Today I’m showing you how to make a slip from an old camisole.
I love wearing dresses, but often you come across fabric that doesn’t sit well on its own. Maybe it’s semi-translucent, maybe it’s clingy. When you have fabrics like this, a lining is a great option.
But what if you don’t want to fully line a dress? That’s where the full slip comes in.
Unlike full slips of yesteryear, this one has the benefit of that camisole top. So you can show it off under a wrap style dress or with another low neckline dress. It’ll offer you some modesty, smooth out that skirt, and be comfortable next to your skin.
Did I mention that once you have everything prepped to sew, you can make one of these slips in about 10 minutes? For real!
So find yourself a camisole you have in your closet and let’s jump into the full slip tutorial!
How to make a slip from a knit dress pattern
Let’s talk some patterns that will be a good starting point. We really only need the skirt portion of the dress for this one. A bodycon style is really ideal. If you like a more straight skirt, that will work too.
Here’s some pattern options that’ll work as a base for your full slip.
- Vogue 1314: that’s what I’m using. It has a lining piece with a bodycon style that’s perfect for making slips. It’s OOP, but it’s easy to find on Etsy and Ebay.
- McCalls 7531
- Sinclair Patterns Jessica dress
- Kommatia Patterns Crew bodycon dress
- Simplicity 8787: similar to the Vogue with a little different twist
Once you choose your pattern, it’s time to put everything together.
10 minute full slip tutorial
Get your camisole ready
Put on your camisole. Measure straight down from just above the cami’s finished hem to where you’d like the hem to be for your full slip.
For me, I like my dresses to hit at the top of the knee, and slips and linings 2″ shorter than that. For the cami I’m using today, that means I need to add 11 total inches + 1″ for seam allowance and hem. So 12″ to add to the bottom of the cami.
If your cami fits you well as is, go on to the next step. You can also tweak the fitting here. For me, that meant shortening the straps first and also sewing a new side seam line to make the cami more fitted.
The last thing you need to do is cut off the original hem. You could unpick it, but then this won’t be a 10 minute project! From the wrong side cut off the hem just above the stitching.
Prepping your pattern for your slip
Take your camisole and fold it along the center front line. Align the CF of the cami with your pattern piece from your dress pattern. The armhole of the cami should line up with the armhole seam line on your dress pattern.
Next mark the bottom of the cami onto the pattern. Use your ruler to draw a straight line perpendicular to the CF line.
Draw a dotted line 3/8″ above that line–that’ll be your cutting line for the top of the skirt piece.
Measure down from the line that you drew. Is it the length that you measured earlier? If you’re using a regular dress pattern it will probably be longer. For me, Vogue 1314 has a lining piece, so the length is just right for me. Adjust the hem length by drawing a line if needed.
Cutting the back and front skirt
Cut out your front and back pieces from the bottom portion of the skirt.
Rather than trace a whole new pattern from what you marked, you can just fold your pattern on the lines you marked and cut away.
Time to sew your full slip
Pin your side seams together.
Next, sew the side seams. I’m using a serger here. You can also use your regular sewing machine with 3/8″ seams and a narrow zigzag stitch instead.
After this, press up a hem. Use whatever hem depth you like. I’m using 3/4″.
Next, match the bottom of the cami to the top of the skirt piece, right sides together. Match the side seams, as well as center front and center back. Sew the skirt to the camisole. Again, I’m using my serger, but your sewing machine will do just as well.
Finish the bottom of the skirt with a twin-needle hem or a coverstitch.
So that is how you can make a full slip in short order. This full slip tutorial is one of those projects where you put on a dress 30 minutes before you go somewhere, realize you need a slip, and still you can waltz out the door on time with your new slip. The camisole base makes for the most comfortable slip and it’s a good way to repurpose camis that may not get much wear.
Like this refashioning project? Why not check out Easy Refashions for Every Season? This Eguide will walk you through how to take everyday forgotten clothes and turn them into garments that you’ll love to wear. There’s 12 projects inside this guide (and psst a bonus tutorial for a jazzy sweater you’re going to love. Learn more about Easy Refashions for Every Season when you click on the image below.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.