John C. and Scott B. collaborate to bring us another installment of BCC Labs.

Dear Sisters of the Church,

While we here at BCC Labs are deeply concerned with the ongoing conversations found in the Daily Universe, we are also multitasking. This is thanks to our development of a robot named Millie, who does most of the cleaning, and to a system for connecting computers together by giving them unique addresses and encouraging them to connect to new computers (for a small piece of the action) that we are tentatively calling the “NuSkinternet.” We were just getting ready to leave for a very important series of experiments to be completed in Tahiti when Millie brought to our attention an item of interest, one that could radically affect the growth of the Church and the raising of the bar for missionaries. We speak, of course, of lingerie.

In the August 1971 issue of the Ensign, Millie found this article regarding creation of lingerie. The article states at the outset that,

“It is exciting and rewarding to create. The creative sense, dormant within many of us, when once awakened may lead us in many directions: to painting, poetry, music, design, sculpture, or to more practical arts related to homemaking, such as cooking and sewing. The making of lovely lingerie can be a delightful new experience. Here creativity has few bounds.”

The making and wearing of lingerie is one of the talents that our Heavenly Father has given to women, like painting, playing the piano, bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. O, Ye Sisters in Zion, it is imperative that you make and wear lingerie, as the article suggests, so that you cannot be accused of burying or covering your talents (by which we do not imply any sort of double entendre) and then be thrust down to hell. One of the most important commandments addressed by the article is the doctrine of self-sufficiency. For the sisters to enter into the devil’s playground and purchase lingerie from profane providers fails to demonstrate their unique talents as daughters of God. That lingerie is holiest which is hand-sewn, white and delightsome, and virtuous. And by virtuous, we mean modest. And by modest, we mean ankle-length night gowns with long sleeves in place of some unruly maid outfit.

Naturally, you may be concerned about the change in response that may potentially come from replacing your slinky negligee with a flannel smock. However, this is because, in your own fallen and lustful state, you have entirely misunderstood the simplicity of healthy, intimate arousal in men. Recent studies conducted in the sacred confines of BCC Labs have shown that for Mormon men (as well as those non-Mormon guys you’re hoping to convert), modesty is way smokin’ hot. For example, 8 out of 10 males in the bloggernacle prefer hand-woven muumuu’s that cover in excess of 87% of the female body over that naughty little number you only pull out of the drawer on Labor Day. “It’s a fundamental law of economics and the gospel that more is preferred to less,” says Frank, an economist and expert on gender issues in the bloggernacle. “That law applies to food, movies, and keeping the commandments found within the Ensign.” Naturally, Frank asserts, this would include skin coverage in lingerie. “Unless the lingerie is made of flaxen cord, of course,” he warns with a knowing look. “Best to avoid that, because eventually those cords become chains.”

Homemade Lingerie: Longer Sleeves, Please!

Homemade Lingerie: Longer Sleeves, Please!

Not everyone agrees. Occasional bloggernacle personality Ray emerged from seclusion this week to express his dismay that this could become an issue in the church. “When it comes to lingerie, there should be no difference between the opaque and the sheer. Can’t we just be happy with all the possibilities of transparency and opacity that our Lord has provided?” he griped. “I don’t care if it’s racey, and I don’t support any ban on racey lingerie.”

One of the nicest nuggets of truth nestled in the article is that, because modern women “have taken to the idea of making their own, or their daughters’ lingerie,” creating your unmentionables can now be an inter-generational family activity. Is there a more wholesome and edifying sight in all of Zion than a mother and daughter, seated around a sewing table, preparing lingerie together? We can all imagine the joy and peace felt when, perhaps on her wedding night, a daughter first puts on the lingerie that she and her mother made together. These are the things that will bind our families together for generations.

What is more, no longer does grandma need to feel awkward at the sight of the sinful offerings that so frequently are found giftwrapped at bridal showers. Instead, that other oft-used bridal shower activity–quilting–can be replaced with lingerie sewing. Imagine the joy and sisterhood that results from multiple generations of righteous women chortling about fabric and color combinations (according to the article, “Combining two colors or a print and a plain fabric can be very effective“) in preparation for the wedding night!

Of course, the article is not solely focused on encouraging the development of new bodies for as yet unborn spirit children. For those fashion mavens amongst the faithful, the article wisely suggests that any leftover material could be used to create gowns and coats for outerwear. Just imagine the reaction when your husband sees you out in public wearing clothes made from the same cloth as those you wear in private. We are certain that this will lead to an increase in family togetherness, good will, and devotion. (Not to mention the fact that, if you choose a simple white nylon tricot, your friends, neighbors, and new converts can use your lingerie for Stake baptisms!)

For those sisters who are hesitant to keep this new commandment because it will increase the burden of the other grand female commandments–washing clothes, ironing, and cooking–let not your weary hearts be troubled. According to the article, homemade lingerie will “wash easily, dry quickly, and require little or no ironing. They are wrinkle resistant and tend to return to their original shape after laundering.” Thus, you’ll have plenty of time to finish the housework, make your lingerie, and still get dinner on the table before DH comes home.

Finally, because no BCC Labs analysis is complete without an out-of-context quote, we provide the following:

Baste from the front side.



HT to BCC reader Jon for the original 1971 photo from the Ensign!


  1. Bring on the ruffles!

  2. Men, try to control yourselves.

  3. But Kathryn, here at BCC Labs, creativity “has few bounds.”

  4. I took an entire semester of lingerie-making in my Utah middle school, about 1973. I made a gown much like unto the one in the Ensign photo here. They were not made of flannel– this was the seventies after all. They were made of a slippery polyester knit, called Tricot. We also learned to make slips and underpants (which was what we called them then). My grandma loved the fabric so much that she also made quilts and pillow cases out of it.

    You might want to research the influence of LeVoys on the Mormon lingerie-making fad.

  5. merrybits says:

    Delicate lingerie is a pretty sight indeed. All the better to cover those lumpy white potato sacks we call underwear.

  6. According to the article, homemade lingerie will “wash easily, dry quickly, and require little or no ironing.

    Bonus! I hate ironing that French maid costume.

  7. Researcher says:

    Err… sorry to be didactic and technical, but the “gowns” and “coats” in the article would never have been seen in public. (Although in the faint dusty recesses of my memory, I do recall seeing a woman in hair net and curlers and a house coat at the grocery store. Must have been the late 70s when I was a small child, and evidently the memory has remained with me for thirty years, only to be brought back to the surface by your post. (Thanks a bunch!))

  8. AspieMom says:

    Since I don’t own a sewing machine, and don’t know how to sew, I will have to keep relying on my girlfriend Victoria for my lingerie. Please don’t tell DH! He doesn’t even know there are long sleeved, non-sheer options for lingerie…….

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    Seems like a waste of effort when you can go to the DI and find rows upon rows of never used lingerie, which men give to their wives and their wives promptly donate unused.

  10. Paula, I have no doubt your class was inspired by the Ensign article.

    Maybe I’m the strange one, but I don’t really own any lingerie, (at least not the type they are talking about in this article :-))

  11. Obviously I didn’t read the article before I commented– but indeed they are not flannel. Tricot is pronounced with a silent t, just to continue the didactic line.

  12. CS Eric says:

    My browser isn’t letting me download the pictures, so I can only imagine.

    However, I note that, if made of the right fabric, long-sleeved gloves and long stockings can also be quite attractive. Since they also cover the same proportion of the body, they can alleviate the need for long sleeves and ankle-length gowns and still be appropriately modest. Thus, these gloves and stockings can be used to mix and match with the now-otherwise useless French maid costumes.

  13. My lingerie looks awfully funny on since I’ve been through the temple. I must be doing it wrong.

  14. > My browser isn’t letting me download the pictures

    Lingerie photos in the Ensign blocked by internet filters. Now I’ve seen everything…

  15. living in zion says:

    Boy, I sure am glad I decided to take the elective sewing class in 8th grade, instead of the geography class I knew would require homework. My ability to sew in elastic will finally pay off! Hopefully, my homemade undies will get me at least to the lower rings of the Celestial Kingdom….

  16. AspieMom says:

    Tracy M, I never mix my underwear and lingerie. That would be like serving coffee bean ice cream at a ward party.

  17. I’m still trying to get the Labor Day joke.

  18. living in zion, my lingerie class in 9th grade has stayed with me, in that I know specifically what it is that bugs me about the construction of garments.

