Saturday, November 21, 2009

Panty-Making Tutorial

(note: double-clicking on the photos will show them in a larger size)
Panty Tutorial

Supplies needed:
Approx. ½-3/4 yard of fashion fabric, with stretch going side to side
Crotch lining fabric – cotton or cotton blend; should be a knit of some kind
(I used an old t-shirt)
Lingerie or foldover elastic
Optional: stretch lace for waistband
Polyester thread
Ballpoint or stretch needle, size 11, give or take
Lots of patience
Sewing machine

This will cover everything from sewing the crotch piece in to finishing the waist and legs.

Cut one front piece, one back piece, one crotch out of the panty fabric, and one from the lining fabric.
Place the crotch piece and the front body piece, both of the panty fabric, right sides together. Against the back side of the body piece, place the cotton crotch liner, right side in. Pin in place to prevent sliding.
Using an overlock stitch or a medium width/medium length zigzag stitch to provide stretch, stitch the seam.

Lay the part you’ve sewn on a flat surface with the crotch lining on top.
Take the crotch lining and pull it away from the fabric, smoothing it out.
Follow this with the panty body piece. Roll the body piece from the upper edge in toward the crotch piece, keeping as neat as possible.

Get the other panty piece and begin rolling it up like the first one. Keep it on top of the panty fabric crotch piece.

Fold the last part of the unsewn panty piece over so it is right sides together with the crotch piece. Reach over behind the roll you made first and get the panty liner fabric. Bring it over the top of all the fabric and toward the other two raw edges on the right.

Pin as indicated. You now have a “burrito,” as referred to by another much smarter earlier writer.

Using overcast stitch or medium length/medium width zigzag stitch, sew across the three layers of fabric created by this process.

As shown below, you can now unroll the fabric and turn it right side out. You should have one shiny side and one matte side.

To make it easier to apply elastic to the legs, baste the crotch pieces together a scant ¼” from the outer edges using a long straight stitch.

I played with the photo below a bit just so you can see the stitching line better.

Now, take the leg elastic and the leg sections of the panties, quarter and mark them with straight pins.

Following the pin guides, match up the elastic and the panty, right sides together. If you are using plush lingerie elastic, the plush part of the elastic will be pointing up at this time.

Using a narrow lightning zigzag stitch (I use 2.0/2.5 or 2.0/2.0) or a narrow, long zigzag stitch, sew the elastic to the panty. Align the outer edges as much as possible. Stretch the elastic to fit. Try not to stretch the fabric or it will not lay flat in the end. Go slow. It’s much better to take your time than to hurry and have a mess on your hands.

Below you will see a picture of the elastic after it has been applied to the panty fabric. You’ll notice little bits of fabric sticking out from under the edges of the elastic here and there. In order to make the rest of the project finish more neatly, it is important to carefully trim that fabric so it doesn’t show.

If you look below you can see where I’m trimming extra fabric from below the elastic on this pair of panties. Go slowly so you don’t cut the elastic!

This shows the leg area after trimming.

Next you take the elastic you sewed to the leg openings, turn it under, and stitch it again so that the edge of the elastic doesn’t show from the outside.

Here you can see the legs with the elastic sewn to the inside so that only the trimmed edge shows on the outside. The plush, soft edge is toward the body.

Next, sew one leg opening shut. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom. Ease as needed so that the edges match as much as possible.

You will have a raw edge left after sewing. It’s best to tack this piece down so it looks more smooth and won’t be rubbing against your leg.

Find which way the elastic will fold the most smoothly, turn it in that direction, and proceed to tack it down using the same stitch you used for attaching the elastic to the panties in the first place.

This topstitching will leave you with a smooth, attractive leg join as well as decreasing the chance of any raveling at the edge of the elastic edging.

For this project I have chosen to alter a regular panty into a hipster or low-rise style. I don’t have a specific pattern for one, but it is easy enough to alter a full-cut pair with a ruler and rotary cutter or scissors. I’ll be using stretch lace for the upper band on this pair so I can show you how to apply it.

First, you decide how much you want to take off the top. I don’t want mine too short or they’ll roll down; therefore, I’m just going to remove a piece the width of the stretch lace band, which also just happens to be the width of my ruler.

Align the front and back of the panty so that the top is even all the way around. Fold in half and place on a ruler mat. Using the ruler and rotary cutter or marking with a water soluble pen or marker and then cutting with the scissors, remove the desired amount from the waist area.

See photos below for clarification.

All that’s left now is to apply the waistband. You can either use elastic and the same technique as you did with the legs, or you can use stretch lace. For the sake of learning, this example uses stretch lace. First off, sew up the remaining leg seam and finish off the bottom just the way you did the other one.
Now, cut a piece of stretch lace the measurement of your waist/hip area minus 6”-8” depending on the stretchiness of the lace and your waist measurement – the larger your measurement, the more you can take off.

