Tag Archives: slip

A slip before breakfast

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I am definitely on a roll. Or perhaps just avoiding other, less fun, projects. Regardless of the reasons, I got up last Sunday, and cut out two more slips from my nylon tricot, finishing one before breakfast.

In my defense, it was a half-slip, and a rather late breakfast.

A half slip is sorta like diet food, I think. All the right elements seem to be there, yet somehow the good stuff is missing. This slip doesn’t exactly make me wriggle with delight, nor does it ooze demure sexiness.

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This is another early Kwik Sew pattern, if you can call a trapezoid with a slight curve over the hip a pattern. I had a bit of a scare when I opened the envelope (I’m very lax about checking through my vintage patterns—I’ve only had one or two severe disappointments, so I don’t feel very motivated to improve my care)—what came out first was a Sew-Knit-n-Stretch girls’ slip pattern and instructions (actually a pattern I also have… I will have to check and see if it has its contents.) Fortunately, KS204 was tucked inside, too. There’s lots of room—it takes up about as much space as a couple of sheets of looselesaf.

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It had been cut to size small, which was fine for me, at least about the hips. Around the waist, well, the pattern sizing is for a 25 1/5″ waist. I haven’t had one of those since I was 15. I added a bit, although it turned out it probably wasn’t necessary. Though the amount of ease seems about right throughout, so maybe it was a good idea.

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The lace is (yet another) stretch-lace from my stash. It’s one I’ve been coddling for years, because I absolutely adore it—and after looking at lace pretty much non-stop for the last few weeks (ok, whenever I was sewing, which once you subtract work and a modicum of family time, is not much), I have to say I really, really, really like this motif even more than I thought I did. Anyway, I’d been thinking I was saving it for the hem of a cami or tee, but when I was digging around for lace for this project, I realized that the elastic is getting that feel. The one where you’re afraid to stretch it because it may not go back again. So I opted to use it for something where the elasticity isn’t key. (And, if it becomes completely misshapen and gross when the elastic dies, I’ve only wasted a few square feet of material. And at least this way I can enjoy it for a short while.)

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While there was not much to the pattern (one piece cut on the fold, identical for front and back), the instructions were nice to have, if only so I didn’t have to actually think about anything. I determined I had enough of the lace to surround the bottom and do a nice “slit” piece up the side; I spent probably more time arranging the lace to get the motifs to match up, as best they could (not being symmetrical) across the top of the slip. The pattern suggested cutting the lace; of course, I wanted to try and trim around my motifs. Which only sorta works since they aren’t symmetrical, but I think I managed to get close enough. Although the sharp, symmetrical top might’ve been more striking.

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I have to admit, my first thought on trying it on was “…. eh.” Not exactly sexy. Give me a full slip any day. And it sits at my natural waist, which is never a good look for me. But I think it will have a place in my wardrobe, and once the clothes are on top the little hints of lace are as much fun as any regular slip.

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Your Grandma’s Slip

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Kwik Sew 717

So if Butterick 6031 is not your grandma’s slip, Kwik Sew 717 totally is. Or at least, your mom’s. Ok, my mom’s. “Designed for knit and stretch fabric, nylon tricot” as the pattern proclaims. I eventually settled on this one out of the several stash contenders for my ivory “vintage” slip. However, I was also determined to use the 2m of lovely wide stretch lace I got at the same time, rather than just making the pattern up as-is. I think I like the result, but it definitely added another layer of complexity to a project that already had plenty of unknowns. First I decided I wanted to use my lace for the cups. This required some piecing, since the cups are one-piece and I wanted the scalloped edge of the lace to follow both the upper edges of the cups. I wouldn’t say I’ve done a lot of lace piecing, but I did a wee bit on Gertie’s slip (and more last summer, by hand), so I felt comfy stretching myself just a little bit more.

