Tuesday, October 20, 2015

50 & Fab....the underlying story...

As ladies of a 'certain age', it's our job to not give up.
We all look after our hair, our diet, we exercise, we don't leave the house without our lippy on.
But there's more.
C'mon. 'Fess up. Who amongst us has started wearing *shudder* chain store undergarments. It's okay. I won't tell.
In the manic tangle of career enhancement, child rearing, and life in general, at what point do we ladies decide that $3 knickers and Tshirt bras are good enough?
Truly exquisite lingerie is expensive I know. I have been fortunate enough to have a son whose girlfriend managed a high end Lingerie store, and who kept me constantly supplied with beautiful undergarments for some years, in much the same lavish vein as this embellished bra, pictured above. The French do it so well, don't they? Alas the son and the lingerie girl parted company and now I'm left to my own devices.
What to do?

This is the good part though.
Exquisite lingerie is unbelievably simple to sew and you only need the tiniest scraps of fabric and lace. This little Teddy (as these delicate onesies are called) is little more than four panels of light as air georgette, and some lace trim...and a little patience. The little ribbon and rhinestone sash is for embellishment only. No I did not sew this one, but I've sewn similar ones as gifts.
I like Mrs Depew for genuine vintage patterns.
Ohhh Lulu Sews have some rather lovely things too.
The Diva, now that she is nearly sixteen, is old enough to appreciate the difference between chain store and custom made, even in lingerie. And even if she can't afford it.
If I can teach her to make her own, and perhaps even some for her friends as gifts, then that's a big plus.
This gorgeous chemise is embellished with Dancers. How divine. And you could do this with a purchased slip. You can still buy slips, or petticoats if you prefer, in most department stores. That IS allowed if you're going to embellish them with beautiful trims and wear them as nightdresses.

Imagine these wisps of prettiness hanging in your wardrobe. I can tell you they'd be a lot more comfortable and alluring than the wired and moulded garments of torture that we've been led to believe are our friends. My Nanna used to wear similar things under her house dresses. Bless her little European heart. Perhaps that's where my own love of special lingerie was born.

This vintage chemise could be very easily replicated with small panels of silk, and lace cut from the bottom of continuous curtaining. If you can lay your hands on genuine silk lace at a price you can live with, then go for it!

The Diva made a set like this for herself not too long ago. Not quite as elaborate but very pretty all the same. Mrs Depew's tap pants and deconstructed bra pattern were used.

Here's another version that's even easier to make. Ohhh Lulu has similar bras here. And the little boxer shorts are just that. Boxer shorts with a lace trim.

Nanna also had a set just like this. So cool and comfortable.
I'm working on some now.
What do you think?
Wire and moulding?
Or wisps of wonderful?



  1. They are so exquisite, Mimi, but not sure how practical they would be for the woman needing ...*ahem*... support. But that still doesn't mean we have to resort to plain undies! It is so lovely that you've taught your daughter to appreciate these beautiful things and be able to re-create them.
    I am guilty of wearing relatively plain unmentionables, but promise to do better in future! When I was younger I definitely wore pretty stuff, so why not now!
    xx Fiona

    1. I know Fiona...support...blergh. Torture in wire and spandex if you ask me. For sure you need that when you're out in public. But when at home, how nice to have a little secret wispy thing under your utilitarian Mummy wear. A little secret luxury all to yourself. Mimi ;-)

    2. Totally agree Mimi. When at home "the girls"are happy to be hanging around! LOL


  2. I have a feeling that my grandma would have worn some beautiful undergarments when she was young ( she was a tailoress so no doubt had the skills) but when she was older she wore bloomers - think cottontails with witches britches length legs.

    I know this because the day we were married my grandparents arrived at the house for a photo and as they were leaving grandma's bloomers ended up around her ankles - the worst part was that she had replaced the elastic in them to stop this from happening only a couple of days before hand.

    I have been pinning some vintage garments on pinterest with a view to renewing my sewing skills - these may just have to be the top of the list - I have always loved pretty underwear but not the price of it.

    Love the little modesty tops - they would work perfectly in our warm climate.

    Thursday I am definately popping into East Coast Fabrics to see what they have on offer fabric wise.


  3. How beautiful they all are - and I have to admit to having become quite utilitarian in my older years. I sew clothes, but have not tried lingerie. Perhaps it is time to try?

  4. I think I'm needing to start another vintage collection. Who knew vintage lingerie would be so pretty and inspiring? Of course, as I write this, I'm stuffed into a sports bra with no sports on the horizon, lol. When did things stop getting pretty and start being about serviceable? Love this post!

  5. Those undergarments are totally beautiful... just lovely. Wish I could be the kind of girl who love to wear them too... I'm more of the free-wild-spirit-feel comfortable kind of a girl ;)


  6. So feminine and beautiful! I am looking at patterns now!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx