Saturday, June 19, 2010

FO: Liberty Underpants x 5

I tried to think of a witty title but it's all been done before, so here, simply, are my homemade (under)pants!

You want a modelled shot? Don't talk crazy - not for you, not for anyone!
I followed the advice of other bloggers, and simply traced round my favourite pants, working out where the seams should be, and the type of construction that would stand up to the most wear and tear. I used my best-fit Pants to Poverty, which have a broad elastic waistband, like a Calvin Klein style. Actually, this is the one thing I don't like about them, because the elastic went grey really quickly. So I traced up to the top edge of the waistband to cut the main fabric.
I was surprised to find that there is a lot more fabric at the back than the front. I suppose it's obvious really (um... your bum sticks out at the back, Roo!) , but I hadn't realised that this would be achieved by having a slightly curved seam, and a lower front than back. It also explains why cheap knickers never fit properly. There is a lot more "design" involved in a pair of knickers than I ever imagined!

I cut the first 2 pairs in one piece, with only a centre front seam, as I thought this would be more comfortable and minimise the number of seams which could possibly go pop. I used the overlocking stitch on my (Bernina) sewing machine for the first time and it was a revelation - sewing jersey is MUCH easier than it ever was just using the zig-zag on my old Singer model.

For pairs 3 to 5 (yes! I made 5 pairs out of half a metre of fabric!), I had to add side seams to eke out my material.

So: front seam, gusset seam, then line the gusset - again using the original pants to draft a pattern, and then I sewed the side seams, where applicable. The final step was to bind the edges with "foldover elastic", which is how Amy and several of the Me-Made-May-ers did it. (That link takes you to Amy's you-tube tutorial.)

Foldover elastic is not readily available in the UK, but I bought it from the English Couture Company for about 50p a metre. There is a minimum spend of £10, but they sell so many wonderful stretch laces / elastics / bindings, I had no trouble stocking up with haberdashery that I knew I would use. They also sell bra-making kits... but I managed to rein myself in! Because they were moving premises, they took for-e-ver to dispatch my parcel, which was very frustrating. These should have been done and dusted weeks ago. But they did apologise and everything I bought is of very high quality.

I switched from "overlock" to "universal stitch" to sew on the elastic - so many new tricks!

So there you have it. Now you've seen my undies. Clearly I have no shame. My mother is appalled.


- Self-drafted pattern
- 0.5 metre Liberty cotton jersey from "Little Treasures" at Ebay (£6.20 plus p&p)
- assorted foldover elastics from English Couture Company (£0.50 per metre on average)

Once I had the pattern cut, and worked out how to change my machine to "overlock", and then to "universal stitch", this was a quick production-line-style sewing session.

Would I make them again? Absolutely definitely yes, even if only to entertain my family. I am thinking of trying a boy-short style next time!


RooKnits said...


Rebecca Weber said...

Porno. How appalled I am to see underwear on the internet.

I am teasing you. They are lovely and the fabric is so pretty. My husband and I had quite a laugh reading today. We enjoyed your discovery of why you need more fabric in the back. I do not believe there is anything you cannot sew for yourself.

bagqueen said...

I know you have lost weight but seriously 5 pairs from 1/2 metre of fabric!! the fabric would need to be several metres wide for that to happen for me!! They look great and I'm seriously thinking of trying this too as every time I find a comfortable style, good old m&s stop doing them!!

feresaknit said...

I like 'em. You're mum should be grateful you're not only wearing knickers but nice ones too!

faeriecollege said...

I love the print! Oh Liberty, you delight me so.

And they're great pants too! I'm inspired, I shall have to see if I can find some jersey and borrow my Mummers' sewing machine in the summer.

Debi said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I can't believe I've never seen your blog before! I love it!!!

caroline said...

Well done. These look great.

sigrid said...

gorgeous. I love that print.