I’m a big saver in all aspects of my life. That rubber band from lunch? I’ll save it. That plastic bag? I can use that later. Oh and those abundant fabric scraps? Yes. I’ll save those too. As someone who sews basically all the time. I have a lot of fabric scraps. It can be really hard to use them up. I do throw away the small pieces but when there’s a bigger chunk I fold it up and save it. A couple months ago, I decided it was time to use up some of those scraps and make myself some panties.
I have made panties before (read about it here). I tried out a few different patterns and didn’t really fall in love with any of them. This time around I used the Geneva Panties pattern from Seamwork magazine. I was very foolish and cut out 8 pairs before I even tested the pattern once. I don’t recommend doing that but fortunately they turned out perfectly and I love wearing them. Phew! Yay!
As I've mentioned before, I really enjoy reading and sewing patterns from Seamwork Magazine. In case you're not familiar, Seamwork is an online publication from Colette patterns that is published on the first of every month. It's full of great articles and has two new patterns every month that take three hours or less to sew (my favorite kind!). As a subscriber (just $6 a month), you get monthly credits to download patterns that you can save or spend as you like. If you use this link to subscribe, you can get half off your first month subscription (and I'll get a little bonus from them too). The great thing about signing up now is that there are a whole lot of patterns in the library to choose from.
These panties are a standard full coverage style. My measurements are waist 28/29 and hips 39 inches and I cut a size medium. I’m on the lower end of the size medium but I think the fit is good. I made a mix of views A and C. View C has three panels at the front so I was able to use up some of the smaller scraps for that view. As I mentioned these are full coverage. If I wear them with low rise pants, they will peak out above the waistband. I think this would be a pretty easy pattern to alter if you wanted to lower the waistband or raise the legs.
My fabric is a mix of knit fabrics that I used for t-shirts and dresses over the last few years. I obviously have a thing for black and gray. haha! I bought black and gray fold over elastic in downtown LA. It’s ridiculously cheap there (like 25 cents a yard). This pattern instructs you to sew the panties all together and then apply the FOE in a loop. The other patterns I’ve done usually have you apply the FOE flat which I found really challenging. For me the elastic is easier to hold stable when in a loop. When it’s flat, the end always slips away and I had a terribly frustrating time.
To attach the fold over elastic (FOE), I used a zig zag stitch and followed this tutorial from Craftsy. The idea is that you stitch one side of the FOE and then the other. On the right side of the undies, only one row of stitching will show. A couple times, I had my fabric upside down and you can see two rows of stitching on the right side. But no one’s going to see that anyway.
Making 8 pairs was rather tedious. One pair is really quick to make but 8 is kind of a slog. I did one step at a time so that each pair was at the same step in the process. I think it would have been easier (mentally at least) to do one full pair then move to the second. Or to do, half of them then move to the next batch. I also messed up one step and attached the crotch lining upside down. On every single pair. If I had done one at a time, I would have realized my mistake before repeating it. It was ok in the end and I just trimmed away some of the fabric to make it fit.
I love that I was able to use up a lot of my fabric scraps. I got to help the earth, saved money and now I have lots of comfy new panties. I reorganized my knit fabric drawer (it’s a big drawer haha) a couple weeks ago and found a bag full of more scraps. I think some of it could make great bra tops and I’m planning to try out the Florence Bra pattern by Seamwork soon. If you're looking for more things to do with your scraps, check out my blue scrap quilt. I have more woven scraps that I'm saving for other quilts. It just takes me a year or ten to finish one. :) How do you like to use your fabric scraps?