1930s Lingere: Sweet and very simple

I’m at a happy meeting place of many influences that are feeding into the 1930s Sew-Along with Norma.

First, research for my family history project has my Uncle and I immersed in the 1930s newspaper archives of “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” at the Brooklyn Library’s online Brooklyn Newsstand Archives. We are finding lots and lots of advertisements in each edition of the paper that provide great details about women’s clothing and accessories of the 1930s. Second, Carol of By Way of Thanks has been helping with research into the finer details of clothing construction. Tonight she sent me two scans of pattern drafting instructions for 1930s slips.

I found two vintage pattern envelope illustrations for a very simple half slip and full-slip. These illustrations are right in line with the adverts from “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” during the 1930s. The lingerie was simply cut. Most of the decorative touch came through seaming. Lace was sparingly used. Perhaps because prices had to be kept reasonable in terms of manufacture and retail. I notice that half slips had darts and no elastic at the waist. I think they half slips may have been closed at a side seam with snaps or later in the decade with zippers. Spaghetti straps look like the norm on full length slips. I don’t think they had the kind of adjustable straps slips had later in the 1940s and 1950s.

Since neither Carol nor I have found ANYTHING at all about lining skirts or dresses I’ve decided to take the plunge and make a slip. I do not think the lining fabric I bought, a 100% lining weight polyester, will work well on its own as a slip. I’ve read about Bemberg lining which is satiny and medium weight as being a good substitute for real silk. Otherwise I think a poly crepe back satin will also work. I plan to make the slip in navy blue or black. I do not think a white slip will look best under the blouse and skirt fabric.

Here are the pattern envelope scans:

I might try to drape the slip. I have a very lightweight dotted swiss poly-cotton I have no plans for. I think it would work well for the draping. I find when having to make something close fitted like a slip that is as simple as one of these designs, draping is preferable to flat patternmaking and adjusting for contouring. We’ll see once I get started.

I have a few more weeks to work on the sheath skirt. Slowly but surely making progress each weekend. I’m nursing a cold at the moment so will wait until I’m really back in the groove to resume that work. It’s cold and damp here in Brooklyn. Perfect for a hot cup of tea, a good book or a vintage film. How is everyone in their part of the world? Sewing or hibernating?


4 thoughts on “1930s Lingere: Sweet and very simple

  1. Colds are so miserable – good idea to cheer yourself up with sewing.
    Brilliant that the family history is matching in with the sewing. I think some slips may have buttoned. I can’t think where I have seen – maybe a museum? Think zips sound a bit clunky? ??


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