The eighties - a questionable and contentious era of fashion. To some, an era of powerful dressing, to others shudder inducing when one recalls the shoulder pads and boxy styles that this decade was know for.
Love or hate the outerwear fashion of the era, I think we can agree that the underwear options that the eighties gave us, do have their gems. The teddy, or romper as they are now known, has always been an interesting piece of lingerie to me. Ridiculously decadent in sumptuous silk/lace combinations, while at the same time a completely unsupportive garment and impractical to wear under today's form fitting clothes, they've always been relegated to the boudoir category of lingerie.
I've recently seen a resurgence in love for this piece, particularly in the burlesque community. Maybe its the glamour of a bygone era that draws performers to this piece... or simply that I make them in the most beautiful silks which catch stage lights in the best possible way.
One of the most treasured vintage patterns is my VAST pattern library is the Burda 6157 lingerie set from this era. The pattern boasts a teddy, camisole and French knickers set, knee length princess slip and high leg knickers that the era was well known for. As with vintage patterns of this age, particularly from the Burda company, seam allowances were not included in the pattern. Perhaps this is why I was able to find a complete and uncut copy. I must admit that I prefer patterns without a seam allowance included, as I can trace off the desired size and add my own seams, to suit the construction method of my choice. I've always found these types of patterns more accurate, which pleases my inner critic, and extra bonus of keeping the original pattern intact.
This pattern was recently made for burlesque performer Lila Luxx as part of the Toowoomba Artist Footprint (TAF) program in 2021 and I've been itching to make one for myself ever since. So when the opportunity to make a version for an upcoming student pole performance presented itself, I dug through my stash of silks and found enough of this amazing deep red sandwash silk from Silkworld and some hand-dyed eyelash lace left over from the TAF project.
The pattern calls for lace to be appliquéd around the bust and leg openings prior to sewing any other components of the garment, so I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon planning and cutting out bits of lace and carefully piecing them together. Laying cut pieces on the bust pattern, I pinned together the lace and subsequently sewed them together with a teeny zigzag, prior to attaching to the silk with the same stitch. This took the best part of two afternoons, so not a quick project to complete.
The garment itself is constructed with tiny French seams, rouleau straps and an interior elastic waistband. Stay tuned for photos of the finished garment :)