In  Lingerie

Everyone Deserves Pretty Knickers – Seawalong Part 1

By Susan | June 2, 2014

charlotteThe start of the first sewalong will be for The Charlotte Knickers but the same construction method applies to The Georgiana Knickers and The Lydia Knickers so you can choose the style you like the most to follow along with.

Fabric choices are fairly varied for the knickers which is great as it means you can go as fancy as you want and it’s brilliant for stash busting too. Look for lightweight cottons like voile, cambric or lawn. Quilting cottons and dress cottons are very nice too. Lightweight silks and satins are also lovely and have the added slinky feel to them.

Avoid anything that doesn’t have a good bias stretch to it, is too bulky (like denim or canvas) and if in doubt make a test version before using up your best fabric.

First up cutting on the bias. Here you want to ensure your grainline is at 45 degrees to your selvedge. It gives the woven fabric a nice bit of stretch to it which I find makes for a much more comfy pair of knickers.

I’m very committed (ahem trying) to my stash busting this year so here is some leftovers that is going to be perfect for knickers.

part 1Iron your fabric and lay it out, if you have an inspector kitty get them to check your work before moving on to the next step (note: despite the pissed off look she is not unhappy with my work merely reminding me it is getting very close to food service time and that I’d better hurry up with these photos).

From the selvedge fold over your fabric ensuring your selvedge edge is now at a 90 degree angle to where it started. And arrange your patterns for cutting.

In this photo the top of the the front and back pattern pieces have been placed together. This is the most fabric efficient way to cut out your knickers and you can see the front pattern piece has been flipped over to ensure that both pattern pieces can fit in a small amount of fabric.

part 2For a directional print, arrange your patterns so the top of the front and the top of the back are in the same direction. We had to fold the fabric over more to use extra fabric to cut the patterns this way

part 3I hope that all makes sense for cutting on the bias? For an idea on how much fabric you need these pattern pieces are cut out to the size 18 and the fabric is 112cm wide

For the gusset you only need a small amount of cotton jersey. Try and use 100% cotton as it’s just a bit nicer to wear than any of the blends. If you are raiding the stash for your make and don’t have a knit, try cutting up an old t-shirt. They are great for recycling into gussets.

Now that you are done cutting we will move onto construction

Right side – the face, front or outside of the fabric

Wrong side – the interior, inside, back of the fabric

Step 1 – Front, back and gusset all right side up.


Step 2 – Gusset right side up.


Step 3 – Gusset right side up with front edge finished. I’ve overlocked it, you could overlock/serge, zig zag or turn under and straight stitch a hem.


Step 4 – Front panel, right side up.


Front panel with back panel placed on top. The right sides have been matched together so the photo shows the wrong side of the back panel facing up.


From the photo above, we have now added the gusset with the right side matched to the wrong side of the back panel. Photograph shows the wrong side facing up of the gusset.


Step 5 – pin at crotch seam. This seam is a bit tricky as the 2 woven fabrics have opposing curves. It won’t sit flat until it is stitched together. I pin at the centre and then one on either end. It will be bubbly looking but it’s meant to be so don’t worry.


Step 6 – 1cm seam allowance, straight stitch seam. Due to the bubbliness of the seam when you pinned it. As you feed it through the machine it can be helpful to put ever so slight an amount of tension onto the woven fabric by very gently pulling it as you feed it through the machine. This is ever so slight but it just allows you to feed the seam through and achieve a flat seam.


Step 7 – finish raw edge of seam, again I have overlocked but you could overlock/serge the edge or zig zag.


Step 8 – place seam flat and press. Photo now shows the wrong side of both front and back panels but the right side up of the gusset.

step-8That’s as far as we are going to go today, come back tomorrow to join in the next step of the sewalong. If you have any questions about what we have gone through so far just pop them into the comments so I can help you out.




Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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