1930s Under Dress
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Magic Bias Slip

Falling into the lines of each individual figure as if by magic, this slip, ultra modern because of its bias cut, is a perfect foundation under fitted frocks. And it’s as fascinating to work out as a picture puzzle, built up, as it is, from squares and triangles of fabric. For the average figure, you will need 2 ½ yards of material, such as flat crepe or radium in silk or rayon. The measurements given are for the average size, but they may be readily adapted to smaller or larger types.

Cutting Your Pattern. – For the skirt sections, provide a piece of paper 27 inches square. Tie a string 27 inches long to your pencil, and, holding the free end on the corner a, as in Fig. 1, draw and arc, as shown. From a, measure toward you 15 inches and place point b. From the corner c, measure along the curve 8 inches and place point d. Connect b and d. From the opposite corner e, measure along the straight edge 3 inches, place f, indicate g halfway between e and c, and draw in a new curve from f to g. Cut from a to b to d to g to f. Cut four paper patterns like this. For the remainder of the slip, four 15-inch squares of paper are necessary. Number the pattern sections, place as shown in the diagram, and cut. Mark each fabric section like its pattern.

Making the Slip. – Turn in the edges of the front and back squares a seam’s width and baste. Baste the remaining sections to these, matching the numbers. Make the shoulder straps, slip the garment on for fitting and pin on the shoulder straps. Trim off the corners of the under-arm squares, as shown in the small figure, and keep them for filling in the front and back at the top. Deepen the seams that join the four squares enough to produce a snug fit through the bust line. Lessen this seam depth gradually toward the hip.

            Turn in the straight edges of the two triangles removed at the under arm and place at the center front and center back, the points of these triangles meeting the points of the squares, as shown in the finished garment. Mark the lower edge.
             Remove the slip, join the center-front and center-back skirt sections in plain seams, then stitch on the edges of the front and back squares and the small triangles. Face the top edge, holding in the bias edge to the straight facing. Attach the shoulder straps. Finish the lower edge with a 1-inch hem. Trim off excess seam allowances and press.

            Variations for Size. – When the figure is short and slender, lessen all measurements. When tall and slender, make the squares smaller, but make the skirt sections the length suggested or longer. Make line ab the same length as the edge of the square. For the tall, large figure, increase all measurements. For the short, large type, increase the size of the squares but not the skirt sections, making the line ab the same length as the square.

from Fashion Service magazine, August 1931, pg. 14