A while ago, I won this antique Edwardian lace slip with beautiful Valenciennes lace insertions at an ebay auction. I think it’s a late Edwardian (1910s) slip.
‘Every well groomed woman is very particular to see that outside garments fit without wrinkles and with a glove-like appearance across the hips and back. There is only one way to accomplish this result, and that is to have the under garments without fullness or wrinkles […] all bands around the waist must be fitted to avoid increasing its size. […]
The bottom of the slip may be trimmed with ruffles, with lace, with rows of insertion sewed together to make a flounce, with embroidery, with beading and insertion, or may even be left plain. Young girls who are wearing gathered or pleated skirts often prefer a slip made similar to the slip-over night dress, without sleeves, but this garment is not very satisfactory where smooth fitting skirts are worn on the outside.’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916)
The slip is made with cambric except for the front bodice. A dense muslin was used for the front part of the bodice. If you’re interested what kind of fabric was used for underwear in the late Edwardian era, here’s a table from 1916 that ‘lists materials which are used in the construction of under- and outergarments, classified as to fiber, weave, price, width, and description’: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction, 1916.
The armholes and neck are finished with a scalloped trim. The trim is machine-made with a scalloped edge and embroidered dots.
The Edwardian slip is closed at the back with 4 brass snaps.
The antique slip has two French Valenciennes lace insertions and a wide French Valenciennes lace edging.
‘Valenciennes laces are suitable for nainsook or fine linen undergarments, but they do not wear very well when used with heavier materials.’ ‘It may be made with a round mesh, German Val; [or] a diamond mesh, French Val’ (A Manual Of Home-Making, 1919). Here are pictures of Edwardian German Val and French Val laces.
‘Undergarments may be made with various kinds of seams: For a corset-cover or combination, the under-arm and shoulder seams may be hemmed fells, stitched fells, or French seams; […] the armhole seam may be a plain seam bound, or seam beading may be used with a standing fell and French seam’ (A Manual Of Home-Making, 1919).
The skirt consist of six pieces, probably to save fabric: Upper skirt part (five pieces) and ‘ruffle’ part.
Edwardian lingerie usually had a hand-sewn, horizontal tuck (in the skirt part). The tuck was later released if necessary. Here the tuck is hidden behind the horizontal skirt seam.
I think the Edwardian slip is homemade. And except for the tuck, there are no hand stitches and machine zigzag stitches: the slip was sewn on a straight stitch sewing machine.
And you can find even more frilly, lacy Edwardian underwear on my pinterest board: 1900s lingerie.