    And wearing homemade nylon undies for awhile has given me a lifelong horror of all synthetic fabrics.

    Tracy M. You should have been to a LeVoy’s party back in the seventies. Lots of tips and examples of temple-friendly lingerie. :)

  19. AspieMom says:

    RAF, I didn’t get the Labor Day reference either. Of course, I don’t live in Utah……Can someone translate for us?

  20. Heck, I don’t get it and I helped write it.

    You are correct that Sister Watson recommends Tricot, not flannel. I’m sure that this is because, as my wife assures me is the case, that there is nothing more arousing to your significant other or more comfortable to the woman than to drape yourself in granny panty material.

    I defy you to explain to me how a “coat” can be understood as lingerie.

  21. Surely, Labor Day weekend isn’t when the aforementioned “naughty little number” is most likely to come out, is it? I mean, this is the end of the summer; oggling season is only just winding down. Nasty lingerie seems to me to be much more likely used to heat things up when it’s not hot out.

    I defy you to explain to me how a “coat” can be understood as lingerie.

    Lingerie is best defined by what isn’t underneath it. Does that explain it?

  22. My guess is that is has to do with the wearing of white. Also, what you do with your trenchcoat is your own business, Russell. ;)

  23. Yes, there is too much “covering of talents” here.

    Best quote from the Ensign article: “This gives a permanently puffed look. ” Oh my.

    Loved the references to Frank and Ray . . . ha! Good stuff.

  24. Chad Too says:

    Does Elder Packer just counsel Young Men to learn to sew in the last Priesthood session? “If it is not of particular benefit to you, it will help you when you are serving other people.”

    The couple that regularly interfaces together stays together. Fusible interfacing, of course.

  25. Chad Too says:

    “Didn’t Elder Packer…” Sheesh.

  26. New euphemisms every day: “oggling”– I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore.

    And, if “oggling” season ends at Labor Day, I’ve just gotta know when Opening Day is.

  27. This sentence leaped out at me the second time I read the article: “then stitch in the “ditch,” which places the stitch just below the trim. ”
    I can still remember my home ec teacher, telling us to “stitch in the ditch”, but don’t clearly recall what it meant.
    I do recall that when I rolled over in bed in one of these nylon nighties, the static electricity would frequently create a spark.

    Can I mention that I was “Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow” at Sky View High School when I was a senior? It made my mother so proud.

  28. #17 Cynthia L – you may have seen everything, but I like CS Eric must wait until I get home to see the picture. My work internet browser has censored it. SO we haven’t seen it all (yet).

    At a social function my BIL made satetment that he didn’t need all that fancy underwear stuff as his wife was just fine enogh for him without it. Me and the other two guys knew right away that was just code for she wouldn’t wear any.

  29. Researcher says:

    Oh my, John C, you don’t really want to know, do you?

    But, since you asked, I found a version (on sale for the thrifty housewives among your readers) in flannel, with a Peter Pan collar, and, just as advised in the original article, with lace trimming…

    The Housecoat

    (Aren’t you glad you asked? And just for the record, I would not be caught dead in such an item, whether made of tricot or flannel.)

  30. Researcher says:

    Sigh. I just wrote a comment complete with link to a housecoat at an online store. It was on sale (for the thrifty housewives among your BCC readers), knee-length, in flannel, with a Peter Pan collar, and, just as recommended in the Ensign, it had lace trimming.

    (It’s kind of like a short bathrobe.)

    But, probably because it was from the lingerie section of the online catalog, it looks like my comment got caught in the spam filters. Puh-leaze don’t bother to fish it out; the sight of that housecoat would sear too many tender eyeballs.

  31. Thanks to Jon for providing the pic! (He’s a good friend and all-around awesome guy.) We were talking about this very Ensign article several days ago after another friend forwarded it to him. Too bad there aren’t ads in church magazines. Polyester: $4.99/yard; electronic sewing machine: $200.00; getting your lingerie patterns from the Ensign: priceless.

  32. Reading between the lines here, I surmise that John and Scott stumbled upon this article because they used “lingerie” as a search term in the Ensign search box?

  33. jeans (31.)-

    Nope. The Church has decided the best way to stamp out the pernicious problem of pr0n is to dominate google in all search strings, not just family history and mommy-blogging. Thus, John C. was just looking for good old fashioned smut.

