Saturday, August 14, 2010

Intimate tutorial: panties

I have been thinking about making my own pairs of panties for a while. I have these great bamboo ones I bought a year ago, made by Jockey, and I love the way they fit. Unfortunately, living on a budget like we do, can’t afford to buy too many!
And off course what seamstress doesn’t love a challenge.

So a few nights ago I took the jump…

You can do the same with your favorite pair at home, and you don’t need to chop it up. I personally don’t like panties with elastics, I find them uncomfortable, so mine just have a band of fabric, and they hold up very well After a few washings some didn't hold up that well, so I am going to insert an elastic in the casing at the top, which is very easy to do. I will keep experimenting with various fabrics and see which ones are best for wearing with no elastic though. You can adapt this to any pair.

What you’ll need:
- Pattern paper or cardboard
- Pins
- Pen and scissors
- Sewing scissors (for cutting out the fabric)
- Overlocker

1- The pattern:
Place your “model” on a piece of tracing paper or thin cardboard. Pin the edges down. You will have to do one side first then as you progress take off the pins so the panties are lying flat. Stop at the seam in the middle. Once done, join the dots and you’ve got your pattern. Do the same for the other side. On the front panel, mark the edge for the pad.

2- Cut out your fabric (remember to cut a bit for the pad too). Don’t forget to add the seam allowance (I usually make it 5/8” or 1,5cm). Make sure you choose a fabric with a similar stretch to the one used for your “model”. I used some organic fair trade tee shirts I was given by KowTow.

3- Pin together the middle bit: first pin together the front and back panels, right side together. Then on the wrong side of the back panel, pin the pad, right side down (hope that’s clear!). Pin the sides of the two panels, right sides together.

4- It is possible to use a straight sewing machine (most have an overlocking type stitch nowadays), but it is much easier to use an overlocker for this. Mine is a 4 thread but I took the left needle out to make it a 3 thread so the edge doesn’t stick out so much and become uncomfortable.
Sew the middle first, then the sides.

5- Cut three strips of fabric, about 1.57”/4cm wide. Measure along the edge of the waist and legs of the panties. Cut it slightly shorter so there is a bit of stretch, but not too much otherwise you won’t be able to slip your panties on! It might take a bit of experimentation.

6- Overlock the bands of fabric, then fold then in half lengthwise and pin them to the panties. For the waist band, leave an opening where you will insert the elastic if need be, then overlock. When pinning the leg bands, make sure you include the pad, folded to the front, with it as well. Overlock again. You should now have a new pair of panties!

I am not sure whether to giveaway one of the pairs, is it too inappropriate? Also the ones I made are small-ish (measurement around waist 66cm/26", and they sit on the waist). Anyone feel free to comment on this!


  1. Wow that is so cool! I might have to give these a go for the kids with their old t-shirts. And why not give a pair away. They'd be too small for me but I'm sure there's lots out there who would love a pair!

  2. Thanks for sharing this step-by-step panty making. My wife would be very happy to read this. She wanted to learn how to sew a panty. And I think she can make tons of it because the steps are pretty easy.
    -Ted Juhl