So, a little later than I hoped, here are my hints and tips on sewing knickers. These are based on the Trixie Lixie pattern, so if you're using a different pattern some of them may/may not be relevant to you!
Once you've cut out the pattern following the guidelines - very important as the patterns are cut on the bias which helps to give the knickers a nice bit of stretch! - the first bit is to attach the gusset and join the front and back pieces together. I find it easiest to lay the gusset down first, then lay the front and back pieces (right sides together) on top so that I can measure the overlap before stitching it down.
To attach the gusset to the front knicker piece, I have found it worthwhile to smooth and pin the gusset in place, trim if necessary and then zig-zag down either side. I often end up reducing the width of my zig-zag stitch by one or two notches, as I don't want the stitches to be wider than those that I use for my elastic, if that makes sense?!
|Pin ● Trim ● Zig-zag the edges together|
And then it's on to sewing the elastic! Now, I'll be honest, this is the bit that I was most worried about on my first pair of knickers, but I promise you it's not tricky!
Firstly, have a look at your elastic to see how wide the bottom bit that you'll be sewing through. I've found that I've had to decrease the width of my zig-zag a couple of notches so that the stitching sits neatly within the elastic band (the solid bit in the picture below). Then, pin the elastic in position on one end of a leg hole and secure it with some forward/backward stitches before removing the pin.
|Elastic held normally ● Elastic held taut ● Pivoting at the gusset seam|
Repeat this for the other leg hole and the top edges, remembering to keep the elastic taut (have I mentioned that enough yet?!). And this is what you should end up.......it looks a bit bunchy doesn't it?!
The last thing to do is sew the side seams. The pattern sizes are banded (eg. a Medium is a UK 12-14) so for the seam allowance I've been using either a 1/4" or 3/8" depending on if I would normally go for the smaller or bigger size within that banding, I figure that an 1/2" might make all the difference on a comfy pair of pants!!!! Zig-zag (or serge) the side-seams to give a neat finish and you're done! Ta dah!
They still look a little bunchy (I can't help thinking of shower caps!!!!), they're not the easiest thing to photograph!!!!
I hope this has helped you - if you'd like to have a go at making your own knickers then don't forget that there is still a 15% discount code when you type in SEWKNICKERS at Trixie Lixie valid until the 8th February.
Let me know if you have any more q's,
Todays sky ● rain, wind, more rain and more wind. It's not good.