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Dear Sew-Mamas-in-Training,

One of your first real sewing projects should be easy. It should also be something useful. Like this slip.

Slips are meant for modesty. The most suitable fabrics for slips are cotton (in hot weather), cotton/poly blend, nylon tricot, eyelet, silk satin, poly satin, silk charmeuse, silk crepe, or batiste.

I like using flannel in the winter-time. Yes. That’s right. A flannel half-ship. Make it floor length (*see the note below added 12/2/11). Then sew a long sleeve matching flannel top to create a sleep-set for those chilly winter nights. You can add whatever trimmings and fixins to pretty it up.

Keep reading for the instructions. You can also print the Half-Slip Instructions (pdf).


  • fabric
  • 1/4″ wide elastic
  • thread
  • needle (or sewing machine)
  • tape measure


You will need a front and back slip panel. But first, you must measure yourself to customize the pattern.

Slip Length:

  1. Measure from your waist to where you want the hemline to be.
      • Example: 42 inches
  2. Add 1 1/4″ to this measurement
      • Example: 42 + 1 1/4 = 43 1/4
  3. Length of slip panel = 43 1/4 inches√

*Slip Width #A if length of slip that is above the calf or shorter:

  1. Measure your waist
      • Example = 30 inches
  2. Multiply waist by .25
      • Example 30 x .25 = 7.5
  3. Subtract the number in step 2 from your waist measurement
      • Example 30 – 7.5 = 22.5
  4. Add 1 to to the number in step 3
      • Example 22.5 + 1 = 23.5
  5. Width of slip panel = 23.5 inches√

*Slip Width #B if length of slip is ankle-length or longer:
If your waist is larger than your hips, then use hip measurement

  1. Measure your hips (if it is bigger than your waist)
      • Example = 36 inches
  2. Divide by 2
      • Example 36 ÷ by 2 = 18
  3. Factor in a 5-inch ease; divide 5 by 2
      • Example 5 ÷ by 2 = 2.5
  4. Add in 1/2-inch seam allowances to both sides of slip
      • Example .5 + .5 = 1
  5. Add the numbers from Step 2, 3, and 4 to get the panel width√
        • Example 18 + 2.5 + 1 = 21.5

Cutting Instructions:

Cut 2 panels of fabric using the final measurements in Step 3 of Slip Length and Step 5 of Slip Width for option #A or #B.

The easiest way to do this is to mark the length and width. Fold your fabric in half. Pin together. Then cut out both layers of fabric.

Sewing Instructions:

Place right sides together. Sew along the side seams with a ½-in seam allowance. Finish seams with zigzag or serger.

Next, form elastic casing. Fold over the top edge ¼-in to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold over again ½-in; pin down. Stitch all the way around leaving about the last inch unsewn.

Measure your elastic by placing it around your waist. You want the elastic to fit snugly but not too tight. Cut elastic.

Insert elastic into casing with a bodkin or safety pin. Secure the other end of the elastic to the fabric with a safety pin to keep it from accidentally slipping into the casing. When finished, check to make sure the elastic is not twisted.

Overlap elastic ends. Stitch together well.

Stitch the opened section of the casing to close it up.

Sew the bottom hem. Fold over ¼-in to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold over again ¼-in. Sew all the way around.

You now have a nice slip!

Based on Free Pattern: Make a Simple Half Slip