This tutorial will take you, step by step, through the process of making underwear that fit you perfectly and look great too. You can click on any of the photos in each step to enlarge them (which will make reading the text on some of them much easier). Please use this pattern for personal use only, and feel free to link back to this post.
As always, I encourage you to Contact Me if you have any questions throughout the process, I love to hear from you!!
- 1/2 yard of jersey fabric (up to 1 yard for larger sizes) – It is really hard to find cute jersey, so feel free to repurpose old t-shirts, pajamas or whatever jersey you can find!
- 2 yard of stretch lace trim (up to 2.5 yards for larger sizes)
- 1 pair of retired cotton (jersey) panties to become your pattern
- 1 small piece of 100% cotton fabric for lining
- ballpoint needles (for sewing through jersey)
- thread to match
Create the Pattern:
Start with your favorite pair of underwear that have seen better days, these will be referred to as the “pattern underwear”:
1. Cut off elastic waistband and elastic legbands from the underwear (set these aside for later use):
2. Cut off lining (no need to use a seam ripper):
3. Cut along sides of panties (follow the seam lines).
4. Cut along bottom seam to create 3 separate pattern pieces (Note: some underwear will differ from mine below, if that’s the case you may need to add a 4th pattern piece and adjust the steps accordingly):
5. Find the center line of the front and back pieces and mark it in pen. Fold the pattern underwear in half along this seam. Fold your pattern paper in half and match fold lines. You will be tracing your pattern on the fold so as to create a symmetric pattern piece:
6. Before cutting, determine how stretchy your jersey is. If it has about the same stretchiness as your pattern underwear, trace your pattern to the same size as the pattern underwear, but add a ½ inch seam allowance all around. If it has less stretch than your pattern underwear, consider tracing your pattern a bit larger than your pattern underwear (also add ½” seam allowance). If it has much more stretch than your pattern underwear, consider tracing your pattern a bit smaller than your pattern underwear (also add ½” seam allowance).
7. To create the lining pattern piece, make your pattern the exact same size as the lower part of the front piece, yet keep the length the same as the piece you cut from your pattern underwear.
You have now created your pattern!
Cut Pattern from Fabric:
8. Cut out your pattern pieces from your fabric – take care to place the patterns on the fabric so that they will stretch the most from side to side rather than top to bottom. I use a rotary cutter for this, but if you are using scissors, be sure to pin well before cutting. For the sake of hygiene, if the jersey fabric you are using for the panties is not 100% cotton, you should cut the lining piece out of fabric that is.
9. At this point you can serge with a rolled hem around all of the pieces, but this is not necessary, since jersey will not fray and all edges will be covered by the lace. If you do decide to do this, do not yet serge around inside leg edges.
10. Finish the short end (marked in orange below) of the lining piece as this will be exposed on the inside of the panties. You can do this by serging, or by folding down a narrow hem and stitching it in place:
Construct the Panties:
11. Place your pattern pieces on your workspace in the following order, lining the bottom edge (as pictured below):
-Front Piece, right side up
-Bottom Piece, right side down
-Lining, right side down, long edge on bottom
Stitch along the bottom edge (marked in orange) using a ½” seam allowance. Use a stretch stitch or a zig zag stitch.
12. Fold lining up towards front and iron it down:
Using a zig zag stitch, sew down the lining to the front side on the two sides (marked in orange). Alternatively, you can hold the lining in place by serging the leg edges, if you like:
13. Lay your stretch lace trim out next to the leg band of elastic that you removed from your pattern pieces. Cut your lace trim to the same length:
14. Pin the two ends of the lace to both ends of one leg opening, with the lace sitting directly on top of the right side of the fabric. Pin the center of the lace to the center of the seam:
15. Using a zig zag stitch, stretch the trim so that it sits straight onto the fabric (see my demo video posted below). You will be stitching it in place in two places: first along the innermost edge of the lace and then on the part of the lace that touches the raw edge of the fabric (this is made more clear in the video):
Here is a video where I demo how to sew the stretch lace onto the underwear:
16. Repeat for the other leg:
17. Lay your stretch lace trim out next to the waist band of elastic that you removed from your pattern pieces. Cut your lace trim to the same length:
18. Pin the two ends of lace to both ends of the back piece waist line, and once in the middle, with the lace sitting directly on top of the right side of the fabric:
19. Using a zig zag stitch, stretch the trim so that it sits straight onto the fabric (see video above). Again, you will be stitching it in place in two places: first along the innermost edge of the lace and then on the part of the lace that touches the raw edge of the fabric.
20. Repeat for the front waist band:
21. Bring the front and back pieces together, right sides together. stitch along the two side seams (marked in orange), using a ½ inch seam allowance. If your front and back pieces aren’t exactly the same size at the sides, that is OK, just stretch the smaller side to make them even.
22. Turn them inside out and admire your adorable new panties! Now you know how to make underwear! Be sure to keep your pattern and make any adjustments needed so that the next time you make them they will be just as lovely.
I’m going to giveaway enough jersey and matching stretch lace trim for one winner to make a pair of these panties! Just leave a comment to be entered (if you’ve already commented then you have entered). You can receive one more entry for following my blog or letting me know you already do (leave another comment). I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday, March 17th. Good luck!!