Handmade underwear updateIt has been about a year since I published this video about how to make your own hand stitched knickers.
In making this video I could expand my knickers collection and now after a year I thought it was time to produce some more. Why? Because the few knickers from the high street, that I did not throw away in case I could not keep up with laundry tasks, are just too uncomfortable in comparison. And I also have a bit of Organic Cotton/Bamboo Jersey left over.
As I am currently experimenting whether working with the machine can come close to the hand-stitched-experience but also to see if I can produce slightly more economic garments with similar effect, I thought I give this project a try on the machine.
I am writing this post also because some DIY friends possibly did not dare to try to make their own underwear because of the hand stitched madness or not enough time. So now there are no more excuses not to wear the most comfortable underwear ever!
If you watched the video you know how to make a pattern for this project. First you pin the side seams, as in the film, but try to use fewer pins, 3 would do and make sure you pin perpendicular to the sewing direction, you don't want to break the needle. I use a Gutterman sew all thread for the top feed, that is 100% polyester, for the bobbin I use Seraflock, that is a very stretchy thread normally used for swimwear. My machine is a very very old Singer with only the basic stitches. Set the machine to a wide zigzag stitch and put in a needle for stretch material. Let the foot come down so all material is under it, because that avoids problems with the material and thread forming a big knot. Also keep hold of the threads before you start as this helps to prevent these issues as well.
And after a couple of stitches reverse and sew backwards almost to the very edge. Almost because again you don't want to start the argument. Repeat once you arrived at the end of the seam.
For the leg opening it is a bit different. Use only a few pins like before, and the same setting, but this time don't reverse. The reason for this is that you want no tension between material and thread. (Across the grain you have more stretch.) You know when you put on a garment and it goes ratsch and the thread snapped? So leave about 2 inches of thread in the beginning and then when you went all the way around instead of reversing, overlap the beginning and ending for about 2 inches, before you trim leave some thread. Now bring the hem between your index finger and thumb and stroke around the hem, at least once, you will feel movement between thread and material. Do this until the leg opening feels comfortable when you stretch it, so the thread won't snap when you pull it. Now you can trim.
The elastic band works the same way, only a few pins, 8 should do. Do not reverse but overlap and stroke the finished seam until you cannot feel any tension, trim.
Although it doesn't look nowhere near as good as made by hand - I just love the herringbone stitch, the result is very comfortable and you are prepared and ready to go on holiday in no time ......