Both of my parents read this blog, so I was unsure whether to post this one until now. I’ve been making my own undies, guys! Hi Mum, hi Dad!
I’ve made a few pairs over the last couple of months – originally it was just a great way to use up small amounts of material, but it turns out that tailored underpants are super super comfy, too. Previously I’d only used t-shirt material, with varying amounts of success. I didn’t know how to finish the edges at first, so I tried a few ways:
– Adding a separate strip of fabric as edging. Doesn’t work, the stretch is all wrong.
– Just folding the edge over and sewing it down. It worked okay, but went a bit shapeless after going through the washing machine, which means they’ll have a very limited life span.
– using elastic. Worked a treat. I should have known, since pretty much all undies that you find in stores have elastic hems, but at least I got it right third time around!
So this time I wanted to work with this stretchy lace I’d found. After checking other late items I own, I found that the greater amount of stretch needs to be side to side, which also makes sense. Unless you’re into pulling undies up to your chin, vertical stretch isn’t really needed.
A note: if you’re working with lace when making undies, you’ll still need some stretch cotton or jersey cotton knit in a matching colour to work as a lining, so that the lace isn’t directly contacting the body in the most delicate of areas, otherwise you’d be in for some discomfort. Oh I’ll use the word I’ve been avoiding – you need to put in a (ugh) gusset. I’ll get back to that shortly.
I copied the pattern from a pair of knickers that I know fit me well, allowing a little on all sides for seams. Then the first seam that needs to be sewn is the underneath seam. I used a wide zigzag stitch for all sewing in this project. Once that is secured, get your cotton lining piece (about 6 inches long, and width to match your pattern) and sew it to the wrong side of the lace. Centre it so that the underneath seam is about in the middle of your cotton piece. Sew down the two ends. You’ll sew the sides up when you put the elastic in.
Next, sew the two side seams. You could it on at this point to check fit, but I honestly didn’t bother.
For the elastic, I only had quite wide elastic in the right colour, but it turns out elastic stays strong even if you cut narrow strips of it to use. I made a few strips about 2mm wide and pinned them in place.
My sewing machine complained a little with this fabric, as in it snagged the lace a couple of times. Patience is a virtue, though, and I’ve learned that slow and steady is the key. Anyway, sew the elastic in around the leg holes and the waist band, trim off any excess, and enjoy!
Hope you’re having a great week!