I’ve been thinking about sewing my own knickers for a while as I had plenty of big enough cotton single jersey left overs. I just needed some stretch lace for trimming and knicker elastic. I finally got around to ordering these items from e-Bay.

black pairs x 2 (2160 x 1620)

I don’t usually buy anything fancy, it’s normally the 3 pairs for £10 from M&S. But just as with their socks I was disappointed in the quality of some of the pairs. The next batch I bought were from Sainsbury’s, 3 pairs for £8 and the quality was much better and I noticed that all the sewing, except for the side seams which were overlocked, could be done on a domestic machine as it was just a zig-zag stitch. This got me thinking…. I could easily make these myself.

The original pair of Sainsbury's knickers with zig-zag stitching

The original pair of Sainsbury’s knickers with zig-zag stitching

I  copied the pattern, front, back and gusset. I had to do this twice as the first pair, which have turned into a wearable toile weren’t perfect. I  needed to add some extra depth to the back and my first pattern had straight side seams and a straight top edge. On closer looking at the original pair the centre front and back were slightly lower than the sides and the side seams flared out very slightly.

2nd version of the pattern which were a much better fit

2nd version of the pattern which were a much better fit. I also made a note on the pattern for the length of the waist elastic.

I stitched them up in the following order….

1. Stitched the lace embellishment to the front piece.
2. Stitched the two gusset pieces to the front , the front panel is sandwiched between the two gusset pieces so when it is completed the raw edges are enclosed.
3. Stitched the gusset pieces to the back. I did this one at a time so as not to get twisted and pinned the second piece and stitched on top of the first line of stitching. I used the triple stretch stitch for the gusset stitching.

enclosing the raw edges of the gusset

enclosing the raw edges of the gusset

4. Stitched the stretch lace to the leg openings using a small zig-zag stitch. Before I started I trimmed the fabric at the gusset seams to make a nice curve.
5. Stitched up the side seams using a the triple stretch stitch. I couldn’t be bothered to set up the overlocker for this and then I finished the seams with a zig-zag.
6. Stitched the elastic around the waist. I pinned the elastic at the side seams and at the centre front and back to get the gathering even. I stitched it to the right side first using a small zig-zag then folded it back on itself and top stitched the seam allowance with another small zig-zag.

black pair stitching (2160 x 1620)
7. Finally add any decoration to the centre front.

I made these a few weeks back and so far so good with standing up to washing and wearing.

I made two black pairs and one white pair plus the grey marle wearable toile. The only problem with ordering the trims from e-Bay is that what a seller calls ‘white’ is ‘off-white’ to me. So the white pair don’t look that great.

Lots of different colours of white going on

Lots of different colours of white going on

I found the quality of the elastic not as good as on the RWT pair, it’s ok but slightly thinner. But I did like these bows that I also found on e-Bay.

I quite enjoyed my first  steps into underwear and I can see me making more in the future but I don’t think I’ll only be wearing homemade knickers from now on.

Anyone else attempted any underwear? Or tempted to try


22 thoughts on “Knickers

  1. Definitely tempted but not taken the plunge yet. I’ve even bought lots of knicker elastic for when I get round to it, and have loads of scraps. I really don’t know what stopping me! ✂️😀✂️

    • I did think about this. If you wanted to replicate the 3 for £8 and bought fabric especially rather than using up t-shirt scraps probably not much cheaper. The trims on each worked roughly out at £1.20. I think the fabric I’ve used is better quality so hopefully they will last longer.

  2. I’ve kept jersey scraps with the aim of using them for undies. But so far I’ve only made two from an ohhhlulu pattern (etsy shop) They r both wearable but I wasn’t happy with the finish but haven’t managed to retry yet!

  3. I definitely intend to do this soon, the perfectly fitting knicker is the holy grail!
    Yours look great – mine will be somewhat larger, but hopefully somewhere near as good.

    • The pairs from Sainsbury’s were a really good fit for me and used these as a base – I did need to tweak a bit and the second pattern was perfect. They cover enough up the back. Next time I buy the lace and elastic I’d like to see it first so I know what I’m getting.

    • You are right, I started thinking about making them a year ago. Kept thinking ” I need to take a pattern from these pants…” Then bought some trims which sat around for a while before I pulled my finger out and got them done.

  4. I used Vera Venus Grannie Pannie and found it a lovely pattern, and I have made French knickers too with a button – little, floaty shorts. But if I just want jersey pants I find M&S etc are fine. However your pants are really nice. How does the price compare? And I agree about white not being white enough – I dislike dirty white, or worse, creamy white.

    • I think if you were buying the fabric rather than using up scraps from other projects I don’t think it would be cost effective. I used approx. £1.20 of trimmings on each pant, that’s with buying trims from e-Bay where you take your chance on colour and quality.

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