Skivvies!

I made underwear! And here they are:

Ignore my toe at the bottom and the pattern weights in the upper right corner. I completely failed to frame this photo correctly.

I actually took some pictures of the underwear on me, but decided the internet was not ready for a photo of me in my underthings. Or maybe I’m not ready to post a photo of me in my underthings. Yeah, that’s probably it. The pattern I used for the panties was Kwik Sew 3554, here:

The front of the pattern only shows two chemise styles, but there is a pair of bikini panties included. Sadly, this seems to be out of print on the Kwik Sew website.

I originally tried to make the panties in the medium size with picot elastic, according to the instructions and they came out like this:

Unfortunately, the pattern called for 30″ of elastic around the waist and that wound up being far too big.

So, since I wanted to use fold over elastic (FOE) for the panties, I traced off the pattern again and took 1/4″ off the seam allowance at the waist and the legs. I also attached the leg elastic while the panties were flat (rather than in the round as the instructions would have you do) and then sewed up one side and attached the waistband elastic while flat. I stretched the waistband elastic as I sewed it and it wound up fitting perfectly at 27″ rather than 30″. I am actually amazed at how well these panties fit with only a waist elastic adjustment — no pulling at the legs or butt, no creeping up and the waistband is where I like it.

For the undershirt, I used Zoe’s free pdf pattern available here at “So, Zo…” She calls it a vest because she’s British, but I think of it as a camisole or cami. It’s a pretty easy pattern, but I forgot to turn off scaling (pay attention to those print instructions, people!) so it printed too small. I decided that because I was in a hurry, I would just cut it out in the largest size, which is 16. That turned out ok, but I think I want to reprint it in the correct size. It does feel a bit tight in the underarm area, but there is a good possibility that the sizing is less to blame than my wide-set ribs and large shoulders. Anyhow, the pattern is well-drafted enough and cute enough in it’s current fit to try again. I would have preferred to match the FOE on the tank and bottoms, but unfortunately I only had two-yard lengths and both the panties and vest require about two yards each. I plan to get more elastic off the internet, since even the stuff available in the Fabric District in LA is quite expensive when you need four yards. I should also say that the FOE on the cami is a closer match to the print than it appears to be in the photo. That kind of dark purple is indistinguishable from navy or black to my camera.

By the way, the word “skivvies” refers specifically to an undershirt/underpants combination. It was originally (and still is) used to refer to the underwear worn by men under their military uniforms. Nobody really knows where the word originated before that or how it came to refer to underwear. Fascinating, huh?

Posted on July 9, 2012, in my weird sense of humor, sewing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Now was that hard? No it wasn’t. Now you will become as addicted to sewing panties just like me.

  2. Oh, I forgot, nice. I like the cami. Didn’t you use that fabric for a top recently?

    • Yep, I used it for my second Renfrew! For a long time, I used to match my t-shirts to my panties. I finally stopped doing that when I mentioned it to my best guy friend and he asked if I was auditioning for a horror movie. I realized he had a point but…I still like matching t-shirts and panties.

  3. CUTE! I have attempted undies several times, not yet successfully. The one pair I finished was, well, rather less impressive than your first try. And the rise turned out to be too high for my taste. I really want to make them—I think I need to do like Zoe did back when she was first making hers and do a pants bootcamp with lots of different elastics and techniques until I figure it out…

    • I think having a good pattern right off the bat makes it easy. I knew what I wanted, so I didn’t waste my time with hipster patterns or boy shorts or any of those. The Kwik Sew instructions were very clear, too.

  4. I’m really impressed! Those look like they could have come out of a package at Target! Great work! Love the fabric pattern too.

  5. Love it, they are totally cute. You won’t look back.

  6. Those are totally cute. But I have to say, I’ve never thought about my blogger friends’ underoos before, and it feels sort of weird.

  7. Nah skivvies are long sleeve Ts with a wide wide neckband. Kinda like a roll neck with the roll bit so they keep your neck warm. Well, that’s what I call them in NZland.

    And you totally could use the pattern for bathers (sorry gone british on that word but its quicker to type!)….Tankini anyone?

  8. Your undies look ace! I’m so glad you enjoyed using the pattern and found it well-drafted, despite the printing scale issue. Please let me know how you get on with your second attempt xx

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