My Unmentionables, Mentioned

I have been wanting to try sewing underwear for a while. Last time I bought some cotton ones with stretch lace at the store, the stretch lace ripped on every pair after the first wash. That ticked me off! I knew I could at least do better than that.

Well, I have come across several lingerie patterns and bra patterns in my thrifting, some of which I have kept, but it wasn’t until two days ago that I happened upon some vintage undie patterns for 10 cents each. There were two patterns for me, and there was even one for my daughter, which I will have in the ready when she graduates from diapers.

So, today, I made these…

I used this 70s pattern…

Image from the Vintage Pattern Wiki

I went by the fabric store yesterday, and checked out the cotton knits. There were prettier patterns, but this is some of the softest cotton knit fabric I have ever touched. I also bought the stretch lace there- the selection was very limited. I had the lingerie elastic; I inherited it from Grandma’s stash.

All in all, they cost me about $3.00, and they are not perfect (a first try!) but they are the Parthenon of underwear- by that I mean I think they will still be around in the next millenium. Who knew my machine had such an amazing and sturdy elastic stitch?

Sewing underwear is a whole new skill set for me. I actually did a sort of muslin (that I botched terribly) in order to get the elastic stitching down. It also required a lot of testing with various needles. I ended up switching between a small ball point for sewing the knit seams and a larger universal for the elastic.

I enjoyed learning to do the stretch lace cut outs. What does that say about me as a person? This is the kind of stuff I dig. Oh well. You just place it and stitch it on the front, and then cut the fabric off of the back close to your seam lines. It’s pretty easy, but I can see how you could apply a similar technique on blouses and dresses for pretty details, say at the neckline.

These are practical undies, and they are a little granny-ish in the thigh area. That’s ok with me, I like my undies a little on the granny side (T.M.I.?) but I may cut them higher in the thigh next time. The instructions were great, and helped me overcome my fear of stitching skivvies. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to give some drawers a try!


• Meet the Author • A.J.A.

Love what you've seen so far? Subscribe by email to receive all the week's posts delivered to your inbox in one big glorious email every Friday.

Inbox overflowing? Follow us on Bloglovin instead!

Find the WeSewRetro crew chatting on Facebook and sharing pretties on Pinterest.

5 comments… add one

  • I went to the KWIKSEW website to see if they still make underwear patterns and they’ve got quite a variety — including bras, camisoles, bustiers, and garter belts. By the way, you can special order from their archive almost any pattern they have ever printed. It’s pricey though — $28.98. (I don’t work for KwikSew; I just love their patterns.)


  • Wow! Not something I would have considered before reading your post. I’ve read other posts on this, but yours somehow makes me think I should give it a try. Gramma undies are comfortable!

  • I have been trying to sew my own undies with no success! I am SO impressed! What kind of elastic did you use, and how did you go about attaching it? The elastic has been my downfall every single time.

  • Barbara- I’m sorry, I don’t know what kind of elastic it is beyond a shiny sort of lingerie elastic. I inherited it on a large, unmarked roll. As for attaching it, I cut it to the length recommended on the pattern, then divided each section by four (marked with pins). I also divided the leg openings and the waist section into fours. The leg openings were sewed before the side seams were done. I pulled the elastic gently after getting the first few stitches anchored. My machine has a really good elastic stitch that helped with this. First though, I just got a length of elastic, some knit fabric and a few different needles and even feet and tried different combos until it worked. Good luck! If I can do it, you can surely do it too!

  • Did that make sense at all? I divided the leg sections and elastic into fours and then matched the marks up. I stretched as I sewed to make the elastic fit the fabric. :)


Don’t Be Shy » Leave a Comment!