I banged (bunged?) out a dress last week (post still pending) and found that the only way to go about not having it stick to me and my underwear was to make a full-body slip. I never make these. I usually line my garments, which I’ll still continue to do, but by the same token, I’ve been missing out on a seriously fun sewing project. My very first full-body slip was from an out of print Vogue pattern that ended up being weird and there were so many fitting adjustments that needed to be made that I decided to start afresh with something completely different. Then I remembered that fabulous Ruby Slip pattern that Sherry put out quite some time ago (by the way, anyone know where she is?). Initially, I made a wearable muslin (the photos you see here) from some rather wretched Joann lace and a rayon lining I had lying about. I made only one fitting adjustment and a lengthening adjustment and could not have been happier with the outcome of this pattern.

I’ve never been one, really, to put beauty and form over function when it comes to underwear. I grew up in a very religious household and we were poor-ish to boot. There was never money for frivolous underthings so I rarely indulge in stuff like this. But then after making one of these, I was dying for like five more! So pretty. I can pick the fabrics that I want to make them from – namely silk because where in the world can you get a silk slip these days? – and I have plenty of access to beautiful laces where I work (at Yellow Bird Fabrics). And then of course, they sew up in a matter of hour(s). Add to all that they make you feel kind of pretty even though no one (or maybe your loved one….) sees them. Well, unless you’re me and you’re seriously considering making some slip dresses because you are a child of the 90s. Or what about wearing one with a skirt and cardigan? Now that would be slick – your top would never untuck!

How do you feel about full-body slips? Ever made one before?


43 thoughts on “slippery

  1. I have been thinking about a slip too. I have seen this pattern around the blogs….I am full busted so I am even more interested because I can hopefully do a custom fit. Colette patterns has a beautiful slip pattern too. This one is such fun. I grew up in a household with a restrained culture too. It seems so decadent to make a slip!

  2. Well funny you should ask. I’m from the old way also. I wear a slip when I wear a dress or skirt.Feel naked without one. Just had a friend you gave me all her slips. Yes short, long, black, white and nude.All my friends just say no way I don’t wear them anymore.Oh well….

    I would love to make some really pretty ones. Don’t think I could wear one as a dress cause I could her my late mother say “That looks like a slip! Is that what you are going out in? I don’t think so young lady get some clothes on.”

    There use to be a company called stretch and Sew that had the most awesome slip,patties and bar making things you could imagine but think they are out of business now sad…

    Just goes to show you once again what goes around comes around if you just keep it long enough even slips….

  3. We’re on the same page Sunni. I’ve been struggling with a few dresses that aren’t really possible to line and then Lladybird Lauren made her Rosy and I was like, duh, make s slip silly girl. Going to stock up on stretch silk charmeuse when I’m at Mood in September. I think having a nude and black slip in your underthings arsenal is pretty practical and luxurious at the same time. Not many things you can say are both!

  4. Beautiful slip, Sunni! I remember my grandmother and occasionally my mother wearing pretty, full length slips with dresses. When I was younger, it was common to wear silky & lacy camisoles and slips, rather than a full slip. Or just a camisole. I still have some of those camisoles (and a bustier from the early 80’s) that my daughter loves. I’m glad I saved them for her. I recall loving to wear my Mom’s ‘vintage’ bustier and slips. I might have to make us both a Ruby. πŸ˜‰

  5. Sunni, this is gorgeous! I think the color combination cannot be beat. If I had one of these, I would find ways to wear it. How about a nightie? I have delayed trying to make lingerie because I cannot find any really soft lace. That stiff lace is so uncomfortable, and it gives me a rash. So, if anyone knows of an online source for nice, soft lace, please share.

  6. I only have one- a bias cut silk one in cream with tiny black pin spots. I used a New Look camisole pattern and extended it about 8″, so it hits mid-thigh. I did hand-stitched lace around the hem and cut away the fabric behind, following the scalloped edge of the lace. I wear it an awful lot in winter with wool skirts and tights to stop them clinging, and it adds an extra layer of warmth. Amazing the difference a thin layer of silk makes to the warmth of an outfit!

  7. Gorgeous slip and love the lace. I have been an avid fan of full-body slips for years now. I actually scored several while vacationing in stretch satin chemise. I found it so much easy to wear than a half slip even when wearing skirts. I’ve only made one, which was a strapless slip for my strapless maxi dresses.

