Cotton Half-Slips

I've always considered my most successful project to be a garment that no one will even see! I'm talking about cotton slips, of course. Nancy Zieman, in her book, The Best of Sewing with Nancy, gave some fabulous directions for making a tricot half-slip. Nevertheless, half-slips from that material can be found practically anywhere! Cotton slips, on the other hand, seem to have disappeared off the face of this part of Maryland! They are so nice in the summer, though. Using Nancy for inspiration, I adopted a few of her techniques to make a gorgous "garment." (Standard disclaimers, of course.)

  1. First, take some wax paper and make a pattern. To do this, measure your hips, and add six inches. (Confession: The first time I tried this, I measured my waist by mistake. Obviously, this doesn't work) Make the length however long you want the slip to be. (Isn't sewing wonderful?)

  2. Next, give the pattern a slit. You can do this by folding the pattern in half. Measure ten inches from the bottom, (both up and down) and mark it. Measure again two inches from the corner. Mark it Then, just make a little curve between the marks. Cut it!

    Click here for a picture. Note: It's kinda big :-).

  3. You now have a template/pattern. Take the fabric and lay the pattern diagonally on the fabric since you want to cut it on the bias. (Tricot is a knit and therefore does not need to be cut on the bias. When you use a weave, cutting it on the bias will ensure proper fit and comfortability.)

  4. Sew up the seam.

  5. Next, the lace gets inserted. Line it up to the edge of the slip. (Here's a cute trick. Don't line up just the edge of the lace and sew that up, rather fit the entire 5/8" on the fabric. Later, you will just cut off the fabric that's under the lace.) The lace goes on the entire bottom of the slip.

    Using a tiny zig-zag stich and a small needle (size 9 worked best for me), zig-zag the lace to the fabric. I was surprised how inconspicous the stitching was. I used a regular, all-purpose foot and just eye-balled everthing, but it still looked great!) Once the lace is on, turn to the wrong side of the slip and clip away the excess batiste fabric.

  6. Cut the elastic ~5 inches shorter than your waist. Sew the ends together. Divide the elastic into fourths. Next, divide the slip into fourths. Then, use the same trick you used for the lace. Line the elastic up with the edge of the fabric and with tiny stitches, zig-zag the elastic. Once this is done, turn to the underside of the slip and cut away the excess material. Cut up to the zig-zag stitches.
And that's it! I hope these directions were clear. If not, feel free to e-mail me, and ask me some questions.