No spaceship needed, YOU can make underpants!
Fabrics and Tools
- Tools : A sewing machine with a zig zag stitch and a stretch needle (works better than a ball point needle). A rotary cutter and self healing mat helps cut stretchy knit fabrics, but is not necessary.
- Elastic : You have a lot of type of elastic to choose from, but try to keep them narrow. Fold Over Elastic (FOE) for a stream line clean finish, normal flat elastic to be hidden in a turn of cloth and/or some picot edge decorative elastic to peek-a-boo on the edges! Even stretch lace can be used to bound the edges.
- Lining Fabric : The crotch pieces needs to be made of a soft and breathable natural stretchy fabric (per example, cotton jersey). Think about recycling those unworn T-shirt or stretchy cotton remnants!
- Shell Fabric : Depending on the pattern, the underpants can be made out of :
- knits (jersey, interlock, micro knits, tricot, old T-shirt, etc),
- stretch woven or lace or even velvet (with lycra/spandex/elastane mixed in)
- woven cut on the bias (satin, charmeuse, chiffon, etc).
Favored fibers are silk, cotton, rayon (viscose, tencel, modal, bamboo, etc), merino wool, nylon, microfiber and some sports underwear use polyester to keep the athlete dry. All those fibers accept dye well, except for polyester.
For the elastic, you need enough to wrap around both your tights and your hip/waist depending on the pattern. For a size medium, I calculated about 2m/ of elastic per panties.
Underpants PatternsA lot of tutorial exist on the web to draft your own pattern by copying a pair you really love. Some offer tips to copy your favorite panties without cutting it apart (here) while other take the cut away approach (here). But if you would like to try a patterns, here are the some downloadable that I found lately :
Free Underpants Patterns
- Make Bra : offer the free hipster panties pattern and the DL21 panties for 2,50$EU.
- So, Zo Underpants Free Pattern : Low rise pants, tips to make them from old T-shirts.
- Indigorchid T-shirt Panties Pattern : Low rise pattern.
- VeraVenus Grannie-Pannie : High waist granny panties for stretch fabric, not woven on the bias.
- Vera Venus French Knickers : Made of woven fabrics, their vintage flare is undeniable.
- Rosy Lace Ladyshorts : Made of stretch lace little boxer shorts.
- A list of free lingerie patterns on so-sew-easy.com
- I am not a fan of thongs or cheeky panties, but you can head over to Melissa from Fehr Trade, to consult a list of more free underpants patterns...
Independant Patterns Designers
- Bra Makers Supply : Canadian Ottawa based one stop shop for your lingerie patterns and books! Patterns about 20$. Etsy shop for patterns and online shop for everything lingerie related.
- Merckwaerdigh sells lingerie patterns and supplies, like lace, underwires and bra kits. Pattern about 15$
- Mrs. Depew : Californian vintage looking lingerie and garment pattern designer. She have about 50 vintage lingerie patterns as knickers, bra, corset, garter belt, slips, etc. Pattern bout 8$
- Ohhh Lulu : Canadian Ontario based designer that offer more than 7 panties patterns on both Ohhh Lulu Etsy shop and via the Craftsy website. Pattern about 9-12$.
- Jalie : Canadian Quebec based company that offered patterns for more than 30 years! They are the only one with a family friendly multi-sized multi-style pattern that fit both male and female from 12 months to an adult size 22. Retails about 12$ per pattern, some can be downloaded. Their patterns are loved on patternreview.com.
- Kwik Sew : They offer a dozen of lingerie patterns, almost all with panties. Comments gathered around the webshpere says their crotch pattern piece runs wide. About 12$ per patterns, some can be downloaded.
- Burda Style : Burda offers a little more than a dozen of lingerie patterns (2 panties) at a low price of 5.40$ each.
Underwear Fabrics SourcesMost obvious places to get suitable underwear fabrics are your unworn garment drawer, your local fabric store (Fabricville, Fabricland, Jo-Ann, etc.), thrift stores for used T-Shirt or bargain fabrics and online fabrics stores... Here is few of the stores specializing in lingerie:
- Merckwaerdigh sells lingerie patterns and supplies like lace, underwires and bra kits.
- Bra Makers Supply : Canadian Ottawa based one stop shop for your lingerie patterns and books! Patterns about 20$. Etsy shop for patterns and online shop for everything lingerie related. Very good Canadian source.
- Sew Sassy : They offer fabrics for lingerie, bra and swimwear as well as the Elan and Kwik Sew bra patterns. Very liked in the online sewing community I think.
- Bravo Bella : They offers yardage but also bra and panties kits in cotton, satin or tricot in a rainbow of colors.
- Booby Traps : An Australian company selling yardage and bra kits. I remember seeing their name in the websphere a lot, I love their name!
- Dharma Trading Co. : They offer fabrics made of silk, bamboo, cotton, nylon, hemp fabrics and even pineapples!! Their prices are very low, but please note that all their fabrics are black or white. All white ones can be colored by their dyes and paints.
In Montréal : You can found pretty and inexpensive knits at GlobalText on St-Laurent and Chabanel, 2 notions and trims stores and several suitable stores on St-Hubert Street, North of Jean-Talon. See my Montreal's Fabric Store page for more info.
You might find a little bit more on my "Sewing - Underwear" Pinterest board...