    Isn’t that how it went, John?

  34. Paula (#4, 11, 18) — I totally remember the LaVoy’s phenom (I didn’t grow up in Utah, so this was in the “mission field”). There were actually in-home parties for it, complete with “fashion shows.” I recall some lovely avocado-green tricot pyjamas as well as a lot of aqua and pink peignoir sets (along with white of course). Hilarious in hindsight, but at the time it was really good fun.

    And this article also explains why I had several pair of (utterly indestructible) panties (my sister had matching ones!) made from some nylon/polyester fabric left over from something else — my mom was surely part of this lingerie-sewing craze. :-)

  35. Can you post more pictures?!

  36. I didn’t realize that LaVoy’s had made it to the mission field. I modeled some of the lingerie at some of those inhome parties when I was in high school. :)

  37. Can you post more pictures?!


  38. >>”Can you post more pictures?!”

    These are your readers, Steve Evans.

  39. I neither confirm nor deny the implication that I looked this up in Google. I can confirm that when I first saw it, it was because Scott made me. I’ll have to talk to my therapist and my bishop this week.

  40. Steve Evans says:

    This is why we don’t have a “getting to know you” thread at BCC. I don’t want to know you people. You make me sick.

  41. “This will open up a new and fascinating area of sewing at a fraction of the cost of ready-made articles, and no longer will you need to search for just the right gown that is feminine and modest. ”
    BTW, lingerie does not always mean something for your husband’s eyes only. Sometimes it means what you wear around the house in the morning before you have a chance for a shower, or while sick, or slips, etc.
    Nowadays clothing can be found cheap (thanks Wal-mart!). Our affordable choices are vast. Our variety of stores and articles of clothing is unsurpassed. Our available fashion is more broad (sweats?). And we have the internet so we can order modest Tshirts to wear under all the immodest shirts that are in stores.
    However, previous generations of women had fewer choices so the art of sewing was very practical because a woman (or her mother or her aunt) could make an article of clothing that would work for her.

  42. >>”BTW, lingerie does not always mean something for your husband’s eyes only. Sometimes it means what you wear around the house in the morning before you have a chance for a shower, or while sick, or slips, etc.”


  43. I’m feeling jipped . This article was written 2 years before I was born. Why aren’t there more articles like this now? Lingerie is expensive, and we are a money saving people.

  44. “BTW, lingerie does not always mean something for your husband’s eyes only.”

    A quick Google image search has confirmed the accuracy of this claim.

  45. Someone with better Photoshopping skills than me should make a “Lingerie” “Calendar” mashup:

    Preferably a BYU student (and this time, please record your disciplinary meeting with the school!)

  46. Kenny Brassen says:

    I have this Ensign issue hid under my bed.

  47. Mark B. says:

    Good hunting, Brother Matsby. Now, be sure to close the browser before you boss sticks his head in the office.

  48. Mike M. says:

    Hey, why all the personal attacks? I just wanted more pictures so I could show my wife all the possibilities. Wouldn’t more picutres help if you actually wanted to make something? Sheesh. You all think the worst about people, don’t you? :)

  49. We are sewing, always sewing
    Countless gowns with lace and frills
    Gowns of flannel and of tricot
    Gowns designed to give no thrills.

    Gowns with ribbon made of grosgrain
    Gowns of yellow, blue, pink and green
    Gowns that cover neck and shoulders
    And keep our knees from being seen!

  50. Steve Evans says:

    And the race for the 2009 Niblets begins!

  51. 45 and 48 = Awesome.

  52. Mike M.(34 & 47)–Sorry for the confusion. Being called a perv at BCC means you’re part of the of the family. Along with the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, etc…

  53. Moniker Challenged says:

    It took painful memories of tricot to unlurk me on your fine site…Anyhoo, just for the record, I think a lot of hubbies would get a charge out of their wives in these frocks. My mom used to make me horrid tricot sleepwear, and it builds static like mad. The resulting electric discharge could either induce or resolve a cardiac episode. Hitting Deseret Bookstores this fall: The Tricot Murders

  54. Steve Evans says:

    Scott, they all think Mike M. is a righteous dude.

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