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Restoring Old Slips – Make Them Like New!

Have you ever noticed how the body of your slip outlives the lace and elastic?  Not quite sure how to salvage the slip, so you end up throwing it away?  We can help!  Here are some suggestions.

Problem:  Lace is disintegrating, coming off slip.

Suggestion #1:  Remove the old lace and brighten it up with new lace in the width you desire.

Suggestion #2: As so many of the skirts are shorter today, cut the slip to the length for your skirts and then give it a lettuce edge on your serger or a shell edge from your regular sewing machine.  Both of these are very attractive and easy to do.

How to do a “lettuce” edging:  Use the rolled hem feature on your serger, place the slip edge under the presser foot and as you start sewing gently pull the fabric towards you.  You will notice that you are getting a curled decorative edge.   The more you pull the fabric, the curlier the edge gets, resembling a lettuce leaf.

How to do a “shell” edge:  You will need a zigzag machine for this.  Almost all zigzag machines will have a stitch that looks the opposite of the blind hem stitch.  Set your machine to sew this stitch.  Now, as you fold under 1/4″ on the slip bottom, sew just close enough to the edge that when the needle moves outward it catches the bottom of the fabric, drawing it in towards the other stitching, making little shells or scallops.

Problem:  Elastic lost its stretch or coming away from the slip top.  There’s nothing worse than walking and all of a sudden you feel your slip falling down.  Believe me, I know!  It happened to me ONCE!

Suggestion:  Replace the elastic!  Not sure where to start?  Follow the step-by- step instructions given below, and presto!  you’ll have a “new” half slip!

1.  Remove the old elastic, being careful not to tear the slip.

2.  To determine the length of new elastic you’ll need, measure your waist and deduct an inch from that measurement.

3.  Choose a “soft elastic” (plush backed, picot edge, fold-over, stretch lace elastic) so that it will feel good against your skin.  Cut the elastic to the measurement in step 2.

4.  Sew the ends of the elastic together.

5.  Divide elastic into fourths.  Place straight pins to mark your “fourths”.

6.  Divide the top of the half slip into fourths.  The seams on the slip already mark the “halves”.  Simply bring the seams together, keeping them together.  Now run your fingers along the edge – when you get to the end, you have another part of the “fourth”.  Repeat this on the other side to get the remaining “fourth”.  Again, mark the “fourths” with straight pins.

7.  Now all you have to do is match your pins and pin the elastic to the slip.   As you sew, stretch the elastic between the pins..  I use a multiple zigzag stitch on my regular sewing machine, with the width usually set at 4 or 5 and a short length.

We have a full pattern making class on how to make half slips that includes complete illustrated instructions for making several lengths as well as a variety of hem finishes.  The class comes in Misses Size – S, M, L, XL and Full Figure/Plus Size – 1X-8X.

For additional information on patterns and pattern making, visit SewWithSarah.com – your sewing, craft, pattern and pattern making headquarters!

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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