So, I made this sleep set and am now kind of obsessed with sewing my own undergarments. This is cotton jersey with just a wee it of stretch, like 10% Lycra, I'd say. It's a bit thicker then the standard underwear jersey, which is nice.
I made this pair in a boy-short style. I used a pair of undies that fit me well as a pattern. Then, after really looking closely at how these types of items are made (from my own dresser and in shops) I sewed these with some stretch lace. I still love FOE, but I think stretch lace is now my new best friend. I am fickle.
Here's the camisole with a bit of sassy ruching. Again, no pattern, I just used what I had in my dresser drawer as a guide. The stretch lace makes the straps. Easy as pie. Even easier, actually.
Okay, I could write a flippin' book about how fun this is. I can't stop. Here are some things I want to mention before I forget.
- Please just take a favorite pair of underwear out of your drawer and copy it. It will fit you much better than any pattern you might purchase.
- I have used t-shirts for this type of thing and will show them soon.
- I got all my stretch lace here and they shipped it out super fast.
- To avoid a lot of swearing, please read this book on sewing with knits. It's easy, but not if you make it up as you go. For these, I use a straight stitch on the side seams (where it shouldn't stretch) and a small zigzag over the lace around the leg openings and waist, where it needs to stretch. The edges are raw and they don't fray, because it's a knit. I don't pull the lace as I stitch it on, just let it lay flat.
- A serger is absolutely not needed to make these. In fact, I barely used mine and when I did, it was just to make it neater inside, I still reinforced with a normal stitch.
- I have learned all these tricks for making these (especially for all the different ways to make the cotton lined gusset) and am continually learning more—I'm thinking about a video tutorial for a basic how-to.
- I want to get some nicer fabrics for another set and try a different cut of knickers. The stretch lace is great with knits, but I have also purchased stronger lingerie elastic to use with silks and wovens.
More soon on all this stuff, but dang—where have I been? Not sure why it took me so long to try this type of garment sewing. I want to try a bunch of different styles and items, like robes, high-waisted vintage style undies, and all that. And bloomers. Don't be scared. Cute ones, not Little Bo Peep ones. Anyhow, with prices what they are for this stuff (when it's well made, out of nice fabrics, not the cheap-o stuff) sewing it is a fraction of the cost. I think this set was less than $4 to make, actually. I have been in a few of the really nice lingerie shops here in Portland lately getting inspiration and they have such amazing collections. But, for real, there's no way I am paying $75 for a non-functional bra. But, hey, I'l sew one for sure!