Skip to main content

What did women wear for small waists?

Alexandra said in a comment on my previous mail that she would want "whatever undergarments they wore to make their hips and waists look like that. (They can keep the bullet bras.)".

It reminded me of a link recently shared on a Dutch sewing forum which shows what women did wear. Alexandra, would you want to wear this (as if you would need it)? I definitely don't want to, even if it would make my hips look smaller.


  1. I remember well those. My mother had a whole collection of them. She felt she needed them after bearing 8 children. She used to wear them underneath her skirt suits.
    Today's corsets are much more streamlined and very efficient. I admit I own few. The "technic" knits and stretch fabrics makes them comfortable and efficient. Actresses and women under scrutiny of cameras (i.e. politicians) wear them a lot.

  2. There was a lot of talk about how difficult it was for the women on Mad Men to get dressed for the show. Definitely not for me! Sigrid, Mad Men is a tv show that takes place in 1950's NYC.

  3. Sigrid - your posts in my feed reader have suddenly changed from showing the beautiful, full posts to really short excerpts over the last few days (which is really annoying). Is there any chance you could have a look at your settings and make sure the RSS feeds are set to display the full posts again? I learn so much from your blog that I'd hate to miss anything!

    Oh, and I made my first bra this weekend. You were totally my inspiration!!

  4. Just as I suspected- and no, I would not wear these things, breathing is far too important :))

  5. They look almost identical to the modern "body shapers" currently available. The main difference being body shapers are made from lycra and likely far more comfortable, although I still would never wear one. :) It seems everything comes full circle eventually.

  6. I hate to be contradictory but I LOVE corsets

  7. LOL. That vintage underwear definitely was designed to give that very tiny waisted look. In some cases, such as models, padded undergarments were worn to fill out body areas to give that hour glass shape. Most models who are very thin don't have a very curvy shape, so even in the 50's a little padding was used. As for myself, while I wear and love vintage clothing, I don't do the underwear. Fortunately, like you, I have a small waist compared to the rest of my measurements.

  8. That's just too much sacrifice to look slim and elegant!

  9. Late comment, I apologize. I followed the link in your post and got lost for hours, exploring the world of girdles and such things, and forgot to come back.
    Yes, I would wear such things, at least in decent weather. Not when it's too hot :-) I just love the shape they give.

  10. Ooooh, and can you add the link to the Dutch sewing forum?

  11. Katharina: the link to the Dutch forum:

    It's about sewing lingerie.


Post a Comment

It's always nice to have feedback on what I'm posting about. All comments, also positive criticism, are always highly appreciated.
Leuk als je een berichtje schrijft, altijd leuk om te lezen, ook opbouwende kritiek!

Popular posts from this blog

How to sew a sleeveless top with facings

How lovely to read the nice comments on my jacket. Grumpy without coffee commented that the original artist for the cartoon (which apparently was for books) was Sarah Andersen. Thank you for mentioning it. Beckster asked about the way I closed the center back seam of the lining. I did it by machine. She also said “Although I have not tried it, I have been told that the lining can be made by using the pattern minus the seam allowance and facings.” Well, certainly not without seam allowances, it should be without hem and without the facings. Important is that you have about 5 cm hem in the jacket for this to work. And I would always make a center back pleat. It gives you space to move without the lining pulling on the fabric. Next time I make a jacket I will try to make photos of the process of bagging the lining (Patsijean said she would have liked to see them and probably more would be interested). Might take a while though, see the end of this post.-----------------------------I mad…

Dress Burda June 2018, construction picture

Once in a while a pattern shows up in a magazine that I want to make immediately. This Burda dress from the June issue is one of those.It’s mainly the linedrawing that’s interesting, as the fabric they used for the magazine issue is not really showing the design lines. There would have been better accent options for the piping they uses. If you’re like me and in general don’t look at the Burda instructions but do it by experience or your way anyhow, DON’T go on autopilot with this one. Sleeveless dress: I close shoulder seams at the last possible moment. Not here, as you have to sew the bias band in between the center and side parts. The band has no seam (and I wouldn’t add one, too many layers of fabric), so the shoulder has to be sewn earlier than I’m used to.Darts: I was inclined to sew all darts as first step and realised really just in time that the front dart is taking up the edge of the band. Front and back band! I was stupified why the angle of the band was not matching the si…

Hilarious description

This week I bought the January Burda issue and browsing through it this top, and especially its description had my attention. Written by someone who has no understanding of modern, functional fabrics and never goes to the gym. Don’t know whether it’s the same in the English issue of the magazine, but in Dutch it says “Sport shirts often have the disadvantage to be close fitted.  This restricts your movement. Our suggestion: make this shirt with a full draped back.“I didn’t care to check their description of sports shirts they published before, but thought this one was hilarious.Off to trace a pattern from this magazine (not this one).