For the eleventh day of A Gift a Day, I made three cotton slips.

I used a dress pattern with a button back. I used the bodice and skirt pieces only, and since there was no hem allowance needed, I cut the skirt shorter.

The skirts were just straight rectangles. I cut all the way across the width of the fabric for the front and back of the skirt, making it about 21″ wide for the front and back pieces (the muslin shrinks after washing, so this was the actual size of the washed fabric when I cut). This makes for a not real full slip, and it doesn’t use a lot of fabric this way.

I cut away the seam allowance around the neck and armholes from the bodice pieces.

I then sewed a scalloped edge around the armholes, 3/8″ from the edge. I trimmed the fabric off around the scallops with a pair of sharp scissors.

I sewed the neck scallop after I had constructed the slip.

I also sewed the hem scallop after the slip was constructed.

For one of the slips, I sewed  pin tucks and a machine featherstitch above the hem.

Cotton slip





dress pattern


sewing machine


The total time for one slip is 2 hours.


$ 1.23 per slip.

I bought the cotton muslin 50% off several years ago. I bought the entire bolt. This made it $1.50 a yard at the time (it is most likely a bit more now as cotton prices rose significantly a few years back). The slips took around 3/4 of a yard each. A larger slip could be a yard to a yard and a quarter.

I used vintage buttons from my button jar for all three slips.

The scallops take a fair amount of thread. You can read here about how I buy thread.

These could be constructed with hand-embroidery, lace edging, or an eyelet skirt for a fancier slip. You could also buy poly/cotton broadcloth to make these for just a little bit more, and they won’t wrinkle. Old sheets can also be made into slips.

To use less thread, a narrow hem could be made instead of the scallops.

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?

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  1. Whether or not this will work depends on your family’s financial circumstances and on the ages of your children, but when we got to a certain age my parents told us what they spend on Christmas. They told us we could ask for anything up to that amount, but that there was no point asking for anything that cost more than that because we wouldn’t be getting it unless we bought it ourselves.

  2. These won’t be for this Christmas, but I’ve just started some lavender cuttings propogating. It’s my first attempt so we’ll see how it works. But if it works I was thinking lavender plants would make a nice present in future years. This batch is more my “Hmmmm, let’s see if I can do this and how long it takes to get a nice-looking plant” experiment.

  3. I just finished a slip for myself this morning to be worn under a skirt I made from thin but very pretty material. It doesn’t look as pretty as these, but no one sees it but me anyways 🙂

  4. I wanted to say how much I love your blog, Brandy. So pretty and so practical. It’s one of my absolute favorites. Though I know the discussion above was not about a Kindle per se, I did want to add 2 cents about that particular item. We have 8 children and we homeschool. Two years ago, I found it increasingly difficult to monitor what my son, a voracious reader, was reading. I just couldn’t keep up with him. My husband decided we should buy my son a Barnes & Noble Nook for Christmas. We got the most basic model, no internet, no back light (to keep him from reading @ night) for $80. We then downloaded tons of books–many G.A. Hentys & classic lit books–all for free or next to nothing. There’s no way I could have bought that many books for that price (a set of Hentys alone is $200 or more). My son has read over 50 Hentys since we bought him the Nook (he’s now 12 yrs old), plus many other books. All the other kids know that the device is their brother’s. He is responsible to keep it out of his younger siblings’ hands as well as remember to bring it home when he takes it somewhere. All in all, though my frugal nature cringed at the thought of buying the Nook when my husband first suggested it, it has been a very worthwhile purchase for us. There’s not a day that passes that my son is not reading books on it.

  5. I helped my oldest sew some little wallets she wants to give all the ladies in the family plus some of her friends, she has it planned she needs 16, she even bought some of the fabric with her own money and then asks very nicely for scraps of my fabric. Today she sewed 2 of them, and has 8 cut out.I cut out a bunch of baby bibs to give as gifts, also a baby blanket and started a teething lovey, of my own design, we shall see how it turns out. None of it got finished but I work in an assembly line fashion, I cut and cut then sew and sew, then add snaps, etc…I like having premade baby gifts put up in my closet. I just went to two baby showers with 2 more that I know of in the near future. I also have two 6 month olds to send gifts to this Christmas.

