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Today I have a super fun tutorial for you! I have been doing A TON of research about lingerie making, and I find so many sewists are either afraid to take the plunge, or have simply never tried.
Well, get ready! Today I have a super easy tutorial to get you into your first “Me Made” panties! Best of all, you don’t have to go out and spend much on supplies. This tutorial uses a T-Shirt from your closet, and is GREAT for stash-busting!
I promise you will become so hooked on making your own undies. All i ask, is that you hashtag #SewSinCityMakes when you finish!
LET’S GET ITTTT…
First you need to gather your supplies.
- T-Shirt (any cotton jersey fabric with a lot of stretch will do)
- Undies of your choice
- 1 yard Picot plush back elastic for the leg openings
- 1 yard fold over elastic for the waistband
- Scissors or rotary cutter
- pins or pattern weights
- thread & machine of course
The first thing we are going to do is cut our panties at the side seam, and butt seam. You will end up with two pieces.
Now we are going to fold each of these pieces in half.
Taking the folded pieces, we are going to pin this to our T-Shirt. My shirt did not have side seams, so I used the side of the shirt as my guide for each.
Now we cut! Remember to leave seam allowance. Seam allowance on lingerie is usually 1/4 inch, but do what you are comfortable with 🙂
Now for the gusset. This is the crotch lining, and should always be in a natural breathable fiber such as cotton. Pro Tip: Whenever I am working with a cotton fabric, I will use my scraps to cut gusset linings. It saves on waste, and I always have a cool print to attach to a new pair of undies!
You may be wondering, “why didn’t we cut that into it’s own piece?” I have an answer! I prefer to make panties without a front crotch seam, so that is how this pair will be.
So, open up your front panty piece, and lay that as one piece on your T-Shirt/ fashion fabric. Cut around including seam allowance again. This time when you come to the top of the gusset, you want to fold the panty out of the way since we are cutting only the gusset piece.
You should now have three pieces cut out. A front, Back, and gusset lining.
Now we sew!
You are going to layer your pieces as follows: panty front (right side up), panty back (right side down), gusset (right side down).
Sew all three layers together. You can also serge this edge for a nice clean finish. I use a 1/4 inch foot or topstitch foot when sewing lingerie to keep my seam allowances correct.
Open your undies, and baste your gusset to the panty front just to keep it in place. You can also serge the free end of the gusset if you want. That’s a preference of some, but not necessary.
Turn your panties right sides together, and pin the side seams. Sew both side seams with a serger or zig zag stitch.
You’re almost done! On to elastic. This is where most people are intimidated. I promise sewing with elastics is not fancy, difficult, or any of the above. Here are a few pointers:
- Use a fresh needle
- Don’t pull the elastic as you are sewing, but keep a firm hand on it
- the more you pull, the tighter it will make your leg opening/waistband which can create for some very UNcomfy undies!
- I find it easier to maneuver if the elastic is directly under the presser foot
- I always use a 2-step zig zag stitch
- some people use a 3-step, but I find it to cause the elastic to stretch out faster over time. The more needle holes in your elastic, the less it can hold it’s integrity
- Go slow! Sewing is not a race. Your IG feed can wait to see these beauties 🙂
We will be using two types of elastic, picot and fold over. You may use one for your entire project, but I wanted to cover how to sew with each.
Picot Elastic for the leg openings:
- this elastic has a plush back on one side, and decorative trim on one edge.
- the plush side is what sits against your body
Flip your undies right side out. Lay the elastic plush side up, picot edge in.
Sew around the leg opening with a zig zag stitch. You want to sew as close to the picot edge as you can without sewing on it or over it.
When you get to the end, sew a few stitches on to your starting point, and cut the elastic leaving about an inch of elastic like this:
Do this for both leg openings.
Next you want to trim any excess material that covers the elastic edge. Trim close to the zig zag, being sure not to cut through your stitches or your elastic.
Here is the trickiest part of this whole thing (and it’s not even hard): That extra inch of elastic we left at the end? Fold it in half creating what looks like a small loop onto itself.
Then, fold the elastic to the inside and topstitch it down using a zig zag stitch.
Our leg openings are complete!
Onto the waistband. If you are using picot elastic for the whole thing, repeat the same method on the waistband.
For the fold over elastic: Start at the middle of the panty back. Wrong side up, you want to place the elastic over your fabric and sew in a zig zag. The elastic clearly has two halves, so although this seems tricky, it’s relatively easy to keep in line.
Fold your panty right side out, and fold the elastic over the edge. Topstitch with a zig zag, and you’re finished!
CONGRATS! You’ve just made your first pair of DIY Underwear!! Let me know if you have any questions, and don’t forget to tag #SewSinCityMakes when you finish yours! I can’t wait to see them all 🙂