February 4, 2015

Those slips...

To be honest, I had my doubts about modeling these here... Slips are underwear after all.
On the other hand, this is the first time I've made slips, I've mentioned them a couple of time already and there was some discussion about slips on the We Sew Retro Facebook group recently.

Well eh... here we go! As you may know, I have, over the past years, made several dresses in thicker cottons and with longer-than-short sleeves. Dresses which can be worn in autumn and in spring and on warmer winter days. If I wear tights or stockings under them, that is. And that, obviously, is the problem. Just about every fabric can stick to hosiery. 
Last year, I made a very plain half-slip for that purpose: A bias cut polyester with an elastic waistband. It sort of did the trick. It just suffered a bit too much from static cling (to the stockings, not to the dresses) and it taught me that I don't like wearing half slips. It's another line at the waist. With the dress's waist seam, the belt and the top edge of a garter belt or pantyhose already in place there, that's just one too many.

So, last week, I finally bit the bullet and made myself some slips. I thought about the versions I've seen on other blogs: luscious vintage style bias cut silk numbers, playful little things with lacey edges etc.
And I thought about what I wanted from these slips: A slippery layer between skirt and stockings which won't show under my dress and won't bother me in any way. It's an extra layer which will be worn over various kinds of bras.

With those requirements in mind, it was obvious that fussy styles were not going to work. I decided to use my body fashion block. A sloper intended for things like swimsuits. I added some ease to it (this sloper has serious negative ease, so reduced that a bit) and a skirt. Because I wasn't quite sure about the shape, I first made a slip using as basic a shape as possible. I used a grey lycra with a shiny stripe which I bought cheaply last year with this purpose in mind.

This one. It proves that the pattern works but I really should have made the neckline a bit deeper. This won't work under most of my dresses. 

So, I made a spaghetti strap version. I wish I could have used the narrow bits of the scallops at the tops of bodice but I didn't have enough of it to get the piecing right for that. Because I sometimes have issues with shoulder straps slipping off, I crossed them at the back.

And then, I made a third slip. This one is to wear with full skirted dresses. The top is the same as the previous one. Below the waist, I let it flare out a bit more until 12 cm lower. The skirt is a half circle of lining material, it's 'waistline' is the measurement at that spot plus some ease. The top is stretched to fit the skirt while serging it on.

All the slips are hemmed using the rolled hem setting on the serger. It took some fiddling to find a setting which would work with the stretchy lycra but once I did, it made for a clean and easy finish.
The lace on the grey slips was sewn on from the top (and I cut away the lycra under it later), on the black one it's inserted and the sides and back are finished with fold-over elastic. The spaghetti straps are bra strap elastic from my stash.

I think these will work, but I have yet to try it out. 
And I hope this post may add some food for thought or some motivation for other people who are considering sewing slips.
In which case I should add a few notes: These were really quick and simple to make because I have a serger and am used to sewing stretchy material with it. I've also made lingerie before so lycra and lace have no particular secrets for me. If this doesn't count for you, my 'easy fix' won't be yours. 
When planning your slip, consider what you want from it and your sewing equipment, skills and experience.


  1. Excellent! As a wearer of slips, I appreciate these so much, and am very glad you showed them. The one with the high neckline may be just the thing for a sweater with a skirt? I'd appreciate a little more detail on the fabric you used - is it nylon lycra? knit or woven? I ask because one sewista I know swears by nylon knit, almost like a lightweight power mesh. So I'm curious what works for you. And, do you generally not line the skirts you make?

    1. I'm afraid I can't give you exact details about the fabric. This stuff is sold here under the name 'lycra' and it's a very fine, smooth knit. The stuff you would use for a swimsuit, although what I used for these slips is a bit too thin for that purpose. It doesn't resemble power mesh but I don't know the fibre contents.
      Oh, and all the lace I used is the stretchy variety also used for lingerie.

      And I generally line my skirts, but rarely my dresses (only if the fabric demands it). I have unlined dresses is cotton flannel, plain cotton and thin corduroy for which I need slips.

  2. Have never worn a slip. But these look great. Maybe I need to make some to combat that static cling.

  3. Dryer sheets works well in a pinch for static cling, just rub lightly over your stockings.

  4. I particularly like that last one; you could never buy one with that full skirt. Well done!

  5. Your slips are great! I have one half slip I wear all the time but have been thinking that a full slip might be quite useful in my closet too. Yours are a great inspiration.