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Merry Christmas To Me

merry-christmas-to-me

The first person on my gift giving Christmas list was myself. The holidays are as much of a time to treat yourself as it is to treat others. That’s my motto.

My recent endeavors in lingerie sewing narrowed my scope quite a bit this holiday season. Next to an adorable Kate Spade watch I had my eye on was 1950s lingerie. Vintage lingerie was not originally on my list – it wasn’t until Anna from the blog A Few Loose ThreadsΒ posted about a handful of 1950s French bras she got her hands on. “Oh la la,” I thought. “I want that!” Like vintage patterns, vintage lingerie comes with a high cost. No cost though, is high enough for vintage. That’s also my motto.

This bra came from a lot Anna acquired from a super secretive contact she has (she has connections!) and out of the handful of bullet bras, this one appealed to me for several reasons.

SILHOUETTE: It has a deep plunge front and the underwires are along the CF edge (ONLY). This silhouette isn’t seen today and if it is, there certainly aren’t underwires along the CF (I’ve only see underwire at the bottom of the cups). When I asked Anna about the placement of the underwires, she said that it may because this bra was one of the first underwire bras and brands/manufacturers were still playing around with the placement. Even if the location of underwires was shifted to the bottom of the bra in later years, it would be neat to try to replicate/pattern a bra with this silhouette. Unlike the vintage bras, my bra/pattern wouldΒ WORK. In my opinion, I think a bra like this but modernized would cause a stir.

BOTTOM BAND: There is a tapered band at the bottom of the cups. Bands of any sort are a sporty detail but because it’s made of peach satin, it’s feminine.

CLOSURE: There is no hook and eye closure. Called a ‘French closure,” elastic is angled and turned back on itself with a button and eyelet thread loop sewn onto it. This type of closure was popular from the 1930s-1950s.

Also, the stitching Β the SPI (stitches per inch) throughout the entire bra isvery low. If I had to approximate, around 1.5. I wonder if over the years, SPI has been increased for production reasons (cheaper and quicker to have less SPI) or if SPI was increased for better construction (too small SPI causes puckering).

My oh my how lingerie has changed!

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13 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sarah Welsch

    Looks like you definitely treated yourself! I was given a new sewing machine from my parents for Christmas, so I am treating myself to an online sewing class. I figured if I want to learn it will be at my pace, and not from old videos on youtube. =)

    sarah=)
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/owleyevintage

  2. Reply

    Anna Depew

    Maddie this post is great, thanks so much for mentioning my blog! The photos you took are absolutely beautiful and I love how you broke down the construction details. It would be really amazing if it was one of the first under wire bras ever!

  3. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    I would imagine they decreased the spi to reduce time and thread consumption over the years since you do see a higher spi in more upscale goods. I like the idea of a CF wire vs an under underwire. I have to admit I am fond of the lift and separate and CF seems to be the only place I’d need control

  4. Reply

    anto

    You got yourself some really beautiful treats! I love how completely different the silhouette of the bra is as opposed to contemporary ones.

  5. Reply

    VickiKate

    That is so beautiful!

  6. Reply

    Amanda Adams

    What a lovely piece! It is always nice to treat yourself at Christmas to something special πŸ™‚ Have a lovely festive season!

  7. Reply

    Angela

    An absolutely beautiful find, I love all of the details! I think it’s great that you take care of yourself on Christmas, Merry Christmas to you in Florida!

  8. Reply

    Nikki

    I don’t know anything about sweing really, but this bra looks fabulous, and for as far as I think I know you, it is something that was made for you πŸ™‚ eventhough I’m pretty sure you were yet to be born in the 50s, haha. Anyway, Hope you had a great time celebrating the holidays! xo Nikki

  9. Reply

    Ginger

    This is so gorgeous! What fun details!

  10. Reply

    Amy

    This is really lovely! What a find. You and I are on the same page… I just bought a beautiful vintage piece, too… I’m just so curious about vintage undergarments!

  11. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    It’s positively breathtaking! I love that the only wire is along the CF – fabulous detail!

  12. Reply

    Sky Turtle

    So pretty! And I absolutely love the button closure. Must try it myself one day!

  13. Reply

    Kate

    I read an article about that kind of underwire. An overwire. In Foundations Revealed a sort of online magazine for people who like to sew corsets they had a series a while ago about how to sew different kinds of bras. You have to pay a subscription though. I paid for one month then cancelled the next.

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