Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Bridal Challenge - The Undergarments


While working on a smaller scale a few changes of fabrics must be thought out.  After many substitutions of the fabrics and trims, I ordered what I needed from Michelle Mahler of The Doll Artist's Workshop.  (

The Panties

I chose to make a basic set of panties in a French nickers style.  Considering the hose and garters I had to have room for the stand that is fitted into the doll at the crotch area.  So, each item had to be loose or well be non-existent for that accommodation.  Beginning with the panties I chose Thai silk.  The silk was challenging, and if you try this size, some charmeuse would be pretty, too.  The nickers are French seamed at the center front, center back, and crotch.  The top of the pant gathered with lingerie elastic for simplicity.  The leg openings edged with vintage lace. 

Hose and Garter

 What a dilemma!  I wanted to make pantyhose as I thought they were the contemporary fashion thing to do.  But I decided I would make some thigh-high patterned hose.  This fabric came from a pair of personal knee highs I had saved for the purpose.   (I also made a pair of knitted silk fabric, not having the skills to knit and/or crochet a pair.)  The garter, made of ruched blue silk ribbon is not pictured.  (Not unpacked or photographed at this writing.)


I must digress as I want to know if princes pull up the skirts of their princesses grab garters to fling to their groomsmen?  Is this a tacky tradition?  Who started it?  I’ve been married for 48 years and we have one of those crazy pictures, too!  No need to share.  But I wonder, we never see the reception parties. 


The shoes in the photo are borrowed from another gown.  I have not yet, after all these years, made a pair for this project.  



With the slip, there were many adjustments to be made.  though drafting the pattern for this sized doll, I had also considered also the breadth and fit of the bodice area.  My doll is 1/3rd the size of Mr. Burbidge's mannequin and scale wise she has less bosom and more "cheek".  Based on the original design, drawings, and article, I chose again to use Thai silk for the slip. I started with a more antique ivory color, almost ecru, but changed at the last minute for an ivory color.  The coloring was better for the dol porcelain.  The draft of the slip bodice went well, but during fitting, I found it was better to remove an entire panel.  I removed the side back.  

The trimming used on the top and bottom of the slip bodice is lace edging to lessen the bulk a lining or bias trim would cause.  The pressed seams are all facing to the back, topstitched, and trimmed.  This creates a boned effect and for firmness and reduce any bulk multiple layers might create.  I did also use some small plastic strips for “boning” and hold the slip bodice firm and up.  The under slip and over-slip were treated the same, raw edges trimmed with lace, folded toward the right side, stitched.  One and a quarter-inch lace was ruffled and sewn to the bottom of both slips.  As the slip is ivory and the lace is white, not a usual pair up for me, I added a white and ivory “buds-n-bows” silk ribbon trim to the top slip over the ruffle.  A little more handwork and three snaps later, voila! 

What would I do differently?  Perhaps use Swiss cotton for the slip, and darts in her tap panties with a back opening.  The elastic in the waistband creates bulk I had not thought about in advance when drafting the slip bodice.  Ah, don’t you love 20/20 hindsight? 

Have Fun!


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