  8. I made this pattern, in a delicious 4 ply silk. It took a few adjustments to get a good fit, but it’s REALLY amazing once you get that down. I love it and I want more!! I’m with you – I feel weird spending a lot of money and time on frivolous underthings, but gaaah they feel so good to wear. I also really love the idea of making a lace or sheer dress, and having multiple slips in different colors to wear under it πŸ˜‰

  9. I have been thinking about making a slip too. I’m thinking about transitional clothing, such as a shirtdress I made last year. It’s unlined, and it would tend to stick to tights. So I’ve been thinking about making either a full or a half slip. They are useful things. Another thing, which I haven’t seen in a while is a teddy (like a camisole + tap pants combo). A teddy was one of the frivolous items I bought as a teenager in the 80s… It’s good when you don’t want the coverage of a slip, but want to keep the top to appear as fully tucked in. Plus, they look really cute and double as pjs.

  10. Unbelievable! I *just* made a dress yesterday that I thought didn’t need a lining, but does, and thought now I have to make a slip. Totally doing this right now!

  11. I’ve never made one, but I’ve never really thought to. I suppose that would solve my problem of my dresses weirdly attaching to my tights in the winter and bunching up as I walk. Hmmm, I think I’ll have to put this on my “to sew” list.

  12. Your slip looks stunning! That said, I never really understood the purpose. I get that your clothing isn’t supposed to stick to you… or something. I feel like I should make one and try it out because everyone who wears slips, who admittedly I could count on one hand, swears that wearing them is the best thing you could do. I must try it and soon! Thanks again for the beautiful inspiration!

  13. Saw your post on facebook–love the slip! I just bought 4 vintage lingerie patterns and plan to embark on this process as well. As “un femme d’un certain age” I remember wearing full body slips. The french wear beautiful lingerie all their lives to feel like a gorgeous women everyday! I think they just might be onto something!!!

  14. Wow that is one gorgeous slip, Sunni!! I wear slips quite often, especially with all the 1940’s sewing I do, since the day dresses weren’t lined back then on account of fabric rationing. Which works out well for me because I’m not a fan of lining things haha! I usually have to buy slips at thrift stores because no one seems to make a classic slip, like yours, anymore. It’s all spandex shape wear! I’m definitely going to check out that pattern you used, and maybe even go as far as finding a similar peach fabric. There’s something so glamorous about that color peach! Especially when used for unmentionables πŸ˜‰

  15. funny, i’ve recently been thinking of slip-making as well. i always line my dresses, but using good quality fabrics can almost double the cost of the dress. a couple silk slips on the other hand seems pretty economical by comparison! love the idea of it doubling as a cami with a skirt and sweater, putting this on the list!

  16. So I have officially bookmarked the Ruby Slip Dress! I am going to do this- even though silk intimidates me…. I am going to the Sewing Summit- would you like to share some coffee and catch up? I know your teaching.. sure hope I get your class- fingers crossed!!!

  17. Ohhh! I quite like this! I just made a full length slip (for sleeping) and it’s the prettiest thing I own. I’d like to have a stable of nice silk slips.

  18. I’m on the hunt right now for supplies! Coming up a bit short though, so haven’t started… But yes, I want/need some of these in my wardrobe.

  19. I grew up wearing full and half slips under dresses for church on Sunday. They’re kind of necessary if you don’t wear lined dresses. πŸ™‚ I’m working on some pretty nightwear for my best friend who’s getting married and I’m thinking I should replace my old slips with something. You have given me some ideas!

  20. This is so lovely! I grew up wearing polyester half-slips, but I love the idea of making a full slip. It sort of feels like a luxury item, but it would be cheaper to wash a slip than to fully line everything.

  21. I wear full slips all the time, with dresses and skirts. However I’ve never made one – I’m lucky to have inherited gorgeous silk and lace slips from the early 1960s from both my mother and my aunt. They make me feel so luxurious!

  22. Oh, pretty! I’m planning a simple bias-cut slip soon; my local fabric store has some gorgeous silk cottons, which I think will be perfect as a slightly less expensive option (especially as it’s on offer at the moment!). Should be useful in Canada in the winter, since I wear dresses and skirts all year long!

  23. I grew up with a French mother, so slips were a necessity under dresses when growing up. I’ve been thinking that I should get some now but haven’t gotten that far. With your picture of such a pretty one, I might have to try making my one. I too have problems with lace against my upper body skin feeling scratchy. I must just be really sensitive there. Is there a specific type of lace that is less itchy? I haven’t used much lace, so I don’t know what to look for.

    Thanks so much.

