The Jane Knickers Sewalong

By Susan | August 1, 2014

The Jane Knicker Sewalong first appeared on the blog as part of the first Everyone deserves Pretty Knickers Week. Here we have combined all the posts into one so you can have all the information you need at your fingertips.

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.

As an indicator of fabric quantity I’m cutting out the size 18 pattern and this is 112cm wide fabric. For sizing, try going by your hip measurement not your waist measurement. The fabric I’m using is close in handling to a voile and has a printed floral on it. Again it’s a stashbusting piece but I know it came from Spotlight a few years back and I stole it from my sisters stash (um, Hi!).

As with all of our woven knicker patterns The Jane Knicker is cut on the bias. With right sides together fold your fabric in half and ensure that the grainline run parallel to the selvedge.


I then folded back just one layer until the selvedge is at 90 degrees to where it was to create a bias fold line. On this I placed the yoke and cut a single layer.


All pattern pieces are now cut.


Taking one lower front panel and one back panel. Match inside leg seam with right sides together and pin. Repeat for remaining leg panels.



Using a straight stitch sew a 1cm seam along pinned edge. In a never before seen occurrence I am sewing with non matching thread to make it easier for you to see and apologies to Nan (my Grandmother) as I can hear you mentally tsk tsking me for non matching thread. It’s just for the photos I promise Nan!


Clean finish raw edge by overlocking/serging or zig zagging.


Repeat the last 2 steps for the other leg panels.

With right sides together match the joined panels. At the inside leg seam push the seam allowance to the back. Pin in place.



Using a straight stitch sew a 1cm seam allowance.


Finish raw edge by overlocking/serging or zig zagging.


On the lower front panels use the notches to indicate the gathered areas. I’ve shown them using pins to make it easy to see.

1 front panel notches

Between the notches run a gathering stitch. A gathering stitch is a straight stitch with a very long stitch length. Stitch a row and then stop, leave long thread tails and stitch another row. Again leaving the long tails. They should be a few mm apart. Repeat for the other front panel.

2 gathering stitches

Pulling the lower threads of your gathering stitch, gently pull them to create gathers.

3 gathers

Once you have created your gathers, pin the yoke to the lower front panels with right sides together.

4 pin yoke in place

Using a straight stitch (be sure to change it back to regular stitch length after gathering). Sew a 1cm seam allowance.

5 straight stitch yoke

Take out your gathering threads by gently pulling them through.

6 straight stitch yoke take out gathering threads

Finish the raw edge using an overlocker/serger or zig zagging.

7 overlock yoke

Press the seam allowance from the yoke seam up towards the waist and topstitch down. This is not 100% necessary but is a nice way to ensure a smoother finish to the inside of the knickers.

8 topstitch yoke

With right sides together, match side seams and pin together.

9 pin side seams

Using a straight stitch sew a 1cm seam. Repeat for other side.

10 straight stitch side seam

Finish the raw edge using an overlocker/serger or zig zagging.

11 overlocked side seam

Finish the raw edge of the hems by using an overlocker/serger or zig zagging. If you are using a very fine fabric you make like to think about doing a roll hem or a very fine double turn hem.

12 overlocked hems

Press hem up by 6mm to 1cm and iron into place. Straight stitch hem in place.

14 stitched down hems

Finish raw edge of waist by overlocking/serging or zig zag stitch.

15 overlocked waist

Turn finished edge of waist to the inside of the garment and press down by 1cm. The elastic is going to be topstitched in so you will be stretching the elastic as you are stitching it in place. I’m using a pretty purple lingerie elastic because that’s what I had in my stash and I like the way a contrast colour looks.

Measure the waist circumference, ideally your elastic length should be 2/3rds the full circumference. Before you cut, wrap the elastic around you and see if the 2/3rd measurement suits you. If you would like it roomier than go for a longer length of elastic. If you are unsure stick with the 2/3rds measurement.

Take your waist elastic, fold in half and half again. Put a pin at each of the quarters. Starting from the side seam pin the elastic on the inside of the waist at side seam, centre front, side seam, centre back and the last one will go to the side seam but we don’t want to pin that one just yet. It’s easier to attach it once you have already stitched the start point to the side seam.

16 elastic

Stitch and pull the elastic to one pin, once you reach the pin then move it, stretch the elastic to the next pin and stitch down. By going quarter by quarter it’s not only easier it means an even distribution of gathers too.Keep going until you reach the last pin, the end of the elastic should now be matched to the side seam you started at. Stretch the elastic for the final quarter and stitch in place.

Your waist should now have elastic attached all the way around.

And you are done!

17 finished

That’s it! You are all finished. Enjoy making many pairs of Pretty Knickers.




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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