Guys! I made my own undies (or knickers or panties or pants or whatever word you use for your lower off undergarment). I've been wanting to do this for a while so when I found out that Measure Twice Cut Once was hosting a week–Everyone Deserves Pretty Knickers Week–in honor of sewing your own undies, I knew I should join along.
Of course, I'm not the reasonable type that just sews one pair. No. I had to sew three, each in a different pattern. I was drawn to the idea of sewing my own knickers for a couple of reasons. One, it's a small project that can use up fabric scraps. Second, the fit could be customized. And fit is very important when it comes to your underwear, don't you think?
The first pair I made are the green ones shown on the right above, using the Lizzie Knickers pattern from Measure Twice, Cut Once. I chose this design because over the years I've come to favor the elastic sides (as opposed to fabric plus elastic on the sides). They seem to fit well and not shift too much. There are a lot of designs in the her pattern shop and I'm sure you can find one to fit your panty preference. In fact, the Jane Knickers are on sale at Kollabora until June 10.
I was a little surprised that the pattern called for woven fabrics because most of my undies are made of knit. But, I had a lovely fat quarter I picked up on sale over Memorial Day and decided to go for it. The fat quarter provided enough yardage and I used a scrap of knit fabric for the inside gusset. By the way, the pattern is cut on the bias, so even though it's knit it does have plenty of crosswise stretch.
The only problem I had was when starting to stitch the elastic, the fabric didn't want to feed through the machine. So, I stuck a piece of paper under the fabric and it zoomed right through. Do you have any other tips for this? I really liked the trick of how the gusset seams are hidden. I think the hardest part is figuring out how much elastic to use but this I'm sure can be perfected with practice.
These knickers fit quite nicely and I'm very pleased with them. I just used regular 1/4 inch wide elastic but the next time I make them, I'd like to try a fold over or picot edge elastic.
Here's the second pair of undies I made. For these I used the free pattern from So Zo. The fabric is leftover from a dress that I will share with you soon. The elastic is again basic 1/4 inch elastic. I love this fabric as undies. It's so fun and nautical. Construction was pretty easy. I also consulted this tutorial and this tutorial from Very Purple Person which has advice on different types of elastic. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see that I didn't evenly stretch the elastic all the way around and that really did cause me some fretting on all of the undies. But once I tried them on, the uneven stretch really didn't seem to matter.
The design of these panties are low rider bikini briefs. I don't know if I wear old lady underwear or I'm just excessively tall (I am that) but they seem a little low. Just a little. The design is quite the opposite of the "French Cut" style I used to wear in the mid-90s. Did you ever wear those? They had a very high cut leg, like an 80s Jazzercise leotard.
For my third pair, I wanted to use some lace exactly that I bought last year. So, I traced the pattern for one of my favorite pairs that uses lace elastic around the waist. This pair was the most challenging and frustrating for me to sew. I used some knit fabric that is a little slippery and I had the hardest time sewing on the elastic. And it looks awful. Trust me. For something so small, it really was a lot of trouble. But on the body, I can't even tell. I think I'll actually get some use out of these!
Have you tried making your own undies? What do you like to call them? Do you have any tips for sewing elastic on small pieces of fabric?