Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A little history of the teddy...

Today I thought I would share a little bit of my inspiration in creating the Teddy - Combination Undergarment pattern:

The teddy, also known as the combination undergarment, envelope chemise, and cami-knickers started out as a nice little piece to wear under dresses as they got shorter and shorter in the 1920's.

1930's reproduction sewing pattern available here.

The teddy gained in popularity in the 1940's when the outbreak of World War 2 meant that women were just as often wearing trousers as skirts.

Oh my God, does anyone know where I can find some slinky charmeuse with little stars on it?!
Reproduction pattern available here.

The teddy worked nicely as underwear and camisole for a more comfortable, versatile underwear.
 In my research I actually found more British patterns for "cami-knickers" than American ones.

Image from http://bigfeetbears.blogspot.com/2010/09/camiknicker.html
 After the war, they seemed to loose popularity and you see less and less of them until they had a mini revival in the 1980's/ 90's in this form:

Ugh. Enough said.
If you haven't entered already, don't for get to check out the Teddy Pattern Giveaway!


  1. Love these patterns and the inspiration behind yours!

  2. thanks for sharing. they're lovely patterns. would make good sleepwear! if worn as an undergarment, i can't help but wonder it must be a bit of a hassle going to the toilet. would it? reminds me of wearing a romper, only double the trouble! :)

  3. What a lovely historical survey! Thanks for all the pictures. I recall from the 1980s that this garment is truly dreadful to manipulate at potty time. If you put snaps on the crotch you were better off than if you had to strip completely down and lower the entire teddy from the top. Got lots as wedding shower gifts (one presumes on the theory that they wouldn't have been worn for more than a few minutes anyway).