Over the past few months I got really into sewing panties. And I can highly recommend it!
Sure, quite possibly only you and very few other people will ever see you in your beautiful handmade undergarments but for me the feeling of wearing something you know is beautiful and fits you well is far more important than other people seeing the thing you made.
The right underwear can make me feel strong and beautiful or even daring. Great underwear is just great fun!
One could buy well produced, well fitting, good quality underwear of course. But I don’t have the bankroll for that. If you want nice lace, pretty prints or god forbid something like silk you would quite possibly have to pay a lot of money. So I took it upon myself to find out if I can do it myself and it turns out that I can. I find that sewing panties is way faster, easier and cheaper than I ever imagined.
For the black pair of panties I used the most awesome lace imaginable – yes it’s pretty but more importantly it’s so soft it feels like not wearing anything at all. And although the lace was about 17€/m, it was very much worth it since I only needed a piece of roughly 20cm x 50cm for the pair you see below.
Making this pair took me an estimated time of 3 to 5 hours and with less flimsy fabric I can make a pair in one and a half to two hours max and I’m no pro by any means. With the added benefit of it needing only very little fabric this is just the kind of project I love doing while catching up on the last two episodes „The Great British Bake Off“ or „Mr Robot“.
As for the patterns I used: I made the 40s-style flutter panties using this pattern from Ohhh Lulu and the floral panties are made using the Grace pattern. If you don’t already know the beautiful undergarments made and sold by Sarah Elaine you should definitely check out her blog and or etsy shops (one for the finished garments, one for the patterns).
For the black panties I partly drafted my own pattern using the lining and crotch area from the Grace pattern and partly using an old pair of high waisted panties of my own as a guide. I love the high waisted vintage style and already made two more pairs for myself, slightly modifying the pattern in places.
The floral Grace panties are also slightly modified. I made them for a friend and she prefers slightly less coverage in the back for a more brazilian-style fit.
(Oh man, this post is mostly me trying to avoid certain key phrases to not attract the wrong kind of attention from search engines).
Both patterns are well designed and easy to understand as they come with a photo-guide and everything but I have to say that from my experience the Grace pattern runs a bit on the small side. From the pattern envelope my friend should have been fine in a XS but after measuring the finished product I went with a size S and that turned out to be the right decision. I additionally used jersey instead of bias cut woven fabric for the front and back panels in both versions. Had I not done that, the fit would have been even more off.
So if you want to make that pattern I’d suggest doing a muslin first or even going up a size if you are in between sizes. It’s very much worth it though as the pattern is verrrry pretty. And a lot depends on the amount of stretch of your chosen fabric. I think Sarah recommends doing a muslin anyway and although I’m a lazy-ish sewer I would agree, especially if I’m about to cut into expensive lace.
As you probably guessed from my rambleings by now, I LOVE making my own panties and I think I will keep on doing that so that over time I can switch out all my old RTW kind-of-fitting-pairs for shiny new, fun and well fitting handmade goodies.