Knickers With A Twist: The Basics

Hello! Welcome to Knickers With A Twist – the first of five posts all about sewing knickers, what a treat. I’ll be playing along with Jess from Tea Dust Stitches and Brooke from Idle Sunshine.  Go visit them and I’m sure they’ll flash you their knickers.

Also there’s a fabric giveaway happening! Woo! Do you want a metre of Orinoco Designs jersey? I do! Which is kind of greedy because I already have some rad stuff destined to be knickers, which I will show you in good time.

Meanwhile – go go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This first post is all about the basics, in very boring grey bamboo. Yeah, look – she ain’t pretty. But we’ll get to the prettier ones, I promise. Also, bamboo rayon is my go to for the most comfortable knickers in the world. Like clouds on your butt, guaranteed. You’ll also notice that I am all about the high waist, still not really sure if that style is in or out, but I’m going to roll with it anyway because comfort.

Right, so – pattern. Now, don’t panic or run away because I’m going to say the D word.

Oh yes, DRAFTED. I drafted this pattern from my measurements. OMG. First time I’ve drafted anything and hey, it was actually pretty easy. I used this Beverly Johnson Crafsty Class. I know it’s more expensive than buying a pattern, but it is bloody invaluable for learning (and if you hang around long enough, you’ll see that Crafsty often have specials). Not only do you learn to draft a basic knickers (sorry friends, I just can’t get used to typing panties, let alone saying it) from your measurements, but you also learn how to construct them step by step and then make heaps of fun hacks.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Stuff I used:

Bamboo rayon jersey from fabric.com

Picot elastic from Booby Traps.

You’ll need a ball point needle too.

Boring but bloody delightful bamboo all cut out. There’s 4 pieces in total, that’s not scary, right? Front, back and two gusset pieces – one is the outer and one is the lining.

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The absolute by far best part of this class is learning the burrito method for completely enclosing the gusset on both sides. It’s a super professional looking finish and I’d never done it before this. Beverly makes it easy.

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I’ve used my overlocker/serger. You don’t have to. Honestly. Most lingerie fabrics don’t fray. It’s no biggy.

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Oooh, look at that enclosed beauty! This is the inside, not that you can tell in this fabric. Take my word for it anyway, it looks the same on both sides.

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So because I’m being good and making these knicks straight from the class without changes, I learnt how to put the elastic in flat as instructed. Again, not hard. Usually I just do it in the round after side seams have been constructed, but this method has its bonuses.

Oh and I should mention I deviated a tiny bit and used picot elastic because I have heaps of it and it looks cuter than plain. It goes on in a very similar way – elastic on right side of fabric, picots facing in and fuzzy side up. Zig zag as close to the picot edge as possible. Then flip it towards the inside and make another pass with the zig zag, this time a bigger stitch (I used three step zig zag). Sew this row closer to the straight edge of the elastic and from the wrong (elastic) side of the fabric. Otherwise Beverly will find you and give you a smack. She talks about why you should sew from the wrong side and she’s right – it comes out perfectly. I used to sew it from the right side, but I’m a total convert now.

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See those two rows of zig zag?

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Tada! A very basic pair of knickers, made to measure for me and by me. I can never get them to sit flat for photos like other bloggers. Do they iron them? Secretly pin them down? Better at inserting elastic? Mostly likely the latter.

Fit problems? Well, none. I actually tried them on all basted together before adding the elastic. Best butt coverage in any of my knickers.webdsc_3119

HOWEVER. The elastic situation isn’t right for me. When I pulled them over my sizable hips, all I heard was the pops of stretched stitches. OH NO. All along the waist. Now, this is likely the result of two things:

1). I have quite a difference between my waist and hips (11-12 inches). So the waist has to stretch quite a bit.

2) The method Beverly uses for deciding the amount of elastic. It’s somewhat shorter pieces that what I’d usually use. The leg stitches didn’t break, but the elastic feels tighter on my legs than I’d like. Did I mention I have massive thighs too? I have massive thighs. I also don’t like super tight knickers.

So I think that’s why the elastic was a problem. Next time I’m going to use longer lengths and insert it in the round, as I usually do and see what happens.

Are you joining in with our knickers sewing adventure? Be sure to let me know below and tag your images on instagram #knickerswithatwist

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3 thoughts on “Knickers With A Twist: The Basics

  1. Another reason to love burritos! Interesting point you made about popping stitches, because it happened to me too. Think I’ll try the three step with my next pair. Nice work on the grey grundies 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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