Vintage Underwear & Free 1950s Petticoat Pattern
Get the correct shape & look for your Marvelous Mrs Maisel Dresses.
Too often, people choose to ignore the foundation garments necessary when sewing vintage dress patterns, such as our free petticoat sewing pattern available below.
It is not essential to wear everything so tight it’s cutting off the blood supply to your brain. However, shape and form have changed with fashion and time. Plus you want to achieve the best lines and show off your hard work to its best. Therefore the choice of underwear matters.
Probably the most well-known undergarment from the 1950s is the full layered petticoat and the most overlooked, the simple slip. You can try it for yourself, below, with our free petticoat sewing pattern.
Different Types of Underwear
Are you looking to wear a vintage dress and want to make sure you have the right undergarments? Let’s talk about bras! A good-fitting bra is important for any vintage dress. You may have seen the bullet bra shape from the 1950s and early 1960s, but there were other popular shapes too.
To make sure you have the support you need, it’s best to look for bras with full cups that separate the breasts. If you have a larger bust, long-body bras may provide the best form of support. However, it’s best to avoid balcony or extreme cleavage-shaping bras.
Now you’re ready to pick the perfect bra to wear with your vintage dress. Feel confident and comfortable in your outfit by choosing the right undergarments.
The bullet bra gives a very distinct shape that we associate with the 1950s: separated, high, pointy breasts!
Certain dresses are designed with this shape in mind. So, if this is the look you want, make sure to fit your dressmaking mannequin with the same shape of bra you will be wearing.
Bra & Girdles
Bras as part of full-body “slimming” girdles were also very popular.
Girdles were unboned with layers of fabric to support the stomach and upper thighs and butts.
Slips are important. They were historically worn for both comfort and to help the dress move smoothly over the body’s contours. Plus, they were often used to make the dress wearable for longer before washing.
They can be full slips or half slips and are made of the finest fabrics like silk or cotton. Often cut on the full bias, they should hug the figure and are worn over a bra and girdle.
When you’re wearing a full petticoat, it’s important to avoid adding bulk to your waist or high hips. That way, you can achieve a smooth and flattering silhouette.
Typically, the frills of the petticoat are attached to a yoke or a close-fitting skirt that either has elastic or buttons on the left side. For the upper part of the petticoat, it’s best to use comfortable and smooth materials like silk or cotton.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can create a beautiful and comfortable vintage look with your full petticoat!
Try our Vintage free petticoat sewing pattern
The very popular full skirts of the 1950s and early 1960s must be supported by a gathered petticoat in cotton, net tulle or a combination of both.
Heavier skirt fabrics will need more layers or tiers, tighter gathers and sometimes a horsehair or braided hem to stiffen the lower edge.
Petticoats are a fantastic and fun addition to any vintage wardrobe and are a brilliant sewing project and we’d love for you to try them for yourself.
You can try this incredibly useful and versatile Petticoat sewing pattern from 1955 for free in our shop.