Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Knicker Elastic: A Comparative Study

You may remember I made some pants? That was a year ago and they are still going strong.

I decided it was time to make some more. Something to do with the fact that I didn't keep up with the laundry last week and had to resort to wearing ill-fitting shop-boughts at the weekend : (

My pattern is based on a pair by Pants to Poverty, but I have tweaked the shape to improve the fit so I reckon I could call these "self-drafted" now!

All of my elastic came from the English Couture Company. They have a minimum order value of £10 so I "stocked up" last year and have only now got round to comparing the different types.

From top to bottom:

14mm wide Ruby Satin FOE

18mm wide Fuschia Satin Fold-Over Elastic (known as FOE in American books and blogs)

Plush-backed Plum picot-edge elastic

Stretch lace in Rust, 4cm wide

I also have some narrow (7mm) navy plush-backed elastic and some 1cm navy matt FOE: I haven't tried either of these yet.

The benefit of using FOE is that it encases the raw edge of your fabric, like bias binding.

My preference is for the wider (18mm) version as it was much easier to handle. I used the "Universal Stitch" on my Bernina machine and it spanned the 14mm FOE a bit too closely to the edges.

Remember, the tape is folded over, so is half the stated width in use. Those 2mm made all the difference!

My latest knickers were made using leftover cotton jersey from my self-drafted top. The purple picot-edge elastic is a good colour match so I thought I'd try it out.

It resulted in a much plainer garment, which I felt the need to tart up a bit with ric rac "go faster stripes" down the side seams!

This elastic has a velvety backing, so is great for lingerie. I have seen it sold to make reusable cloth nappies too.

Once it is sewn on, you can trim your main fabric down to the edge of your stitching for neatness, and the elastic forms the top edge of the garment, like a waistband.

My next experiment is due to be the stretch lace... but I can't quite get over the colour! I am trying to convince myself that combining purple and orange is very 70's retro chic... but it might just be BAD!

I am also hesitating over the width of this lace. When it is used on shop-bought knickers, they seem to cut back the fabric behind the lace to avoid too many bulky layers in your important little places, and the result is a very uncomfortable gusset. Maybe not.

I still have plenty of the purple plush but I will have to think of another embellishment as I have used all my lilac ric rac! Maybe a dash of red ric rac - why not?!


ashley0107 said...

I'd love to give knicker making a go now I have stretch stitches at my disposal. Now I just have to find a super comfy pair to make a pattern from!
I like the orange lace and purple fabric combo :)
Ashley x

Lizzi said...

only you would make knickers on holiday!! :-) I hope you have a fine time and enjoy whatever you do.

Dibs said...

ahh, you could not have timed this post better. I am yet to make my undies for my spain holidays, and had undies as my weekend project. thanks so much for this expose on the various elastic. will have to check out that company.

Tanit-Isis said...

These look like fun! I have been considering some of my own, but the elastic selection I have locally is kinda abysmal.

I love the orange and purple---it would be fun to know that was hiding under my clothes! :)

Ali said...

Thanks for this overview. I'm down for the retro chic :) I actually have had some trouble with FOE but you might've given me the push to try again. It seems perfect, since it encases the edge.

Scruffybadger said...

O you make me laugh! What a great topic & lovely to see what lurks beneath (or rather what will lurk beneath) I'd definitely be inspired by the orange & purple combo - if you can't have fun with undies, who can??
I tried making my first pair a couple of weekends ago out of an old tshirt (erm with a heavy "Hello Kitty" transfer on them), using an old "shorts" style that unfortunately were made out of posh modal fabric that had a lot more silky giviness. That "pilot" pair still lurks in my sewing basket awaiting moderation. I will post about them & you can have a laugh. I used narrow FOE, so it's useful what you say. Make more! I want to see more pants! Happy holiday!

Sandy said...

Since the viewing audience of your knickers - while on - is presumably quite limited, I'd say go all out with the colors and try some really wild combinations!! It can only entertain the Most Important Person...

Cazz said...

How about some fabric paint and stencil on some fun stuff to enliven them.
I have a set made for me with skull and cross bones, zombie head and crochet hooks on. :o)

Roobeedoo said...

I am so glad that my knickers amuse you! I hope to see you all flashing your self-stitched undies on your blogs in the near future ! ;)