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Lace piecing, with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

I cut chunks of lace long enough to overlap at the right angle and cover as much of the pattern-piece as possible. I pinned them in place at the correct angle so the scalloped edge would follow the top edges of the cup pattern piece. I put some tissue paper underneath for added stability, and then zig-zag stitched across the pieces, starting at the top point, to join them.   I quite like it, lining up the pieces and zig-zagging along the edge of this motif or that—it’s kind of like a maze, finding your way across the fabric to where you’d like to end up. Excpept for the part where, on my first cup, I did an awesome job of following the outline of a rose which, it turned out, was on the side of the zig-zag that needed to be trimmed off, leaving some distinctly nonsensical and not-terribly-invisible zig-zags. I contemplated re-doing it, but at this stage in construction I wasn’t sure if I was even going to end up with a wearable garment, never mind a pretty one, and also THIS THING IS TOTALLY SEE-THROUGH NO ONE BUT ME AND OSIRIS IS EVER GOING TO SEE IT. Well, and now half the internet, but y’know.

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See my awesome nonsense zigzag?

I made skinny self-straps, as suggested by the pattern. Oh, and they instructed you to use the bobby-pin method for turning! ACE!

With a bit of alteration, I figured I could make the upper back piece out of lace as well. The slip has an odd back with a curved seam partway down—interesting, and it gave me the opportunity to do some swayback altering, so that was nice, but it’s a bit random, especially since it’s not like the upper back piece is terribly fitted. But it looked nice out of lace.

The fit of the cups was interesting. There are two small darts on either side of a gathered portion along the top. And the sizing is about right for me in a bra (it takes a bit of padding to bring me up to standard pattern bust size), but the shape fits actually much better “au natural.” I do think the sizing would be better in the fashion fabric—the lace is pretty stretchy. A little too stretchy, really, but again. Experimentation and learning.

Back view, with lace panel

Back view, with lace panel

Anyway, once I had the cups pieced and the back cut, I still had quite a bit of lace left over, so I thought it would be a great idea to add a wide lace panel down the front. Gorgeous, right? 20140331-205742.jpg   Well, yes. Aside from the bit where the lace stretched more than the nylon and despite all my careful pinning there’s a bit of puckering that just won’t go away. And the width of the panel seems to alter the drape of the skirt, which isn’t entirely awesome. I’m hoping that the gorgeousness of the lace itself will carry it.

Slip front, imperfect drape

Slip front, imperfect drape, also not positioned on the dress-form terribly well.

Oh, wait. NO ONE’S GOING TO SEE THIS. This is the thing, every time I hit a snag or a problem with this piece, this kept occurring to me. Even if this is the most barely-wearable of wearable muslins, it’ll probably be a usable wardrobe staple. I should maybe also mention that I really struggled with the side-seams for this piece—they kept puckering. Eventually (the third time I redid them!) I stretched the hell out of the nylon tricot while I was sewing and that seemed to do it. The opposite problem of what I’m used to with knits. I should perhaps clarify here that I made this slip entirely on the standard sewing machine (going retro, natch). I used a narrow, short zig-zag (1.5 length, 3 width, if you’re interested) for pretty much everything. The Rocketeer’s manual recommended this, and also topstitching with the zig-zag after as a neat finish on lingerie. Then I trimmed any seam-allowances down to pretty much nothing. We’ll see how that holds up, anyway—it certainly looks nice for now. I wasn’t surprised, being a Kwik Sew, that the seam-allowances on the cups were only 1/4″, but I was a bit startled that the side-seam allowances were only 1/8″. That’s, like, barely there. Seriously. So no trimming was necessary down the sides. (This turned out to be a good thing, since I cut them off and re-sewed three times. I only lost a teeny bit each time.)

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Pieced lace scallop along the hem.

I did a little more lace-piecing along the bottom of the lace strip, to get a nice bottom edge. Stretch lace is not the easiest for this kind of piecing, I think—I could’ve had a bit more tension on my pieced in bit. But, it looks pretty nice, and I don’t know how else I could’ve finished the edge.

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Shell hem.

I played with a couple of hemming ideas—I had originally gotten a “matching,” somewhat narrower lace for the hem, but once I got it home it became obvious that it was much less shiny and much more white than my main lace. Not right. The pattern suggests a lettuce-edge (which is just a tight overcasting zig-zag while stretching the fabric), but I couldn’t get it to work without my fabric scooting to the side, so that wasn’t in the cards. So I settled for a shell hem, once I had looked up the settings on the Rocketeer and played with the stitch length. This fabric is absolutely made for a hem like this, I have to say. I’ve never had such a nice, even result. It’s a bit low-key compared to the crazy lace, but I think it works. OH AND NO ONE WILL SEE IT.

