Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Favorite 1920's Teddies... and a free sewing pattern!

The 1920's brought us some truly wonderful fashion revelations, my favorite being the loose-fitting dress and less constricting undergarments to accompany them. Lingerie also got so much easier to sew with little to no boning, fewer seams, and simpler designs!

The best part of this, in my humble opinion, was the advent of the Chemise (also known as the teddy or cami-knickers). It could often be sewn from two squares of fabric and was a great way to reuse fabric to make dainty things.

Original 1920's lingerie patterns are nearly impossible to find. In fact, they're practically the holy grail to lingerie pattern collectors like myself. Teddy patterns from the 1920s are the rarest of all. If you do a Google search you'll find hardly any at all. Sad Face.

I have quite a few in my collection though and I thought I would share.

McCall 5124 1920s Step-in Combination Chemise Camiknickers.

McCall 4487 Mid-1920s Ladies' and Misses' Step-in Chemise.

McCall 5818 late 1920s Step-in Combination is available as a reproduction pattern here.
These beauties are so lovely and when they do rarely crop up, they are often quite expensive (and rightly so!). This makes getting your hands on that 1920s look rather hard and one must often turn to reproduction sewing pattern companies like mine to find something to substitute for an original.

But today, I thought I would skip all that and just give you a free pattern!

This is a digital PDF copy of an insanely easy sewing method for a lovely set of step-in combination teddies from 1926. The pattern for two different versions was originally published for the newspaper column of a "Fashion Expert". This pattern would also make an amazing little neglige for when you need one in a hurry.

I have digitally enhanced the images but the instructions are the exact wording used by the original designer. The grammar and writing style tells me that the "Fashion Expert" was most likely a French woman writing in English and the way she expresses herself is so charming!

It is not necessary to print this pattern. The "Pattern" given is a very easy-to-follow set of instructions for cutting and draping a certain measurement of fabric with several drawings and diagrams.
This is a great way to use up some of those vintage scarves hiding in your closet, or a nice length of silk you haven't found a purpose for yet.

Happy Sewing, mes cheris!


  1. The 20's is my favorite one! <3


  2. A free pattern? You just made my night!!

  3. Thank you so much! I adore 1920s lingerie and have made a few styles similar to this for sleeping in. Can't wait to try out this one!

  4. I love vintage lingerie, and it is sad that it is so hard to find 1920's patterns. Thank you for sharing this pattern with us! I will definitely be trying this one out!

  5. They are all so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your collection!

  6. So Pretty! Thanks for the pattern.

  7. Oooh, thanks for such a beautiful freebie Anna! You're too kind!!!

  8. I LOVE your blog! I get so happy each time you post (it comes as an email to me)

  9. That's awesome! Can't wait to try this one, thank you! :)

  10. This is a wonderful little teddy and so easy, I look forward to making this just for fun, sweet! Thanks Anna!

  11. Thank you very kindly. I am wondering if you may have any advice or words of wisdom, about the application (and wearing comfort) of the hooks and eyes???

    1. Hi Gain, The best I can advise on hooks and eyes would be to buy hook and eye tape... but do it in person, not online. That way you can make sure that you're getting a high quality (and hopefully comfortable) addition that should take the difficulty out of it.

  12. "nothing to take the place of the lingerie chains we have told you about?"

  13. I am so curious if anyone has successfully made these. I saw one attempt online but I'm pretty sure that it wasn't exactly as the pattern was drafted (the crotch was left completely open). I now am on an (unnecessary) mission to figure out if a constructed version of these appears anywhere online.