It goes like this...
"Oh my god I never thought I'd sew my own underwear but hey guys it's SO COOL because you hardly need any fabric and it's quick and FUN and seriously NO KNICKERS HAVE EVER FIT LIKE THIS before!!!!!!"
Here, have some more exclamation marks: !!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, so the teenage indie kid in me - the one scornfully mocking the cool kids, safe in the knowledge I will never be one of them - has issues with the crazed way in which the sewing blogosphere has taken to making its own underwear. And now, in a way reminiscent of my little sister who was NOT copying me but just wearing whatever she wanted which HAPPENED to be exactly what I was wearing at the same time, I am going to state here that yes, OK, I made myself some knickers - but ONLY because I FELT LIKE IT. The fact that all the other sewers in the entire internet have also made their own undies and raved about it is IRRELEVANT, ok?
I don't know, maybe I have some unresolved issues.
It's just underpants, after all.
We have here two different styles. I started out with these black and white ones, having been lured, finally, into buying a pattern on sale from Measure Twice Cut Once. They're the Charlotte knickers, made with leftover poplin from my Darling Ranges dress - the only woven scraps I had that were large enough to cut the pieces on the bias. In retrospect, though, poplin was probably not the best fabric to use: although it's nice and airy and cotton-y, it's a bit stiff. But I think these will come into their own in summer, worn with dresses without tights, or loose-fitting shorts. When I finished them I didn't think they looked that comfortable, but they really are.
As you can see above (maybe - the colours don't make it easy to see details), I didn't manage a particularly neat finish. This pattern calls for the elastic to be serged to the right sides, then turned to the inside twice and topstitched without stretching. Perhaps it was my too-thick fabric choice, but I found all this folding and not stretching and stitching over all the gathers really difficult. I think next time, in addition to using a smoother fabric, I might just topstitch on some picot elastic instead. In any case, I definitely need some more practice with these before they'll look like fancy pants.
In contrast, however, the second undergarment pattern I tried this week posed no finishing difficulties whatsoever, I suspect because I know what I'm doing with nicely-behaved knits. And look, two pairs immediately! One pair with optional topstitching, one without:
This is the new Barrie boy-cut briefs pattern by Kitschy Coo. I jumped on it yesterday as soon as she released it - partly because I had in the meantime become slightly obsessive about underwear patterns, but also because everything Amanda does is awesome. I've been wearing these all day (one pair, not both - I hope that's obvious...) and they are as advertised: super comfy, no-wedgie pants that stay put. Plus, they are the absolutely ideal opportunity to use up large scraps of Lillestof - which Amanda also just happens to stock, in an array of brilliant prints, in her shop. (Click through at your own risk - it's all tantalisingly gorgeous).
Actually, I had been single-mindedly hoarding the scraps of Lillestof for exactly this purpose since last June. And yes, I shall be wearing these garments simultaneously when summer comes. WHO WOULDN'T.
By the way, does anyone know why knicker patterns leave one end of the gusset unfinished and unstitched down (see picture above)? I've read that it's to allow for a cotton gusset in non-cotton underwear, but that doesn't actually explain why it isn't finished/attached. Or that it's for ventilation, but - really?? The other, and most-cited reason is to avoid a seam where it could be bulky or uncomfortable - but then there are plenty of underwear patterns out there with a separate gusset pattern piece, which is finished with seams at both ends (like this). Wouldn't the bulk thing be an issue there too? During my week of pants-sewing I have become increasingly - possibly unhealthily - curious about this question. If you can enlighten me at all, please do!
Well, to wrap up, I don't this post would be complete without a picture of them in action, would it? Mid-rise for more coverage, and I utterly failed to get an acceptable picture of the back view.
I think there's more than enough on display here as it is, anyway.
OK, post over. Have you crossed to dark side of sewing undergarments, too? Or are you resisting?