Honestly, until a few years ago, I never would have considered making my own panties (underwear, knickers … whatever you like to call them. 😀 ) Then, one day I decided to try sewing up some Bunzies from Stitch Upon A Time. I loved them! Fast forward to this past year when Made for Mermaids came out with their Vikki Hipster pattern. They’re my new favorites!
Vikki Hipsters vs. Bunzies
While I did really like the Bunzies I made, the Vikki Hipsters are my top favorite right now. Bunzies, while comfy, are a little bit bulkier because they use bands for the waist and legs. The Vikki Hpsters use elastic — picot, lingerie, or fold-over elastics. They also have an option for bands, which I haven’t tried.
NOTE: It looks like the Bunzies pattern has been updated to include elastic options since the last time I made them. I think I’ll go back and try them out again to see how they compare!
The Bunzies pattern has a separate lining piece, which is pretty standard. The Vikki Hipsters are self-lined — they only require two pattern pieces.
The Bunzies have different bum coverage options and a ruching option while the Vikki Hipsters are semi-full coverage with low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise options.
Perfect for Scrap Busting
I love using panty patterns for scrap busting. Granted, the tiny undies for my daughter are much better scrap busters than the ones in my size! Still, there are endless ideas for ‘color-blocking’ panties using scraps of fabric.
Color blocking isn’t hard, you just choose where you want your seam lines to be, cut the pattern and add your seam allowance. It’s something I’m relatively new to, but it’s such fun and adds an extra something to a project. You also get to stretch your creativity and have that moment of wondering if it’s going to work out. Basically, you’re also stretching your sense of adventure!
This pair of Vikki Hipsters was made with some scrap fabric and an old t-shirt. I ended up ‘color-blocking’ the back in the same fabric to get the most out of my scraps. It’s my favorite pair! If you’re looking for color blocking inspiration, search for some retail panties — there are so many with cool details and design lines.
I also stitched this pair up with just my Morse Fotomatic — no serger! (I have a tutorial coming next week on sewing knits with a sewing machine!)
Lace & Leopard
This pair of Vikki Hipsters was made with scuba and lace. I’ve had issues with lace tearing before in projects like this, so I backed it with swim lining. It worked perfectly!
My Love of Picot Elastic
I’d never really used picot elastic before getting into sewing lingerie. The process of sewing it on is so simple and it provides such a pretty finished edge. It gives a lingerie project a little extra elegance.
I get my picot from LaceAndTrims on Etsy. The prices are great and her customer service is awesome. I’ve purchased from other places, but haven’t found a source that beats LaceAndTrims.
I’ve grown to love the look of picot and the easy of sewing it in. It’s worth learning to use!
Sizing & Adjustments
Made for Mermaids uses colors instead of standard Small, Medium, Large sizing. I used the Indigo size and love the fit. It’s worth it to blend sizes if your measurements fall in different ranges. Mine do most of the time. In this case, it worked to use a straight size.
One interesting thing I’ve learned about myself during the past year is that I’ve got extra length between my waist and hips. Most patterns are drafted for a waist to hip measurement of 8.25″. I measure 9.5″ from waist to hip.
I’ve found this to be a really helpful thing to know — in the case of the Vikki hipsters, I didn’t adjust the pattern (yet), and I found that the high-rise version is actually mid-rise on me. Since I like them just fine, I didn’t want to cut up that pattern. (I’ve printed another copy out and made the needed adjustment, I just need to sew a pair up.)
That little difference in my waist to hip measurement explains why nothing high-waisted is every really high-waisted on me!
If you want to get into sewing lingerie, panties are a great place to start. You can practice techniques like sewing picot or fold-over elastic on something relatively simple before moving on to bras and bralettes.
Have you sewn lingerie before? Do you have a favorite pattern or patterns you want to try? Let me know in the comments!