Modern Techniques to Sew a Vintage-Look Slip or Nightie

Book Now!

When: You choose the time!

Where: Anywhere, through YouTube.

Cost: $40/student

Recording: Over 1 hour of videos Lara prepared for the class are available in 6 different class units through a link on YouTube. Please don’t share the link with others. Lara will also email you notes on sewing order and a few reminders to help keep your work on track.

We’ll cover techniques for sewing a cute nightie/slip using nylon tricot and cotton-spandex blend knit fabrics with about 25% stretch and mesh fabrics with a lot more stretch. Traditional lingerie-making techniques will include the fastest hem ever using stretch lace trim. A modern notion (fold-over elastic) makes finishing edges a snap! Use either purchased bra straps or strapping elastic, slides, and rings to complete your look.

If you can find the Kwik-Sew Method for Sewing Lingerie book from 1978, it’s a great source for patterns! Just make sure the copy you get comes with the pattern pages intact.

In this class, I’ll show how to use Vogue 8888 to get a very similar result to the 1978 nightie. No matter which pattern you choose, you will need to purchase your own copy of the pattern.

Notions needed, along with your usual sewing supplies:

(This will vary depending on your exact pattern, but this is my list)

2-5 yards of stretch lace trim for hem (If you prefer a lettuce-edge hem, you won’t need this.)

2-5 yards of fold-over elastic for the top of the nightie

2-5 yards of bra strapping (I like ½ inch)

1 yard of clear elastic (optional, but makes bringing the back of the nightie into shape easier)

2 bra rings the same size as your strapping

2 bra slides the same size as your strapping

Thread to match both the fabric for your project and the fold-over elastic

My favorite source for lingerie fabrics and notions is

Tip: Don’t prewash nylon tricot. Do prewash and dry cotton-spandex blends twice.

Choosing Your Size:

We will be changing a pattern from woven cut on the bias to knit fabrics, which usually requires choosing a smaller size than usual. I would start with the pattern size that matches your high bust measurement (for example, size 14 is based on a 36-inch or 92-cm bust) and make a test garment to check the fit. In my first round of tests, this gave great results for both nylon tricot and mesh, but it might have been up to a size too large in cotton knit. 

Another way to determine your size is to look at final bust size according to the pattern. If you are in-between sizes, round down. You could also wrap your fabric around yourself at your bust until it fits comfortably, measure that circumference on your fabric itself, and then choose the final bust size based on that measurement. 

Note: If the size range for the pattern doesn’t work for you (or you think it won’t) please contact me and we will work together to find a solution.

Final Bust Sizes for Vogue 8888, view D:

Size 6 – 33.5 inches (85 cm)

Size 8 – 34.5 inches (88 cm)

Size 10 – 35.5 inches (90 cm)

Size 12 – 37 inches (94 cm)

Size 14 – 39 inches (99 cm)

Size 16 – 41 inches (104 cm)

Size 18 – 43 inches (109 cm)

Size 20 – 45 inches (114 cm)

How Much Fabric to Buy:

Extra wide tricot (104 inches) should take about as much fabric as the length of your back pattern piece. For mine, that was about 30 inches. I would purchase a yard of fabric. If your nylon tricot is 60 inches wide, I would buy two yards.

If your mesh fabric is stretchier in the vertical direction and your skirt pattern pieces fit sideways on one width of your fabric, you may only need to buy twice the width of your back pattern piece. In theory, that could be about 18 inches, but buying a yard could be best, to be safe.

Cotton knit that is 60 inches wide should need the length of your final front and back skirt pieces, stacked vertically. For mine, that was about 60 inches, but take care to add some extra fabric to allow for shrinking.

When in doubt, buy twice as much as you think you’ll need.