Wednesday, 1 April 2015

KNICKERS

Today I'm going to write the sort of post that, when it pops up in my blog reader, generally makes me "mark as read" immediately and move on.

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).





Wait, I was dissembling there. "Ideal opportunity to use up scraps of Lillestof"?

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?


28 comments:

  1. That's a great fit indeed! I have been planning to make some too, even bought some stretch lace trim to go with my fabric scraps but somehow never get around to making them...

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  2. I love those kitchy koo undies (pattern and fabric). Thanks for modelling, it's nice to see what they actually look like on and I definitely would have been in your gang at school! ;-)

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  3. I think that my comment got chewed up, but these look comfy as he'll and great on! X

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  4. This post totally cracked me up! It is pretty common to see undies posts with a kagillion exclamation points with them, and I think I've marked a few "as read" without reading them as well. But dang, lillestoff undies? I mean, that is pretty awesome. Do you walk around in your new knickers eyeing people sideways and thinking "I bet YOU didn't make your own undies, did you?" Hehehehe. Now you're one of the cool kids!

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  5. Great post - and I totally had a younger sister that stole my clothes all the time and pretended like it was no big deal. I think all of these look great and I have been very curious to start sewing my own knickers too. What a great way to use scraps. I am not totally sold on woven pairs, but I really do want to try the knit ones! I'm hoping to jump on the bandwagon with you soon!

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  6. Love the new undies!!! I make mine too and wear them to death. As to the crouch lining, Google 'burrito method panties' and several sites come up to eliminate exposed seams and nail down that open end. I never understood the reasoning to leave it open. Hope this helps in your quest.
    Karen in Illinois

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  7. Worthy of all the exclamation points, these look super comfy! I might have to buy that Barrie brief, and some lillestof fabric. The pattern reminds me of my favourite Bonds boy cut briefs I used to buy in Australia. And matching pants & clothes - love that idea!

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  8. Helen // Grosgrain GreenApril 02, 2015 10:19 am

    I have not made underwear and I'm a little on the fence about it. As quick as they are to make, I'd far rather spend precious sewing time making things people can actually see. I've always thought that - even before I sewed, I preferred to spend money on things that people see. Can you tell I was single for a long time?! :) Plus, I've yet to find a pattern that REALLY makes me want to make them. The Barrie briefs do look comfy though, so maybe I'll buy that once I accumulate some relevant fabric scraps - because I am definitely NOT buying fabric so I can make pants!! Well done on modelling them. You look amazing!! Baby tummy and all. ;)

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  9. You're funny! It is interesting to see the sewing bloggers' natural progression... skirts, tops, dresses, underwear then bikinis. Then the wedding dress, if you're under 35. LOL and yes for the WTF OMG!!!!!!! Exclamationssss!!


    I've made undies, refashioned some swimwear, but never sewn my own or made a bra... I'd like to one day, maybe! I'm not sure I'm brave enough to photog myself wearing them though! Thumbs up to you!

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  10. Those Lillestof ones would make me cross over!

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  11. Ha ha! I wished I was an indie kid so I could scornfully mock the cool kids! I bought this pattern as soon as too, and have a pair cut out and waiting for me to sew up along with a matching top. Matching bras and knickers is so last decade, its all about the complete outfit!

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  12. Haha I'll really only skip if the next post is 'I MADE A BRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' I've just been waiting for a current pair of my RTW jocks to die so I can sacrifice them and make a pattern. I too have hoarded knit scraps that are destined for some undies. I'm not jazzed with the idea of woven undies though, so intrigued with the MTCO pattern.... Last thing a girl needs is a wedgie....

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  13. They really a great fit, and so comfy! You know, if you need reasosns to buy another pattern :-)

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  14. It's worth a go! After 2 days wearing the homemade ones, I'm really not looking forward to putting RTW knickers on again today! It'll probably get a bit tedious but I'm definitely going to make lots more, assembly line style

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  15. Thanks Marilla! They are indeed super comfy!

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  16. Hehe exactly! "I'm wearing camping-themed undies - beat THAT!"

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  17. Thanks Heather! It was mostly curiosity that got me doing it too. Definitely worth it though, I think there's no going back! And they really don't take long :-)

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  18. Thanks Karen! I can totally understand now why people go all in and make loads - they're so much better!

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  19. Thanks Kathryn :-) The boy cut of those is really brilliant, I'd absolutely recommend trying the pattern. And I can't get over the fun of wearing matching clothes & undies, even if no-one except me knows about it :-)

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  20. Thanks Helen! Those basically have been exactly my objections too - in the end I just got too curious to resist, and as I had some scraps ready that kind of tipped me over the edge. If you are intrigued enough to try it, I definitely recommend the Barrie pattern, it's easy and really good.

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  21. It totally does seem to be the natural course of things doesn't it! I'm quite sceptical/nervous about bra making too - kind of like the final frontier! But I'm pretty sure I'll try it at some point though, just to see if it's actually feasible for full busts. All in the name of science! Not sure I'll pose wearing that though :-)

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  22. Yes!! Too cool for school with our entirely matching sets!

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  23. Oh god yes, if I ever make a bra I'm already wondering how to blog about it without that pitfall!! With the woven undies I'm surprised by how comfy it feels NOT to have the fabric right on the skin, if you see what I mean. But I haven't been wearing them much yet because it's still cold here, and I do think they need to be worn under loose fitting clothes as otherwise they'll bunch up a lot. Maybe I'll do an updated report once I've tried it :-)

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  24. Rachel RasmussenApril 05, 2015 6:32 am

    OMG I am dying to know why one edge is always unfinished! Is it because mass producing the burrito method is pain? All of my underwear and swimsuits are like that!! WHY??

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  25. Rachel RasmussenApril 05, 2015 6:56 am

    Oh. It's just because there isn't a seam on that end of the outer fabric. LOL.

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  26. I have so far resisted making any bras or undies but I am very tempted after seeing so many people posting their underthings on Instagram. I think what I like most about the knicker kick is that they don't take much time to make.

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  27. Thank you for posting these, and for braving a modelled shot. They are terrific looking - such a fun looking fabric and they also look like a great, comfortable fit :).

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