Thursday, 3 May 2018

Sewing Lingerie - #sewoutofthisworld

After crossing one of my 2018 Make Nine projects off my list with my Carolyn pyjamas in my last blog post, today I've got another two of my nine finished and ready to share with you - specifically a Cloth Habit Watson bra and some Megan Nielsen Acacia knickers.

I've been interested in the idea of sewing lingerie for a while now, not least because it seemed like it would be a good way of using up leftover pieces of jersey, but it kept getting pushed down the sewing list in favour of garments that I could show off to the outside world.

When I heard about the Sew Out of This World challenge that is currently (until tomorrow anyway!) being hosted by Sew Loco, it seemed like taking on mission one of the challenge would be a good incentive to finally give lingerie making a try.

I decided to start with the easier half of my mission and tackle knickers first. The Acacia knickers are low rise bikini cut - a nice simple pair of knickers for my first attempt. Especially because this is a free pattern (who doesn't love a freebie?!). The fact that this is a free pattern in no way means that you're not getting something as good as if you'd paid for it - the fit is good, the pattern pieces all match up well, and the instructions are clear and thorough, even including three different elastic insertion methods (regular elastic, lingerie elastic and foldover elastic).

The knickers were really quick to sew, although it has to be said mine aren't perfect. This is in no way any fault of the pattern - it's just due to the fact that I hadn't used lingerie elastic before and my sewing in that area could definitely have been tidier. They're perfectly wearable though, which is the main thing!

Next, I moved on to the Watson bra. This is a soft, non-underwired bra with a plunge neckline and the options of a longline style or a shorter band - I went for the longline version.

Like the Acacia, the instructions for the Watson were very thorough - I particularly liked the fact that they included specific details on the width/length of zigzag stitch that should be used for each of the individual steps. This meant that the process was fairly straightforward, even though it was my first attempt at bra making.

While I didn't have any trouble working out what I should be doing, I did struggle a bit with actually getting my sewing machine to sew what I needed it to! Sewing the top of the cups down after looping them through the rings was a particularly tricky because the layers of elastic were quite thick, but I made it work in the end (although I wouldn't want the neatness to be subject to close scrutiny!).

Based on my measurements, I made a 38A and the bra fits me really well. I was slightly dubious about how supportive such a soft bra would be but, for me and my not-especially-large bust, it's fine for light daily wear.

The cherry print jersey I used for both of these project is left over from a top I made (but apparently didn't blog) a few years ago. The findings for the Watson came in a pack from Sewn (but Marie isn't running her shop at the moment), and the lingerie elastic for my Acacia was from this ebay seller.

Having finished my two original intended projects, I decided to go with the space theme of the Sew Out of This World challenge and make some star print knickers. This time I used the Scroop Patterns Wonder Unders pattern, which I'd bought a while ago with the intention of making the slip (haven't got around to that yet!).

These are very similar to the Acacia knickers, but with slightly more coverage. The construction was also similar, so there were no big surprises there. The major difference for me was in the elastics that I used for the two different pairs - both pairs use lingerie elastic, but the blue on my Acacia knickers is fairly soft and stretchy, whereas the black on the Wonder Unders is much firmer and needed much more force to stretch it to fit. Because of this, my Acacia knickers feel ever-so-slightly loose, while the Wonder Unders are a touch tight. Both are wearable, but with the benefit of hindsight and experience, I should probably have cut the Acacia elastic a bit shorter and the Wonder Under elastic a bit longer.

So, what's my verdict on lingerie making? Well, I'll definitely be making more knickers! They're a quick project, and a great way of using up leftover jersey. I'd quite like to try out a couple of other patterns to work out my perfect style, which I could then make over and over. As for bras, I'm definitely not ruling out making more, but there's a part of me that thinks that this is one case where M&S can probably do a better job! Have you tried sewing lingerie? Any patterns to recommend to me?


  1. Loving your makes, isn't it interesting that different elastics effect the fit? Wouldn't have thought of that! I love the idea of sewing underwear, but like sewing dresses more. And I'm with on M&S doing a better job, because their underwear fits me well!

    1. Yes, I realised that the elastics were different but I was surprised y how much they alter fit. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks M&S might do a better job!


Please leave a comment - it's always great to hear from you!