Does your significant other wear underwear? If so, he or she may appreciate some handmade pairs in their favourite style and color. Alternatively, matching underwear could be a special secret that your share. In this post I’m going to review the Pin-up Girls Underwear sewing project.
I purchased my Pin-up Girls patterns from Bra-makers Supply. Pin-up Girls underwear patterns include a women’s brief/panty, women’s back-seam panty, women’s boy short and men’s brief with either European or American styling.
While Pin-up Girls patterns are for personal use only, garments made using the patterns may be kept for personal use, given as gifts, or sold as ready-to-wear.
For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing the project.
The specific underwear sewing steps will vary according to which pattern you’re using. Judging by the pictures, I suspect the men’s patterns have more pieces to cut and sew. I purchased the “Veronica” women’s pattern. The pattern begins with an overview of the included styles, information for determining your size and how to layout your pattern pieces on your fabric. For a proper fit you need to align the “direction of greatest stretch” lines on the pattern pieces with the direction of greatest stretch of your fabric. This is equivalent to matching grain lines on your pattern and fabric when sewing woven fabrics. The seam allowance and recommended stitch information are covered next.
Step 0 Gather Materials
Stretch-knits and all-over stretch lace are appropriate fabrics for this project. You will also need elastic. Bra-makers Supply sells kits for men’s underwear, a variety of fabrics and lace for women’s underwear and elastic.
Over the last several years I purchased cotton spandex, nylon spandex and polyester spandex fabrics from the bargain bins of my local fabric stores. I also salvaged some 100% cotton knit fabric from t-shirts that were too long for me. This material makes great gusset linings for women’s underwear. I pre-washed my fabrics prior to sewing. I purchased some panty elastic from Bra-makers Supply and also have some other elastic that I’ll be using.
I also purchased some ball point sewing machine needles for this project. Their rounded points push aside the fabric’s fibres rather than cutting through them the way a standard needle does. A stretch needle could also be used to sew underwear.
Step 1 Sew Exterior
I sewed my cotton spandex exteriors together together using my ball point needle and zigzag presser foot.
Unfortunately when I attempted to sew my nylon spandex and polyester spandex fabrics with this combination of needle and presser foot, there were many skipped stitches. Changing to my Teflon presser foot solved this problem. A roller foot would also help.
Step 2 Sew Gusset Lining
I really like how the gusset lining turned out. Unlike every pair of store-bought underwear I’ve ever purchased, all the seams are hidden. It looks so much better and is quite comfortable.
Step 3 Sew Leg Elastic
Sewing the leg elastic was the hardest part of this project. My first pair of underwear took over three hours to sew due to my struggles with this step. First my elastic was too long and second I had difficulty distributing the elastic along the leg holes. While the elastic is pulled slightly along the front leg curve, it is pulled more tightly around the back leg curve.
I wrote my preferred leg elastic length on the pattern for future reference. I’m glad to say that sewing my second and third pairs of underwear was considerably faster as my skill with the leg elastic increased.
Step 4 Sew Waist Seams and Elastic
I had trouble sewing the waist elastic on my first pair of underwear. Once again my elastic was too long. Fortunately the stretch of the elastic is distributively evenly along the waist so I didn’t spend nearly as much time fiddling with it as I did for the leg elastic. I wrote my preferred waist elastic length on the pattern for future reference.
That’s it! There are only four steps!
Here are some more photos of my finished underwear:
This was the first time I’ve sewn underwear. I found the Pin-up Girls underwear pattern extremely easy to use. Each Pin-up Girl underwear pattern contains several sizes and at least two style options. The information for how to determine my size was clear and concise. The paper pattern included information about what fabrics and sewing machine stitches to use. The sewing instructions are well illustrated and easy to follow. They included details (like how to measure and sew the elastic) that I didn’t see in the online underwear sewing tutorials I considered. My Pin-up Girls underwear fit great and are in the style I like. Overall, I’m glad I purchased this pattern and I look forward to using it to sew more underwear in the future.
Have you made underwear? Would you make your own underwear? Comment below and/or Pin me for later!