of sad it doesn't already exist.

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  89. If you wrote a book on making lingerie and included patterns, I would definitely buy. But, I have the opposite problem of some of the other posters on here, I'm very flat chested. While very large busted women have trouble finding bras to fit, there are women on the other end of the spectrum. I don't have any bras that fit properly, I just make do, or buy bras with mastectomy pockets and wear the little cutlets in them. I would love to make a natural-looking padded bra that fit properly.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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