For the 21st post in my series, the letter U, I decided to make underwear. (Believe me, there’s not much choice when it comes to items to sew that start with U!) Although I’d never attempted to sew panties before I had two underwear patterns in my stash, Jalie 2568 and McCall’s 5651. Jalie 2568 had 100% positive reviews on PatternReview, so I chose the Jalie pattern.
While checking the reviews of 2568 on PatternReview I found a link to a wonderful tutorial for sewing panties from the sewing blog verypurpleperson. This tutorial has great photos and since I’m a visual learner it was much easier for me to use and to follow than Jalie’s directions. Another perk to using the tutorial is that it showed how to enclose the crotch lining seams, which are exposed using the Jalie instructions. The only thing missing from the tutorial was how to measure the elastic for the leg openings. Since I didn’t want the elastic to fit tightly, I just cut each leg elastic an inch shorter than my leg opening measurement.
Wow, panties sure are quick and easy to make! Umm, at least they would have been if I had picked the right fabric and elastic to use from the start. I spent A LOT of time trying to find wide stretch lace and 70% 4-way stretch fabric, both of which Jalie 2568 called for. I never found 1+1/4″ stretch lace, so I added 1+1/4″ to the top edge of the panties to regain the coverage provided by the wide stretch lace.
On the first pair of panties I attempted I used picot lace and the 70% 4-way stretch fabric recommended by Jalie. When completed that panty resembled a tornado, with the elastic twisting every which way. A disaster, but it gave me a prototype to use for fitting. I found I needed to add width to the panty back as it lacked enough coverage for my pear-shaped figure. I just graded out the sides of the back pattern piece and the back edge of the crotch pieces by about 1/2″ to make this adjustment.
Taking a cue from the tutorial I found, I sewed a second panty from my altered pattern using T-shirt type material. I didn’t even bother to check the amount of stretch in the fabric since this was the type of fabric used in verypurpleperson’s tutorial. Then I sewed on some regular 3/8″ wide elastic instead of the picot edge elastic and my Sew All 26 “U” project was finished! The only change I made to the tutorial instructions was that I added a second row of triple zigzag topstitching beside the first. This stitched down my 3/8″ elastic more completely and I really loved the diamond topstitching design it created.