  24. I have yet to make a slip, but they are definitely hard to find in RTW, so I’ve had this pattern bookmarked for a while. I tend to line things too though, so I’ve put off the slip for some time. I’m also afraid wearing a silk slip in the summer heat will be uncomfortable. Yours is gorgeous Sunni. I’m glad to hear it came together without much hassle.

  25. I have this pattern- I even have some silky fabric to make one from. But I have not gotten to it yet. I am again inspired to get to it! Yours is so pretty! ~Laurie

  26. This is cool. Yes I’ve made a slip-I searched forever to find a simple non-bias pattern, found it, graded, made it and then edged it with this hideous ‘bias tape’ from Darn Cheap fabrics that wasn’t on the bleeping bias. Sigh. Need to get back onto that but I have a fab de la Renta silk slip (old stock from evilbay) that works well so I should just copy that. Unfortunately it’s on the bias. Or at least part of it is and that just seems like such a waste of fabric to me (not to mention I can’t actually afford silk at the mo’) =P
    No idea where Sherry is (I miss her too, emailed her at the start of her long absence and never heard back hope she’s ok) and haven’t tried this pattern because all that lace really isn’t my thing (lace undergarments are fine for occasions where they ain’t gonna stay on for more than a couple of minutes, for everything else propah undie knit just makes for sense to me..) XD

  27. @Janet – Sherry shows how to do a full bust adjustment in her sewalong posts for this pattern, so that should definitely help!

    @Heather Lou – Isn’t Lauren’s slip fabulous. I was totally inspired to make this pattern because of her version. Love!

    @Becky – look for cotton laces or I just saw some silk laces at Mood! I can’t even imagine how yummy those are.

    @Lauren – I have some 4-ply earmarked for it just because of your lovely version. Can’t wait! Yay!

    @Jen – A teddy! Now that sounds fun!

    @Kristin – it also adds opacity to your garment if you’re in need of it. I have a white dress that I still wear a half slip with even though its lined just because of this reason.

    @Rochelle New – Yes, no one makes them anymore. Seriously. And if they do, they’re polyester. At least I can make a frugal rayon version for that and it will last longer and is washer friendly and breathable.

    @EmSewCrazy – totally agree. They are necessary. Even for lined dresses, I still have to wear a half sometimes for opacity, otherwise you have the stick!

    @Carol – I’ll do an upcoming post about laces, where to score them online and what to look for. Laces can be really junky or really nice. Cotton laces are awesome for this kind of thing, but they can be hard to come by. I’ll definitely do a follow up post.

    @theperfectnose – it would be less of a waste (though I definitely don’t think its a waste personally) if you made the upper portion in the skirt fabric too. I used a rayon lining here and it works perfectly well for a breathable non sticky slip. Cotton lace is the best around though for stuff that’s next to the skin. I can see undie knit as an ok lining/slip but I’m actually allergic to that slippery undie knit. I break out in hives and its not breathable (knit tricot is what I’m talking about).

  28. I want to make Sherry’s slip pattern, too, and put it in a folder AGES ago! Thanks for the reminder.

    BTW, I have been wondering about Sherry, too, and have written a few times. I’m hoping it’s all good things–she was just about to start teaching some sewing classes, so I just imagine she’s busy & rich!

  29. I have one shop bought slip that I always wear under dresses I don’t (for some reason or another) line-but I would love to try making one- and I really like the idea of wearing it on show with a high waist skirt and cardigan!

  30. I’m just waiting on the perfect fabric/lace combo to make a Ruby of my own. I did manage to buy a sort of full length pink silk slip of sorts from Express of all places a few years ago. Sure, technically it’s supposed to be a tunic you wear with jeans but with the lace embellishment it looks too much like a slip for me to wear it as outerwear. It’s about thigh length and works great as a slip or a nightie.

  31. I was in Hong Kong years ago and bought lots of silk. I haven’t really used it, so recently began to line some dresses with some of it. It’s really lovely to wear, so much so that I have made two silk slips and they are a delight to wear. They never stick to your legs the the artificial fabrics do and you feel great wearing them. The pattern that I used for my full length slip is the first pattern that i ever made at school when i was 13 years of age. I held on to as I thought it was a lovely design. However it has six panels so it quite a bit of work to make, but the end result is worth it..

    Thank you for your blog I really enjoy it.

  32. Mary, I just had a fit of dementia & bought 55 YARDS of 5mm silk from Dharma Trading. Your comment gives me hope that I didn’t make a terrible mistake! Thank you.

    I’m hoping to use some of our fabric stamps from Ghana, Iran, & India to decorate it, & create scarves, slips & lots of linings…

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