My Adventure in Sewing Underwear

I am going through a personal fight with clothing. I have learned to sew skirts, with frills and ruffles and of course, my signature Blackberry pocket. I can sew a dress (my favorite right now being a modified strapless version). I am not too keen on sewing shirts, mostly because it is cheaper to buy them and they still fit well. Pants are in between…I still need to sew the pair of jeans I’ve been meaning to sew. I have sewn some summer-y drawstring pants and one pair of dress pants. Some things I totally think it’s worth making yourself. Some things,  I do not.

One thing I’m trying to see if it’s worth sewing or not are undergarments. And yesterday, I made a trip to Joanns, spent a good forty-five minutes flipping through all of the pattern books and found two patterns for bras and underwear. They were both Mccalls patterns and I think one was specifically for thongs. Um, no.

So I bought the other pattern.


I found some double stretch knit in the remnant bin (almost a whole yard!) in black. I figured, why not, right? So I set out to make, what’s in the picture, the purple pair. Simple bikinis. The pattern actually calls for stretch lace. But our Joanns only has stretch lace in white. I opted out. I am really frustrated with the lack of notions in Southern Maryland. Or, I don’t want to drive an hour just to get lace.

The pattern itself was easy. Three pieces: front, back, and that piece that goes on the crotch. Whatever that’s called. They actually fit, a little big, but they fit, and they don’t look too bad. I may go back and add a little elastic, but I’m not sure. I do not think anyone here wants to see me in my homemade skivvies, nor do I want to show the world my bum in my homemade skivvies, so do not expect a picture.

Sewing the underwear was really quite straight forward, and I am sure you can repurpose stretchy t-shirts and whatnot instead of buying fabric. And one thing I WILL say about this pattern is that there were a lot of helpful hints in the instructions. There were suggestions on needles, suggestions of when to use the zig-zag stitch, and suggestions on embellishments. It overall, has been a nice pattern.

I do think I’m going to try and sew a bra this weekend. A little more complicated, but maybe it’ll work out. I’m really picky about my bras, so if I can sew my own, then maybe I won’t have to slide into Victoria’s Secret.

One thing I will say is that has frustrated me is the lack of patterns out there.  I only looked at Joanns, so the patterns I looked at were Burda, Butterick, Mccalls, Vogue, and Simplicity. I’m sure I could deconstruct my own to get a pattern (I’m willing to deconstruct a pair of underwear,  but not a bra), but was hoping there’d be better instruction with a pattern rather than trial and error with my own attempts.

So, I’m throwing this out to all the Bean Sprouts out there (nice, name for my readers, huh?) have you made your own lingerie? Not just bras and underwear but camis or slips? Did you use a pattern? Is it easier to order things online or go to a store? And any suggestions you have to make these? I’m curious and would love to hear your thoughts!



Filed under creativity, sewing

2 responses to “My Adventure in Sewing Underwear

  1. Erin

    You’re a sewer in Southern Maryland? E-mail me please! I’m in Calvert and just learning how to sew (finishing up a beginning sewing class with CSM next weekend) and it would be really cool to chat with somebody else in the area who is also into this. Yay!

    • arguinglulu

      Hey Erin! Congrats on starting to sew! I didn’t know CSM has a course (I’m thoroughly oblivious sometimes.) Let me know how it is! Good luck and keep at it! -Laura

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