  6. The book is called Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in The Japanese Tradition by Kumiko Sudo. It has beautiful photographs and descriptions of Japanese traditions, the instructions are usually pretty simple to understand between the text and the illustrations, and the projects turn out lovely. It would be a wonderful gift for somebody that enjoys sewing. It’s on Amazon.Also, the projects can be made from scraps, which is very nice. There isn’t really anything that needs to be purchased for most of the projects (if you already have some fabric) except some drawstring cording. I purchased 1 yard for $.60 with a 40% off coupon at Jo-Ann last week. Lastly, I don’t use silk or satin pieces. I use cotton fabric and they look beautiful.

  7. You know, two Christmas’ ago, my brother-in-law got an ipad for Christmas. The day after Christmas, when the older cousins (age 7-9) were playing some games on it, it was knocked off of a couch onto carpet and the whole screen cracked. It cost $200 to repair it.I never received such expensive gifts as a child or teenager. In fact, I can’t even remember what I got for Christmas except for a sewing box that my parents put together for me, a doll my mother made for me, and a pair of $15 earrings that I still wear regularly.What I do remember, were all of the fun family traditions, such as giving little gifts to friends, making wonderful goodie plates using our most special recipes with my mom and sisters, decorating the tree, singing in the Christmas Choir, playing the piano at Christmas recitals, my Granny teaching me to make English Toffee, etc..Maybe if you focus on your old traditions and maybe some new ones, spending a lot of quality family time, your children won’t feel so many wants? I am not saying that you don’t do this already and I do not wish to offend, but this is the conclusion I’ve come to for my own family as all of the “Top Ten Gift” lists and advertisements have been popping up everywhere. I hope you find some good solutions so that you and yours may have a very nice Christmas!

  8. Hello Katie,I think I may have worded my post a bit too strongly. My children do not feel so many wants. They just on occasion would like some of the other things they see children playing with or having. I think it’s unfair of me to never expect them to want something as I have a long list of wants , but know they are neither practical nor in the budget. We have taught them to pray and ask God if He feels they need it to provide it:-) And I am not offended, don’t worry, thanks for offering your suggestions–that was what I am looking for! We do keep alot of family traditions too, this year we’re trying out a new family Advent book that I got from Doorposts. I think I will try the English toffee–that does sound yummy and would make nice little gifts boxed up. It sounds like your childhood has wonderful memories!Blessings,Suzanne

  9. Dear Matt Macduff & Family,Thanks about the Kindle suggestion. I have a friend who has 11 children and she uses three kindles to help homeschool and with free reading. She has a small home and has told me this has been the perfect solution for her since she doesn’t have space for all the books her kids read, the time to dust and organize them and she with all those children doesn’t have the time to be out “yardsailing” as she calls it:-) She actually makes her kids check-out the kindles like the library does. They are all kept in a cupboard in her kitchen and when a child wants one they have to ask her or her husband, sign the clipboard and return it withing a three hour time frame. I thought this was incredibly funny but she swears it works and has been for about three years now! Her children aren’t allowed to read more than three hours per day as she wants them outside playing or making things or practicing their music. My Mom gives each grandchild $40.00 so she is going to put this towards a kindle for my daughter–my friend swears on Black Friday she will get one like yours for this–and I don’t have to go anywhere! My daughter with Asperger’s has been wanting one as she reads a lot and I am so thankful you suggested this option–again, my thanks.Blessings,Suzanne

