This week I turned one year older and I celebrated by doing one of my very favorite things - getting stuff done! Doors painted, papers shredded, random piles of junk done away with, and toys donated. Oh, and I sewed a bunch of undies.
This isn't actually my first attempt at sewing underwear for myself, but it is my most successful. After trying my hand at sewing kid's undies, I sewed a pair or two for myself with some interlock cotton and while they worked okay, they were actually kind of ugly and they didn't stick around too long. About a year ago, I tried again, only this time using the So Zo free undies pattern. The fit was great but I'm horrible at sewing with foldover elastic so the finishing was pretty hideous. I tried to make them again using a picot edged elastic but I forgot to add width to the crotch area to make up for the fact that you have to fold the elastic over, and let's just say that they ended up riding up in all sorts of areas because of the missing width. Not comfortable! And then about a month ago I made myself a pair of undies using the free Make Bra hipster pattern, but the fabric I used ended up being far too flimsy and having no recovery so the undies are kind of saggy. Not exactly a good look. I could consider all those project little failures, but the truth is that I learned something important from each and every one.
I learned a lot about choosing fabrics for undies (lycra is your best friend). And about how to sew on picot elastic (sew as close to the picot edge as you can when sewing it on the right side of the fabric. Oh, and trim your fabric after the first step of sewing the picot to the right side. The undies end up looking much better that way). I also always hated how the inside of the undies looked when the thread you used matched the outside of the undies but contrasted with the elastic portion. Then I had an epiphany - just use a different color thread in the bobbin! - and my undies have been looking much better since then.
Which brings us to today and my undie-making extravaganza. These undies were actually all made using the Ohhh Lulu Grace underwear pattern which was fantastic but is definitely geared more towards an intermediate sewer. A beginner could definitely try their hand at the pattern, but they would probably just have to search the internet a bit for some tutorials on certain techniques. They're certainly not difficult to put together - they just require some different skills.
The pattern calls for using a woven cut on the bias for the front and back panels, but for my first pair I used a knit for the entire pair. The only issue was that this is a pretty flimsy knit without an lycra and when I tried on the undies for size they ended up being too big. No problem though - I just went back and sewed all the seams with a 5/8" seam allowance rather than a 1/2". Problem solved!
I did use a woven for my next pair along with a cotton/lycra knit fabric for the sides and the fit was right on! The woven fabric is a voile leftover from this project and the knit fabric is cut up from a dress that I made and never blogged about because it made me look like a stuffed sausage. The pattern calls for just turning under the leg seam allowance but I added elastic edging to the legs in addition to the waist just because I prefer that look. The orange elastic is local from Pacific Fabrics and all the other elastics I purchased from here.
For the third pair I used fabric leftover from this project and O just thinks it's hilarious that I have undies that match her dress. The side fabric is just a cotton/lycra fabric that is leftover from my children's undie making efforts.
The truth is that I may be addicted to making underwear. I know this because I spent the last hour searching websites for things like stretch lace and plush back elastic. Who am I?
Oh, that's right - I'm the gal with some kick-ass undies!