The under dress lace slip is what my grandmother used to use under her dress in summers. My recollection of her wardrobe is of many above-the-knee sheath dresses and mid-calf off-the-shoulder 1950s cotton dresses. I used to admire the soft crinoline that made up the dress and her lovely matching pearl necklace.
To me, she was the epitome of beauty and strength. A beautiful woman widowed at 40 who never remarried because she was left with 8 kids and a farm to run.
I have pictures of her clothes hanging on a clothing line with wood pegs holding them up. It’s so interesting to see how women’s fashion has changed from that time, even the undergarments.
So I thought I’d share this particular piece of clothing. It’s very easy to make and wear and has been a regular part of a woman’s wardrobe for generations. It is A line-shaped to accommodate an hourglass figure. If you have a different shape you will need to make the required alterations. This under dress slip is especially helpful for a new mother who wants an easy-to-wear nightgown.
I have chosen stretchable lace, but you can use a very loose woven netting or silk/cotton jersey blend for sleeping.
It should not be surprising to you that this is the first pattern in a series I am calling “my grandmother’s wardrobe” my take on the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and ’70s to 90s where I pay tribute to the woman who helped shape who I am today. Hope you enjoy the ride and the modernising of these classic pieces.
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 yards of stretch lace, soft stretch tulle, silk/cotton knit with at least 50% stretch.
- 1 yard of elastic for bra 3/8″ wide or the amount you use in your bras.
- 2 sliders 3/8″ wide
- 2 rings 3/8″ wide
- 1 ballpoint needle
- Gutermann thread to match
- 1/2 to 3/4 yards of deco stretch lace for the cups
Here’s the exact fabric I used on sale at Fabric.com
How To Download The Under Dress Lace Slip Pattern
Use the latest version of Adobe Reader with print settings for Actual Size and Landscape. Print the first page first to test the 2″ x 2″ square to make sure the sizing is correct before printing out all the other pages.
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Fitting Your Under Dress Lace Slip
The first thing you will notice is how short it actually is. It will only just cover your bum. If you want to lengthen it follow the following tutorial.
How To Sew Your Lace Slip
The construction of the cups is very similar to the bralette a favorite of mine because I think it is the perfect undergarment for summer.
Working with stretchable lace brings the difficulty of having a hard time knowing what is the right and the wrong side of the lace. Normally the front side will be shinier and smoother than the wrong side. My best tip would be to not separate the pattern from the lace until you are ready to sew.
The seam allowance for this project is 1/4″. There is enough space to use your overlocker without the need for the knife. I will be using my Bernina 350 Patchwork Edition and using stitch #8 with foot #2A.
Step One: Sewing The Cups
Join the curved sides of the cups. You will make two sets per side.
Joining the seams together, or wrong sides together.
Apply the decorative elastic on top of both layers covering the edge. Do not stretch the elastic unless you are very thin with large breasts. In that case, you need to stretch slightly so the cup can wrap around the breast.
Step Two: Sewing The Body
Sew the sides at 1/4″.
Step Three: Joining The Cups To The Body
You will overlap the cups. Check the pattern and match the middle of the cups with the marking in your pattern.
Pin the cups to the body aligning the sides of the cups to the sides of the body and sew at 1/4″.
Step Four: Adding The Straps
The easy way would be to buy an already made bra strap, companies such as Prim, Birch, Dritz, and Clover carry them in many elastic width.
But for those who rather make your own. I explain this step in the bralette video on our Youtube channel.
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Pass the elastic under one side of the slider, over the bridge, and through to the other side. Sew using a small zigzag.
Thread the ring on the other side of the strap.
Hold the slider facing up with the short end of the strap facing up. Take the free end of the strap and thread through the first hole.
Pass the strap over the bridge through the other hole. This is the end you will sew to the slip front.
Finally, take the small strap and thread it through the ring and sew it to the back of the slip using a small zigzag.
All you need to do it to turn the hem 3/8″ using a small to medium zigzag.
If you feel the slip is too short, you can add a 1 to 3″ stretchable lace to the hem.
It has taken me a few days to finish this post and sew this underdress slip, but I can assure you that you’ll take only an hour to make it. The perfect gift for a new mother.
Years later, as I sit by my window looking at my grandmother’s picture, remembering packing her clothes after the funeral, and looking through her trunks full of lace and silk, I see she was a different woman. For me, she was always sweet grandma, but for some who met her in another time, she was a beautiful, strong, independent, sexy woman.
I guess you never know what’s going on under the skirt unless you lift it. What is under yours? Have you changed so much and have become complacent and comfortable? or are you a daredevil in sheep’s clothing? or have you found a happy medium? Love to hear from you in comments section below.
Until next time, Happy sewing!
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