Knock off Knickers

knickers 2In this post I will talk about underpants. Yep. I finally got the courage and made myself a pair of knickers. My plan for the coming year includes venturing out into the lingerie territory and trying to make some of my own. I must admit, it seems hard and scary! But when I get super scared I remind myself that I’ve been sewing a while, made a lot of more challenging garments, and even if I screw up a pair of underwear… so what? The amount of fabric used is so miniscule, it really wouldn’t be the end of the world. So I finally gave in and tried it.

I don’t mean to sound weird, but the other day as I was folding laundry I looked at a pair of my favorite underwear and it hit me, this is not hard! The pattern is really like 4 pieces and there must be may be 3 seams altogether… How hard can it be?? I took my favorite pair down to my sewing table, pulled out the ruler and drafting paper and off I went ripping off the pattern. It wasn’t difficult. I drafted the main piece and the long thong part and then from there I drafted the lining and a piece for the stretch lace band.

knickers 3For my main fabric I used stretch cotton jersey I had on hand. I also found perfectly matching 2.5″ wide stretch lace. Amazing. I think I ended up using a total 8″x8″ square of fabric… This is the smallest project ever!! It took me less than half hour to put it together. I love fast and rewarding projects like that.

There is one seam that connects all the fabric parts. Then there are two seams in the lace pieces. Attaching elastic to the sides of the fabric was the hardest part. Probably because it was my first time doing it and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to stretch it and how much. I am sure that will come with practice. I attached the lace to the main part with a small zigzag stitch… Half hour, people!! And just like that I had a brand new pair of knickers.

I have to say that I wasn’t completely sure of the pattern I drafted. I wanted to test it and see if it needs to be smaller, narrower or if the elastic waistband was too tight or too long. After a day of wear I have noticed a few things I could improve on in my next pair:

  1. I will shorten the elastic waistband by 4 cm and see how I like that.  The elastic was probably stretcher than my ready-to-wear pair and as I wore them I thought it was a little too lose
  2. I definitely need to stretch the elastic on the sides as I attach it. With wear the sides stretched out and were gaping a little. I think shortening the elastic and stretching it as I sew it on will remedy this issue
  3. I may want to take 1/4-1/2″ off the center seam so that they sit a little lower and see if I like that better

knickers 1

Overall though I think my first pair turned out great and I would say the experience was a success! Now I will toy around with my pattern and technique over the next couple weeks and I am confident I will come up with my perfect underwear pattern! No more laundry! Just kidding…


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  1. I just discovered your blog, and am reading through it from the beginning. As with a certain sportswear company, it would seem that your motto is ‘just do it’. And you appear to be doing it with both determination and skill.
    Very nice knickers. I do notice that the pattern you drafted is labelled for fold-over elastic; where did you buy that? And how did you apply it? (I trust that it is not too late to ask questions on an older post).
    And now, back to reading the rest of your entries.

    1. Thank you! haha I didn’t think about it that way, but I guess “just do it” certainly applies. Thank you so much for your kind comment.
      I did go with fold-over elastic at first and it worked good. But either I didn’t have enough skill or the elastic was not that great (likely the first) and it ended up being very stretched out. I originally bought elastic from Bra Makers Supply (in Canada) They have a lot of different elastics!
      The pattern is easily modifiable to the regular lingerie elastic though. I added 1/4″ seam allowance that I could flip over to the other side with the regular elastic 🙂


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