Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mary Knickers

Who knew sewing your own underpants would be such a self esteem journey? I didn't.

It first started with the name of the pattern, "The Mary Knickers" Now while MeasureTwice did a kind job with her description, no one wants to be Mary from Pride and Prejudice. But a knit undies pattern was what I was looking for and a boy short sounded appealing so I bought it regardless of it's name.

When I tried on my first test pair the front fit beautifully while the back only came 3/4 up my bum. This started a whirlwind of thought.
Is this how boy shorts are supposed to fit? Is my bum really poofy like my grandmother said? Could I make this work as is? If I alter it am I just recreating my granny panties? 

It was at this point that I stopped myself before the insecurities could get loose. It doesn't matter how the pattern was "designed" to fit. It doesn't matter if the pants I end up with could be classified as "granny panties" .  If any part of our sewing is about getting the fit we want PERSONALLY, it should be our underwear. This silenced my moaning and I went back and added a large wedge to the back of the pattern.

Look at the little ruffles

Pattern Notes:

  • I added a wedge to CB to bring it up
  • Tapered down CF
  • Sewed down the short edges of crotch pieces. This puts a seam across the front and back of the undies but I think that's better than having some sort of weird pocket there.
  • Marked back and front on the crotch piece. The back is the straight edge!
  • Used underwear elastic for top instead of a casing.
  • Used elastic thread for shirring in my bobbin to hem my legs. 


  • I got so excited to be using up my scraps, I cut up a shirt I've been saving for a couple years and it will probably get more wear now than it ever did! Because who can resist millefiori on their bum! 
  • I'm finally getting to use up all those vintage elastics and I'm loving it!
  • I've completed one of my goals for 2015
While this hasn't stash busted much in yardage it has decreased the clutter. I've got some sewing planned for today so you have the weekend to finish your projects and post to the Stashbusting Flickr group. I'll be back monday with my totals and a Roundup!

What are your thoughts on undergarments? And more interesting, what are they called where you live?


Lori Michel said...

Great job on the undies...I have a pattern from Stitch Upon A Time. So I like making my own undies too....Love that I can use downloadable patterns to make something for myself...

prolificprojectstarter said...

Oh, shirring elastic, what a great idea. I've made knickers (as they're known in these parts) out of old t shirts, but the elastic was costing me about £2 a pair, which seemed a lot considering I could buy a pack of 5 for £7 at M&S (which is the go to shop for buying underwear in the UK) so I didn't make any more. I was toying with adding some edgewidth to the pattern so that I could use "normal" elastic and fold the fabric around it, I hadn't thought of shirring elastic. Did you just fold the edge over and stitch it down from the outside with shirring elastic in the bottom bobbin?

By the way, love your description of the wierd pocket. I've had shop bought knickers like that, sewed down is much better.

EmSewCrazy said...

I do like how they are so quick! And use scraps!

EmSewCrazy said...

Yeah, I got a TON of elastic, no FOE but a ton of the old stuff when I cleaned out a basement so that cuts down on my investment. If I had had to buy supplies I probably wouldn't have started. I'm using my old project scraps and I have a pile of tshirts somewhere.
I serged the leg openings and turned up the width of the serging and stitched from the outside using a straight stitch. The zigzag negated the stretch.

Andrea F said...

I have a pile of old T-shirts waiting to make a T-shirt quilt, and I'm planning on making undies from the backs. I have my pattern ready to go, just not sure what elastic to use.

MaciNic said...

Love your Mary's - and am relieved that I'm not the only one who needs a protruding booty adjustment ;) Such cute patterns, and great stash busting - they're undies here, though my boy calls them pants...

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks! Yeah, for some reason I thought undies would just fit so I was surprised. It all got worked out wonderfully in the end. They are super comfy!

Kathie Turner Jones said...

Those are really cute! Boy cut is my preferred RTW style, and I hadn't seen a pattern for making them. Great idea for using up scraps, upcycling tshirts, etc. You have convinced me--this is the next pattern I am purchasing. I haven't made undies before but I love the idea of this pattern as a first jump in.

EmSewCrazy said...

Good luck! As far as I know this is the ONLY boy cut pattern on the market right now. This was my first time making undies and it went pretty well.