Using the zigzag stitch from earlier, sew the short edges of the stretch lace right sides together. Repeat. Trim the raw edge, turn to one side, and apply the zigzag stitch again to tack down the edge so it lays flat.

Quarter and pin the elastic and the panty like you did with the leg elastic earlier. It might be tempting to think you can do this without marking, but it is far better to take the few extra minutes to measure and mark.

Slide the stretch lace over the outside of the panty, right sides facing out on both. Align and join the lace and panty where the pins match up. The raw edge of the panty will be in line with the top of the stretch lace.

If you have a larger waist or hipline, like I do, you may want to divide your quarters in half in order to keep the stitching a little more even. It is not essential, but it will help you a bit and your stitches will look a bit more professional since they will be more evenly divided along the top line of the panty.

Now, using a regular width lightning zigzag stitch or a normal zigzag stitch, attach the stretch lace to the top of the panty, stretching the lace as needed to fit. Try not to stretch the fabric as it can cause puckering. The thing to remember is to go slowly and not try to fly through it all.

Here is the finished inside view of the top of the panty with the stretch lace applied.

Using your scissors, carefully trim the fabric between the stitching and the top of the panty; leave only the stretch lace as a waistband. The zigzag stitch you used to attach the stretch lace will help prevent raveling.

The trimming is all done.

Here are my finished hipsters.

This method or any combination of it can be used for hip huggers, full briefs, bikinis, or any other style of panty you’d like to make.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

working on Tobie's stuff

It was time for me to make my grandson Tobie some clothes once I got done with Alex's. This first shirt I made a mock layered long sleeve by adding the seam allowance and some room for the hem turn up to the top of the piece that goes from the bottom of the short sleeve to the bottom of the long sleeve, if that makes any sense. I put the pieces right sides together and serged them. I folded up the hem and stitched it in place. Voila - layered-look long sleeves! It was easier than I thought. I like how it looks. I was a bit concerned that since I didn't follow a specific pattern for it I might make it and regret I hadn't gotten out the patterns I have and used one of them.

This is camouflage Ooga Booga fabric with a forest green rib knit for the bands on the sleeves, which I just added because I wanted to, and for the neck band. It's actually the same pattern as the shirt in the first picture, I believe. It just shows you the different things you can do with a pattern just by changing the way you cut the fabric and assemble it; you can get many different looks from one pattern if you're creative enough. I like trying different things, anyhow. I dread boredom or stick-in-the-mud-ness. It would drive me crazy to always do something the same way all the time.

I made this shirt from a Burda pattern. Now I've not used Burda patterns before because a lot of them don't include seam allowances and I thought it was going to be a pain in the pants. However, it was part of a $1.99 sale at Hancock's, I think, so I got this one to try for Tobie. I have to say it went together remarkably well. I will have to use this pattern again and again. I'll probably make him another shirt for Christmas, maybe with long sleeves, and possibly all one color. The other option is to use a color-block style with different solids for each pattern piece - front, back, each sleeve, and either the whole hood or each half of the hood.

Here's a back view of the hoodie. I really like this shirt. I love geckos and other lizard-type critters. The one thing I think might have helped a bit was if I had bothered to go get my coverstitch machine from the quilt shop that does repairs. I've been under the weather this week, though, and didn't want to expose a bunch of people to whatever it is I have. I actually cancelled 3 appointments this week - one with the pain doc, one with the surgeon, and a sick appointment with our primary doc. That's okay because honey already had an appointment with the primary doc for Monday so they rescheduled me for an hour after his and we'll just go in together. We're going to get the machine after we go to the doc since it's in the same general direction, anyhow...nothing is close to home. It's all a nice hike. Most of the time I like it that way. The only time it's trouble is when there's an urgent medical problem.

Hubby saw this shirt finished up this morning when he got up and he really likes it. He says my stuff is like the kind of stuff you can buy at a store. I don't know. I keep trying to do better and better. I've never been one to settle for mediocrity, except maybe when it comes to dusting and keeping the piles of magazines and patterns and sale ads under control. I used to be a lot more anal about it but now it's like it doesn't matter so much any more.

I think this hood will probably fit better than any of the Big4 patterns I've used. I made a jacket from one last year and I declare, that hood is 4 or 5 inches too tall for my head! It's also so wide from front to back that I can't even tie it if I want to see my fact. I'd like to get busy this week, remove that hood, and cut it down to where it will fit like it's supposed to. Plus sized people don't have humongous heads, for crying out loud.

So, now I need to make Tobie his pants or long shorts - no, I still haven't decided which - and then some boxer briefs. Once those are done I can either send them off or, God willing, fly down to Tampa and take them to the kids myself. It's been 5 years since we have seen each other. That's a long, long time.

I need to go. I'm getting really tired. Maybe I can even sleep in the bed tonight! Usually I'm asleep for an hour, than awake for one or two, and it goes on like that all night. It's been this way for a few years now; it's getting old.