Not all underwear in the 1920s was made of woven silk and cotton fabric. 1920s everyday underwear was also made of knit fabric. Knit lingerie in the 1920s often came in white and pastel colors and was made of silk, rayon and cotton knit fabric. For my knit envelope chemise, however, I refashioned an old bedsheet!
Cotton knit ‘Union Suits cling with a smooth perfection that will delight you.’ (Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1926)
While 1920s envelope chemises look like a short slip, they had flap between the legs turning the slip into a knicker-slip-combination. They closed at the crotch with two snaps or buttons.
Related: 1920s Pink Satin Envelope Chemise
‘These Union Suits are unusual because […] Knit from softest combed cotton yarn […] Accurately sized to fit perfectly […] fit smoothly without the usual bulkiness experienced in closed style undergarments.’ (Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1926)
Instead of buying new fabric I often reuse old fabric. For this 1920s cotton knit envelope chemise I used the good parts of an old bedsheet! The bedsheet was a beige-colored, thick 100% cotton knit fabric – suitable for 1920s knit underwear.
‘For the woman who is active and quick in her movements, the camisole-top chemise is not thoroughly satisfactory, for, if it is comfortably loose, the straps, with every bend of the body, slip over the shoulders and bind the arms; for her there can be no better choice than the round-neck chemise […] with shoulder straps a part of the garment. […] Still other points in its favor are that it is smooth fitting, simple of construction, and easy to launder.’ (Underwear And Lingerie, 1925)
As usual, my inspiration was antique 1920s knit underwear like this 1920s pink rayon knit chemise, this 1920s purple rayon knit teddy and this 1920s white cotton knit step-in chemise. More inspiration on my pinterest board ‘1920s Lingerie’: