Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vintage Embroidered Silk – Pure Luxury

I am ashamed to say that it took a last minute rush to find a vintage hat (which I did not end up needing) for me to explore a local antique shop.  And boy am I glad that I did.  Look at the treasure I found! 

There is no tag or label to help identify the piece, so I am not sure of the year, but I would guess that this was constructed sometime during the 1940s.  

It makes me wonder what contemporary clothing will be around in  sixty or seventy years – perhaps some polyester fleece sweatshirts and a few pairs of denim jeans? – yuck!  Instead of wearing fabrics that are synthesized from plastic bottles, imagine wearing silk next to your skin everyday.

This slip is stunning.  The workmanship is exquisite.  It does have a few stains and a couple of small holes, but it still looks beautiful.

And I simply could not bear the thought of someone using it as a Courtney Love Halloween costume and disposing of it the following day, or, at the very least, not appreciating the craftsmanship.

The hand stitches are worthy of a couture piece.  Someone obviously put a lot of work into this slip.  The side seams are the narrowest French seams I have ever come across. 

They are then tacked down from the right side of the garment with the tiniest prick stitches so that the seams lay perfectly flat.

The lace must have been worked separately from the slip and applied.  The only raw edges are the horizontal seams which are whip stitched as is done in couture pieces.

 Pure heaven!  Lingerie this beautiful just has to be shared!


  1. Oh how that makes my heart flutter! It's so beautiful.

  2. I do hope that you don't mind me asking the following questions, but I just love this underskirt. I did a city and guilds lingerie certificate some 3 years ago and spent a lot of time learning how to match and piece lace around undergarments such as this. I looked carefully at your photographs and couldn't see any matching or piecing around the corners, yet the trim looks applied - that is the trim doesn't look as though it is embroidered cut work sewn directly onto the garment, although the trim does look hand embroidered. I have been practicing my hand broiderie angalise and it takes me ages and is certainly not as neat and expertly executed as this. I am chasened to think that all this trim was sewn by hand to mirror the shape needed to trim without piecing or matching. I wouldn't know where to start. It is difficult to see from photographs and I would be grateful if you had any observations that you were able to post. Thank you.


  3. ooooohhhhh (wipes drool from keyboard)... how bee-oooo-tee-fullll.

  4. So gorgeous! I'm glad you rescued it from Halloween sabotage. :]

  5. @Anonymous Ruth – I love questions! Please feel free to ask!

    The bust pieces are a single cut of silk that was embroidered along the top edges (I did not notice this the first time around, and only went to check it out after your comment). The hem lace was applied to the finished slip with the raw bottom edges of the silk folded under and tacked down. The front slit corners must have been cut to shape, embroidered, and then applied because there are no lapped seams. The only piecework in the lace that I can find is along the straight 36” length along the back hem, and the joins are almost invisible.

    Hope that makes sense! The more I look at the piece, the more amazing it is.

  6. Thank you for looking Laura Mae. The slip is very beautiful and must have taken a lot of planning and than a lot of time to sew. It is very, very lovely.