 

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Random detail closeup. You can see my topstitched seamline.

So really, this slip was a learning experience, more than anything else. Practice with techniques and fabrics I haven’t used much. Fun, and weirdly low-key BECAUSE NO ONE WILL SEE IT. I actually want to do it all over again, right away, without the lace, just to see how that compares. And because I’m not entirely convinced the lace will work really well for under the white dresses. Being see-through ‘n all. And without all the fussing with lace-piecing, I think this would be a really quick, easy make.

 

Vogue 8912

I think slips might be a bit addictive, though. Aside from wanting to do this one all over again, I really want to try Vogue 8219 now, but it’s for a bias woven, and while I have a bit of ivory charmeuse kicking around somewhere, I don’t really think it’s enough. I love those seam-lines, though…

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Gertie Slip

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Gertie’s Slip Pattern—Butterick 6031

So I wanted to make a slip. OK, frankly, I’ve needed a new one for a few months now. The beat-up old blue storebought one I have (which I’ve had longer than  I’ve had my husband, having purchased it in the golden age of vintage shopping, aka the 90s) broke a strap not long after Christmas, and I’ve just been pinning it in place for lack of a better option. Because if one wants to wear a dress, in the winter, in Canada, a slip goes a surprisingly long way towards making a ridiculously-not-warm-enough outfit just borderline wearable. Especially when it facilitates the wearing of thermal tights. And I really, really, really wanted to make Gertie’s new slip pattern, because, well, ERMAGERDCUTE. Confession: I really really wanted to make it just exactly like the cover, in black with cream lace. Although I knew I needed a light-coloured slip, badly, too.

Well, Fabricland had absolutely no plain, black, slippery, stretchy knit fabric. They did have the old-fashioned nylon knit (the stuff your grandma’s slips were made of. Ok, the stuff my dying blue slip is made of), but I didn’t think that would work for this particular pattern (I think I was right, by the way.) So instead I walked out with some ERMAGERDCUTE nylon swimsuit fabric, and half a metric ton of black stretch lace. And some ivory old-fashiong lingerie knit, but that’s another story.

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So, you may have noticed how Gertie’s selling kits for her slip? That’s SUCH A GOOD IDEA. Because figuring out everything you need from the bloody teeny text on the back of the envelope is not. easy. I read it fifteen times and still missed half of it. Like the 1/2″ lace for making the front half of the straps. It turned out all right because I found a really nice lingerie elastic I wanted to use for the whole straps, but still.  I did remember the strap-sliders kit. I messed up on the lace pretty badly, but we’ll get to that.

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Once I cut everything out, I decided to start with the briefs, since that seemed a little simpler (and easier to recut if I really screwed it up.) Which, by the way, I did. I wasn’t paying too much attention when I grabbed my lace—I knew it called for a couple of different widths, and just grabbed one wider and one narrower that I liked.

Tanit-Isis Fail.

The wider lace was about 2″ wide. The pattern called for 1.5″. That 1/2″ is a big deal, as you can see above. On the left—great. On the right, um, not quite such a good look. Yes, I sat and picked that out. A frickin’ teeny little zigzag in swimsuit fabric. Did I want to kill myself? Only a little. On the plus side, once I had it all fixed, they fit like a dream; I did lower the front rise about an inch (a personal preference, I think), but the rear coverage was just right.

(PS, any of you who remember my last attempt at lace-trimmed undies, remember how wide I found the crotch after? You will not have that problem with this pattern. Teeniest little skinny crotch ever. Very comfy, although I wouldn’t recommend wearing pads with these. Also, the crotch-liner piece ends up pretty funny looking. Yeah, I also forgot to buy any cotton jersey for that. Fortunately I’m a fabric hoarder stasher and have enough white cotton knit bits kicking around for a small army of undies.)

 

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I like Gertie’s option for using lace for the front of the straps (though I wouldn’t use a stretch lace, and I’m not sure this is specified, and the rest of the lace in the pattern has to be stretch), but I have been lusting after this lingerie elastic since it came in to my local Fabricland last fall sometime. You can just about see, in the photo above, the cool shiny/not shiny designs on it. I like. And clear plastic sliders and rings, because that’s really all Fabricland has. Silver would’ve been perfect.

