Lining a dress is a good thing. It cuts down on wrinkling, gives the dress the right amount of body, and makes the dress more opaque. Besides the added expense of lining a dress, there are times when it is not convenient or complicated to line a dress. In those cases, slips are a good alternative.
My St. Patrick’s Day dress for instance is a good candidate for a slip. With the multiple panels on the front, and the added gathering in those panels, making a lining as is from the pattern pieces would increase the bulk considerably. I could draft a stand-alone front lining, but that would require more work than it’s probably worth.
But there are few knit slips that aren’t some sort of girdle (you can euphemize them by calling them Spanx, but girdles they be). Since I wear enough crossover bodice dresses that require a little bit more front coverage, I’ve been wanting a camisole/slip combo. Then I could wear as a slip or could peek out under the dress without looking too underwear-like. It occurred to me that I could just sew on a skirt to an existing camisole, which is just what I did.
10 minute full slip
You will need:
- An existing well-fitting camisole (I’ve had this one for more years than is probably kosher from Forever 21)
- Knit dress pattern with a straight skirt (Burdastyle 6-2010-109, BWOF 2-2007-123 maybe) or a-line if you wear more of those types of dresses
- additional knit fabric (I used some great 4 way stretch nylon tricot which I love for lining because it’s comfortable and hangs very well
- tracing wheel
- 2 pins
- marking pen (optional)
How to put it together
- Put on your camisole under whatever dress you are looking to use the slip with.
- With 2 pins, mark where the bottom of the camisole hits on each side seam of your dress.
- Take off the dress and transfer those marks to the skirt portion of your pattern.
- Draw a line connecting the two points on the front and back of the skirt.
- Using the tracing wheel, trace that line onto your lining fabric for the front and back pieces as well as the hemline.
- Use a marking pen to darken the tracing wheel marks if it’s difficult to see them.
- Add a seam allowance to the top of the skirt portions, and subtract about 2″ from the hemline (I have a rotary cutting guide that allows me to do this in one step, but you can easily mark with a ruler).
- Cut out your front and back pieces.
- Sew the side seams.
- Sew the skirt to the camisole (you could unpick the hem for a smoother look or not if you’re short on time).
- Finish the bottom of the skirt–I used a rolled hem on my serger for a fast, unbulky finish.
I can say that this is the most comfortable slip I’ve ever owned and a good way to repurpose camis that have outlived their first purpose.