Erin here! I was really excited for the first HSM challenge “Foundations”, as I have been making 1920s and 30s dresses for the past year but never had the correct undergarments to wear with them. I bought the book Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen on a whim a while back, and wanted to recreate a 1920’s bra that was featured in the book.
The description in the book says that this particular set was made by nuns in Ceylon, and the detail is extraordinary. It’s made in a similar way to the Kestos bra, straps crossing in the back and wrapping around the front, hooking to front buttons for closure.
This was my first time sewing lingerie, so I drafted this pattern without all the fussy details of the original (though I would love to recreate this set in full one day!) Using the pattern from Vintage Lingerie as a basis was fine for a trial run, but I wish they had given more specifics. I made mine without elastic in the straps, as the author didn’t mention elastic at all in the description, so it’s slippery and impractical when I move around. I’ll definitely be trying this again – with a few little alterations to the shape and changing the back straps to covered elastic. (I apologize for the grainy photos! I was using a phone camera for this post!)
This bra was popular into the 1930’s, so I decided to pair it with the whimsical Circular French Knickers that Jeanne of VeraVenus created a wonderful tutorial for. They were super easy to make with this tutorial, and so pretty.
The Challenge: #1 Foundations
Fabric: Silk Habotai
Pattern: Bra adapted from Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen, Circular French Knickers from VeraVenus
Year: late 1920s – early 1930s
Notions: hook and eye, two buttons, thread
How historically accurate is it? About 80%, I’m not sure that the fabric is entirely accurate, and unfortunately I made the bra straps to cross in front when I don’t think they are supposed to!
Hours to complete: 4, including drafting the patterns
First worn: For this photo, this morning
Total cost: $1, I got the fabric for free and only paid for the buttons at a local sewing shop