1940 – 1950s Bra & Garter Belt + Free Patterns

1940s 1950s Bra And Garter Belt + Free Patterns-24

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we’re clearing out Grandma’s house at the moment. And I found some of her lingerie: bras and garter belts! They’re probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s. The bras have the characteristic, pointy, conical bullet bra shape of the 1950s – but not as exaggerated as some of the 1950s bras.


And if you want to sew your own pin-up bra or vintage garter belt, I traced the patterns of two of the bras and of one of the garter belts. You can download the patterns for free and adjust them to your size.


1940s/ 1950s Pink Bra

>> Click Here To Download The 1950s Pink Bra Pattern For Free <<

– The PDF opens in a new window –

1940s 1950s Bra And Garter Belt + Free Patterns-13

The first bra is light pink. The fabric is thin, sheer and non-elastic, probably nylon or polyester taffeta fabric. My other grandma, a dressmaker, used that kind of fabric to line skirts and dresses in the 1950s and 1960s.

The bra is made out of one layer of fabric, just the lower cup below the circular stitching is made out of two layers of the taffeta lining fabric.

Bra Straps & Closure

Original 1950s Pinup Bra + Free Pattern

The bra has non-adjustable satin ribbon straps, and is closed with an elastic loops & hook closure. Anna shared a tutorial how to attach such a 1950s French bra back closure.

1950s Vintage Hook And Loop Bra Back Closure
Close-up of vintage bra closure

Circular Stitching

1950s Vintage Bullet Bra Circular Stitching

The bullet bra has the iconic circular stitching.

Circular Stitching Conical Bullet Bra
Close-up of circular stitching
Circular Stitching 1950s Pin Up Bra Wrong Side
Circular stitching, wrong side of bra

Elastic Insets

Vintage 1950s Pin Up Bra Elastic Insets

The bra has two triangular elastic insets, one at each side.

The Inside

Pinup Bullet Bra Free Pattern

The bra is neatly finished on the inside with pink cotton bias binding and flesh-colored, very soft net fabric.

Inside Of Vintage Pinup Bra

Hand Stitches

1950s Bra Hand Stitches Detail

Broken seams were fixed with hand stitches.

Vintage Bra Broken Seams Fixed With Hand Stitches
Hand stitches at the bra closure & where the bra strap is attached
Vintage Bra Hand Stitches
Close-up of hand stitches

1950s Vintage Bra Closure Hand Sewing

1940s/ 1950s White Satin Bra

1950s White Satin Bra

The second bra is a white satin bra with lace insets.

Vintage Bra Lace Detail
Close-up of lace inset

1940s White Satin Bra

It has the same type of closure like the pink bra.

1940s 1950s Bra Closure

The bra is lined with thin, white cotton fabric.

1940s/ 1950s White Lace Bra

>> Click Here To Download The 1950s White Lace Bra Pattern For Free <<

– The PDF opens in a new window –

Original 1950s Pin Up Lace Bra

The third bra has padded bra cups. The bra is made out of sheer, but stiffer, white taffeta fabric and lace.

1950s Pin Up Lace Bra
Close-up of lace and machine zig-zag stitches

1950s Pin Up Lace Bra

It has the same kind of closure like the other two 1950s bras.

1950s Pin Up Retro Bra Closure
Close-up of bra closure
Vintage Pin Up Bra Closure
Bra closure and hand stitches
Vintage Bra Inside
Inside of padded bra cup

1940s/ 1950s Garter Belt

>> Click Here To Download The 1950s Garter Belt Pattern For Free <<

– The PDF opens in a new window –

Original 1940s 1950s Bra And Garter Belt

There are two garter belts: a pink one and a white one with lace – the measurements of the garter belts are the same.

Inside Of Original 1940s 1950s Garter Belt
Inside of the garter belt

The fabric is again a thin taffeta lining fabric. The raw edges of the garter belts are finished with cotton bias binding.

Elastic Insets

1940s 1950s Garter Belt Elastic Inset

Both garter belts have an elastic inset at each side.

1950s Garter Belt Elastic Inset Detail
Close-up of elastic inset
Vintage Garter Belt Elastic Inset And Closure
Elastic inset & hook and eye closure
Inside View Of Vintage Garter Belt Elastic Inset
Wrong side of vintage garter belt
Inside Of Vintage Garter Belt Elastic Inset
Elastic inset & cotton bias binding

Hook & Eye Closure

1940s 1950s Garter Belt Closure

The garter belts are closed with hooks and eyes.

Vintage Girdle Closure
Closure of the white garter belt

Vintage Garter Belt Closure

Vintage Garter Belt Hook And Eye Closure

Vintage Hook And Eye Closure Detail

Spiral Steel Boning

1940s 1950s Vintage Boned Garter Belt

Both garter belts are lightly boned with thin, flexible spiral steel boning.

Vintage Boned Garter Belt
Close-up of spiral steel boning

1950s Garter Belt With Spiral Steel Boning

The Clips

1950s Garter Belt Clips

The white garter belt has plastic suspender clips.

Vintage Metal Suspender Clips

And the pink garter belt has metal suspender clips.

Vintage Metal Garter Grips

Some of the clips were probably broken and repaired with metal and plastic buttons.

Fix Repair Suspender Clips With Buttons

Hand Stitches

Hand Sewing Vintage Garter Belt

Broken seams were fixed with hand stitches.

1940s 1950s Garter Belt Hand Stitches

36 thoughts on “1940 – 1950s Bra & Garter Belt + Free Patterns

  1. These pieces are in the most wonderful condition, especially considering their age! Thank you so much for sharing them, and the patterns you have made, with us at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Pinning!

  2. Lina! Thank you so much for this pattern! This examples are so pretty! Once I made some garter belt, but now I think it’s time to sew some new one 🙂

  3. Oh boy do these take me back! I’m amazed that she still had them. I was in jr. high and high school in the 60’s and early 70’s. I certainly remember wearing a garter belt. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  4. These are all beautiful. They are so feminine, sexy and ladylike all at once. Its great that you are able to replicate these treasures and share the patterns. Beautiful post.

  5. What a cool post. Makes me wish I knew more about sewing. Thanks so much for linking at To Grandma’s House We Go link party! Your project has been pinned. We hope to see you again this Wednesday!

  6. Been looking all over the internet for a vintage Garter Belt Pattern, now I have one, thanks to you. Have self drafted them but not with as much detail as you have brought to the table. And all for free.
    Thanx a Bunch:

  7. Wow! I love the repair details! Unworn or lightly used vintage undergarments from this time are pretty plentiful but well worn ones are not! It really shows the necessary frugality of the depression and war rationing.

    What would your grandmother have thought while mending these had she known they’d be shared for all eyes to see?

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. I *am* a costumer for a nonprofit theatre (well, several) and, especially in a time crunch, I don’t like to “reinvent the wheel.” Thank you for the garter pattern. It’s perfect for my current production.

  9. I enjoyed seeing these hand-made bras and undergarments.
    Would really like to make my own. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!

  10. Will you be posting a blog with instructions for sewing these? The patterns are lovely but a bit confusing to follow without instructions

    1. At the moment I don’t plan to write a tutorial. But you can ask me if you have any questions about the patterns. I’ll try to answer them. 🙂

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