  10. Thank you Brandy for your suggestion. We do not show the children the family budget until they are much older. My husband is very old-fashioned and comes from a generation where you don’t ask what Dad makes:-) He will not budge on this one…LOL! They do know we are careful with money and there isn’t alot of it to go around though. My son was about 16 when we shared that with him, but he was going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace at our church. My daughter with Asperger’s could not handle it at this time because she would worry unnecessarily about impending financial disaster…LOL! My youngest is 9 and has a handle on the fact we don’t have funds for all the wants in life. I think it gets hard especially this time of year because they hear what this one or that one is buying. I am still amazed at what people spend! But, I make no judgement on others, if God has blessed them with the capacity to bless, who am I to say what is too much:-)And I can relate to your helicopter story! One year my daughter wanted one, we explained that for our price range a helicopter would likely break. It did and she didn’t say too much as she was forewarned, but the look of disappointment was heartbreaking–but a good lesson to learn to pick our gifts more wisely. Thanks again!Blessings,Suzanne

  11. The hard part, to me, is that it is not just the cost of the Kindle–it is the cost of the new books as well. I usually spend $2-$6 for a hardcover book, usually buying them used, as I have the funds available through my Amazon credit. I cannot spend the $15 per book that a Kindle edition costs. It’s just a lot of money. I am slowly getting the books that I want for them to read as assigned reading for school, but I’m just now getting the books for 6th grade reading for Winter, who is in 7th grade in everything else. I just haven’t had the funds to do more than that. I’m very grateful for hardcover editions that I can buy used.Also, I’m very grateful that we can request a lot of books through the library’s website, allowing us to check out books from other libraries in the district. That is a big help as well.But, some people have a lot more money in their budgets.

  12. Actually Brandy if you go with the B&N Nook you can get thousands of books free–this is what my friend has–not a Kindle, sorry, I think I typed that because we were talking about that:-) She also uses libraries all over. She never pays that much for a book if she does have to buy it. I checked this out too and the B&N list is amazing! If I can score the basic for $40-50 bucks I will literally save hundreds in book costs:-)

  13. Speaking of budgets, I just started homeschooling this year, and I also work from home. I’m finding my time stretched very thin, and I’d like to end some of my work so I have more time to focus on my children, their education, and my family. The problem is that I can’t do so without a significant budget cut. What would you suggest as the best way to cut the budget? The way that would have the most impact? Thanks for all of the ideas on your blog. I’ve been reading through the archives trying to get some ideas.

  14. Amazon has a Kindle lending library that allows you to borrow some titles for free. I believe it is one per month.Some library systems allow you to check out ebooks for free. They have them in several formats, but I haven’t tried it yet. I have had a used Kindle for over a year now and have only purchased one book for $4 — and that was an accidental purchase because I clicked the wrong thing. 🙁

  15. Melissa you have to know where you are spending your money to know what would have an impact on you. For example I spend very little on groceries telling me cut my grocery budget wouldn’t help me. Only you know what you spend money on. Can you cut entertainment? clothing budget, cell phones? Read thru Brandy’s website and the comments on her frugal accomplishments posts.

  16. Basically you can get anything that is copyright-free for free with any e-reader. That’s pretty much all the classics. I love my e-reader; the biggest drawback, for me, is that it’s hard to go back to reference a previous part of the book – so I think if you’re doing a book report or a research paper and have to reference sources, e-readers are definitely not the way to go.

  17. You can also get a lot of free books (including the classics) on Google Books. Okay, so reading a book on the computer may not be the best (particularly for anyone else in the family who wants to use the computer!) but it’s another option.

  18. If you are using the kindle/nook for school work, try to only download editions from established publishers. I have found that many of the free books have terrible editing. Many have incorrect spelling, grammar, and even the wrong names at times. I have a kindle that a friend gave to me, but rely on the library for most books for my daughter.

  19. I use a kindle that a friend gave to me, it is good for light reading. I have found that several of the free e-books have terrible editing, spelling, and grammar. I try to skim through any books that my daughter will be reading. We rely on the library for most of the books she reads. The online reservation feature saves a lot of time.

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