Knickers With A Twist: Reworked in Woven

First things first – awesome fabric giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pop over to see what clever Jess and clever Brooke have come up with too.

Challenge number four – this one ended up being my favourite! Even though I had to use my brain parts a little bit because here’s the thing – knickers are generally made with a negative ease. Meaning, they are smaller than our bodies because they have to stretch a bit to fit. Items made of wovens (like a dress made from quilting cotton) have ease so we can move our bodies once they are on. The amount of ease you like is a purely personal thing and some items need more than others. So using a woven for knickers, means you either have to make them bigger than your body or do as I did, and just use a small panel of woven and the rest in stretch. I hope that makes sense.

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In this case, I hacked my pattern once again, as you can see below. Hot tip: Beverly tells you in the Craftsy class not to cut into your original, but to trace it off every time you want to make changes. Do as the smart lady says. I did not and ended up having to rewatch the entire class and redraft my pattern. Idiot.

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Back and side front from stretch lace, centre front panel and gusset outer from satin (cut on the bias for a least a wee bit of mechanical give) and gusset lining from black jersey. Navy would have been better, but alas, none to be found.

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I bought the stretch lace and satin from fabric.com about a year ago when I first started bra making. Then when I actually received it, I realised the lace has too much stretch for a bra and would need to be lined, which seemed a bit scary back then so I never actually got around to making it. When I saw it in my stash though, I knew it would be perfect for this challenge.

Cool pom pom elastic is from The Remnant Warehouse.

All done and another super comfortable pair. I ended up turning the seam allowance of that front panel back towards the centre and stitching it down so it couldn’t be seen through the lace and to provide extra strength. I was a bit worried about them being a bit smaller because of the woven panel, but they are perfect. Sewing that lace felt a bit like how I’d imagine sewing spider webs feels, but all up it was pretty painless.

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So inspired by these cool knicks, I finally sewed the bra to match, using the Pin Up Girl Classic pattern, with all the bits and bobs from Booby Traps. Cups and bridge are lined with nude tricot, band is lined with nude power mesh.

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webdsc_3537webdsc_3539And because they look so rubbish when I photograph them flat, all curling over themselves – I got brave and took photos of them on.

So scroll down if you dare.

Are you sure about this?

Really sure?

Last chance!

I take no responsibility now….

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How good is that fit though? Pretty pleased with myself. This is why I sew.

Hope your eyes haven’t melted.

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Knickers With A Twist: The Upcycle

Oh the upcycle.

When Jess first asked me to take part in the challenge, I was all in. Cool on each of the themes – except this one. I was madly wracking my brain for something to upcycle. Something big enough to cover my entire butt region.

In desperation, I started to dig through my kids’ cupboards when I found this baby. Oh yeah, cotton spandex blend t shirt that no longer fits – come to mama.

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I grabbed my pattern pieces and folded, flipped and tried all sorts of pattern tetris, but it just wasn’t going to happen. One size 6 t shirt wasn’t going to be enough fabric for a pair of knickers to fit me.

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So never fear, a bit of pattern hacking to the rescue! In Beverly’s Craftsy class (that I keep banging on about), she not only shows y0u how to draft a knickers pattern from your own measurements, she also shows you a pile of cool hacks. One of them being forward side seams. Which was pretty much perfect to use the print on the t-shirt. So off I went on my merry way, not really considering the seam allowance for those leg bands (sorry Bison).

Still, I think the end result was pretty cool.

What stuff did I use?

No elastic this time – cotton lycra bands from that same black fabric I keep using for gussets (although not this time).

To do those I pretty much just measured my thigh circumference and took away 2 inches. Same for the waist band. EASY. SOFT. NO DIGGING IN OF ANY KIND. This is actually my favourite way to finish the legs and waist. Sure, elastic probably looks more ladylike, but this is comfy as heck.

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I also used some blue spotty cotton lycra I bought from fabric.com a long time ago. And an old kid’s t shirt too, but we’ve talked about that.

I used my overlocker for all the sewing on this pair, but again – not necessary. Zig zag on a regular machine will do.

And that’s that. A headdress wearing bison with no sense of smell. The colours are cool though.

(Those leg bands are even, promise).

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Oh and don’t forget the giveaway from lovely Orinoco Designs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Knickers With A Twist: The Special Occasion

Round Two – ding ding!

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I’ve chosen this rad spotty mesh for my special occasion knickers, but in all honesty – I ain’t saving them for a special occasion. In fact, I have plans for a matching bra and I’m going to wear them as often as I possibly can. I’m not one for saving things for special occasions, wear them and love them and feel special on a random Tuesday when all you’re doing is the school run and sitting at your desk drinking coffee.

Spotty mesh is from Pitt Trading.

Elastics from Booby Traps.

Organic black jersey from god knows where.

Pattern is self drafted from Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy class, as per the last two posts.

Look how rubbish I still am at stitching close to the picots:

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So you’ll recall my last pair were fine besides those pesky popping stitches that I suspected was due to not enough elastic. Turns out I was correct! Hooray!  I added the elastic to these ones AFTER sewing all the side seams. I didn’t even measure, I just kept a bit of tension on the elastic all the way round, then overlapped the ends slightly and continued as usual. The fit is perfect and I love them. High waisted spotty meshy goodness. The mesh keeps them from looking too Bridget Jones, I think.

I used black organic jersey and did that lovely all enclosed gusset again. It’s as lovely as a gusset can be. GUSSET. Such a delightful word.

So that’s that, really. A bit of a cheater’s special occasion knick. Don’t forget about the rad Orinoco giveaway – enter enter enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And also go have a look what Jess and Brooke are doing for their fancy knicks. Enter the giveaway on their blogs too.

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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

Knickers With a Twist: The Intro

Well hi – I sort of left it a bit late for the intro, didn’t I? Never mind, at least this way you won’t have to wait very long for the first official Knickers With A Twist blog, which I’ll post later today.

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Knickers – I’ve made them for me, I’ve made them for the kids and I’ve even made them for the husband. They all call them jocks though. Regardless, I’ve made them and they’re wearable. Three of my favourite patterns are:

Jalie 3242 – Underwear for men, women and children.
(High waisted women’s underwear on me in the image above, with bands instead of elastic – along with the Soma Bikini Top, made as a bralette).

Ohhh Lulu’s Cindy (which has the bodysuit option and I’ve used to make swimmers as well as bras) and the good old vintage style Ava.

This time, I’ve decided to streeeeetch myself as much as the elastic on my knickers (ha) and draft my own pattern from Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy Class. I know. I’ll post more about that next time.

Here’s what’s going to happen, which I shamelessly plagiarised from Jess:

SundayThe  Basic 

This is about following the pattern as written, getting the fit right, and nailing the basic techniques.

Monday – The Special Occasion 

There’s something nice in making yourself a little treat for a special occasion, and knickers are perfect – fast, fabulous, and (usually ) restricted to a very appreciative audience, unless #wardrobemalfunction.

Tuesday – The Upcycle 

Recycled undies are about as popular as second hand toilet paper. Instead, we’ll be making a NEW pair out of repurposed fabric.

Wednesday – Reworked in Woven 

OK,  we’re upping the ante. Making undies out of a non-stretch fabric doesn’t sound easy or comfortable, but dead set, where there’s a will, I’ll make a flippin’ way!

Thursday – The Big Finale: the interpretation 

You’re not the boss of me! This challenge is all about taking a pattern and making it your own. We’ll hack to the max and show what’s possible with a bit of imagination.

Be back later for the first post – The Basic!