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Kelly's Guide to Sewing Knickers Using Your Fabric Stash

I’m very excited to share my first guest post for the Sewalicious blog! We are going to do things a little differently and blog about a really fun idea to downsize holiday fabric waste.

As sewists you all know what it’s like to have several pieces of fabric leftover that just aren’t big enough to do anything with. Well this won’t work for every piece of fabric but it might for those stretchy knit fabrics.

Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to take that leftover fabric and create a cute pair of knickers using your RTW knickers as a copy. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to use this gorgeous Traditional Floral Cotton Stretch Fabric from Sewalicious. Hopefully you will have some gorgeous Sewalicious fabric in your stash too!

Step One: Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better! Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.

Step Two: Dig through your drawers for your favorite pair of undies (of course not just favorite – make sure you still like how they fit!) Try to use fabric that has similar stretch to these for a good fit.

Step Three: Take out your tracing paper and a pencil. I use a roll of medical paper and sometimes kraft paper but any paper will suffice. Place your knickers down with pattern weights of your liking and trace your underwear. Make sure to trace the front, back and lining. Be sure to trace the front and back piece by separating them at the seam. My seam is in the back so that will be where I draw a horizontal line to match both sides of the back pattern piece. My front pattern and lining pattern are one piece but I will draw a line on the pattern piece to indicate where the lining begins so I can also use the lining area as my guide to cut out a lining piece of fabric.

Step Four: Once completed remove your undies from the tracing paper and smooth out your traced lines with a marker or pen then add seam allowance. 1/4”-3/8” should suffice on all sides – remember you’re adding elastic to the waistband and leg openings so your seam allowance depends on the width of your elastic. I’m using 3/8” picot elastic.

Step Five: Cut out your new pattern and lay out your fabric. Place your pattern pieces on the fabric following the direction of most stretch (I’m cutting on the bias) then cut.

Step Six: Measure the length of the waistband and leg openings to determine how much elastic you need for both then cut. You will have three strips of elastic.

Step Seven: Time to sew! Using an overcast stitch sew the raw edge of the narrow side of the lining. Take the front piece, the back piece and the lining and sandwich the front piece between the two with the wrong side of the front piece facing the wrong side of the lining piece. Sew the three pieces together using a zigzag stitch then overcast stitch the edge. Press the seam toward the back piece then using a zigzag stitch, sew the seam allowance to the back piece.

Step Eight: Flip the front piece and lining piece so that the wrong sides are facing each other then baste the lining edge to the front edges. Using a zigzag stitch, with the right sides of the front and back pieces facing each other sew the side seams.

Step Nine: Sew your elastic to the leg openings and waistband. For picot elastic, line up the straight edge of the elastic with the right side edge of the leg opening. Make sure the smooth side of the elastic is facing the fabric and the soft side is facing you. Sew using a zigzag stitch. Flip the elastic inside so just the picot edge is showing and sew in place using a zigzag stitch. Repeat for the other leg opening and the waistband.

Step Ten: Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!

Viola! Now you have a pair of holiday knickers! :)

Leave your comment


Absolutely love this blog post.  Love learning new sewing methods. Thanks for sharing xx
Kelly replied on 18/12/2017 21:47
Thank you Nicola!  It's a fun and easy project you can put together on a weekend afternoon. :)  I hope you give it a try!
Love your post.  Gives me something to do in between Christmas and New Year.  Rachel x
Kelly replied on 18/12/2017 21:53
Thank you Rachel!  I hope you make lots of knickers to bring into the New Year! :)
Love this.
Kelly replied on 18/12/2017 21:53
Thank you! :)
When I made a pledge earlier this year to only sew (and not buy) clothing for an entire year I did allow myself one exception - underwear! I found that idea extremely daunting and considered it something only a 'master sewist' could do.  Hmmmm, not sure I can continue with this argument now :).  
By breaking it down into easy to follow, step-by-step instructions you've made it 100% achievable.  Not sure my leftover Xmas sequin fabric will make the most comfortable pair of knickers but maybe i'll give it a go - lol. I'll definitely be able to put my fabric cut-offs to good use from now on.
Kelly replied on 18/12/2017 21:57
Hehe I used to feel the same way Amy! I'm glad you'll be giving this a go - it's so satisfying too because once you get a hang of it you can sew them up so quickly!  The sequin fabric may not be the most comfortable but they sure will be fun!! hehe ;)
Brilliant blog and cute knickers. Can't wait to give a pair a go
Kelly replied on 18/12/2017 21:57
Thank you! I'm so glad you'll be trying this out! :)
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