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Figuring out how to thread a slider for an adjustable strap always takes me a few tries and a lot of looking at an existing bra for reference. I started by sewing the rings on the back (opposite of how Gertie’s instructions have you do them, solely because I didn’t have the ornamental separate front portion of my strap.) But, I managed to get them on and the fancy side facing out. Also, starting at the back makes it much easier to get the strap length right when fitting on yourself. Although that’s not nearly as important for adjustable straps like these, anyway. I sewed my straps in two places, at the top of the lace and where the lace joins the main fabric.

I did the vast majority of the construction (everything but the side-seams) on my regular sewing machine using a zig-zag. The only thing I don’t like is the black zig on the white fabric on the inside—kinda highlights every little inconsistency in stretching, stitch-speed, and trimming. I considered using a white bobbin thread, but that might have shown on the outside unless I fiddled with the tension, in which case the black would still have shown on the inside. So I am sucking up the black. I won’t give a flying anything once I’m wearing it.

 

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Fortunately, the way the pattern is designed lets you swap in pretty much whatever width of lace you like, because you apply the lace then trim away the fabric behind. I had to get more of my “narrow” lace (because that was working much better for most of the pattern), but I was still able to use the wider lace in a couple of places—under the bust and along the hem. I will note—there are a lot of different seam allowances in this pattern—none, 1/4″, 5/8,” and I think maybe a 3/8″ as well. I forgot to double-check and sewed my front cup pieces together with a 1/4″ seam allowance that should’ve been 5/8″. So my top front was too wide for my bottom front. Not figuring out what was going on until after, I just eased this in and went with it (which is easy with such a stretchy fabric), but it means my straps and darts fall just a little wider than they should. Not a big deal for me, but if you had narrow or sloping shoulders I bet it would not be great.

Lace finishing

I had a lot of fun piecing the lace for this. It’s very basic. Overlap the lace in the shape you want. Zig-zag it down. Trim off the bits you don’t want on either side. (Optional: follow the pattern of the lace so your zig-zag almost disappears).

I didn’t do much to tweak the pattern, other than my reckless use of inappropriate lace. I made a slight shortening adjustment to the length between underbust and waist. I didn’t even attempt a swayback alteration on the back (it would essentially have ended up being a wedge taken off the top of the back piece anyway). I did grade out to a size 14 for the back skirt, because I often find the side-seams trend to the back for me (this is another side-effect of swayback, more than the actual size of my butt), and this did help a lot with the problem. To the extent that it is a problem, anyway.

Slip: back view, with lace.

Slip: back view, with lace. If you wanted to continue the lace panel on the back, you could just mark where the front lace would match up with it, sew the lace on top, and trim away the slip fabric behind it.

I really did want to add lace across the upper back, however. As drafted the pattern is kinda coffin-clothes, with all the lace (except at the hem) on the front. I just  removed the seam-allowance from the top of the back piece, placed and zig-zagged down the lace, and removed the fabric from behind. Now, stretch-lace does not make the sturdiest of finishes, as we’ve discussed before, which I’m sure is why Gertie didn’t put it all across the back. For a modicum of extra elasticity, I added some clear elastic right at the join of the lace to the back piece. I also chose to live dangerously and skip the really-skinny elastic supporting the edge of the stretch lace in the front. Probably not a good idea for the longevity of my slip, but I can always add it in later, when I learn the error of my ways. So I tell myself.

 

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So, can I just say, I love this pattern just as much as I thought I would have? In particular, it’s drafted with the perfect amount of negative ease! (For my fabric, anyway.) As I said, I made my usual size 12, and I put it on, fully expecting to have to take in the side-seams (as one normally does with Big 4 knit patterns). NOPE! PERFECT! Snug through bust, easy skimming through the hips. YAAAAY!

It looks better on me

It looks better on me

And if I do say so myself, it looks considerably cuter on me than on my dress-form. The only problem is, it may be too cute to put clothes over top of. In which case I suppose I’ve made myself a new nightie, not a slip. I guess I might just have to make another…

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