Let’s get going on the Week 2 of the Monica Bravo Panty Sew Along. This week Monica will give her tips on cutting out your pattern and embellishment ideas. Next week we’ll start to sew. If you haven’t picked up a pattern, there’s still time to do so before we get to the sewing portion of the sew along. If you have any questions please post in the comment box below.
Got fabric? Of course you do (probably more than you care to admit!!!)! Pattern and elastics? Yep! Your next step is to get everything cut out. The exact layout and pieces you will need depends on the style you are making. However, in general you need a front, a back, a crotch piece out of the main fabric, and a crotch piece out of the 100% white cotton jersey. Depending on the content, you also may need to prewash your fabric. Most fabrics with natural fibers like cotton or rayon will have some degree of shrinkage.
I always prefer to trace my patterns off on tracing paper instead of cutting into the master pattern. That way if I change sizes or want to make a garment for someone else I keep all of my sizes intact. My favorite tracing material is medical exam table paper – it’s inexpensive and has a coating on one side that makes the paper more durable. Ask your doctor for a roll or pick a box up to share with friends at a medical supply store! The other advantage of tracing your pattern is that pattern alterations are much easier on the traced version. ***PIC of master pattern with traced pattern
There are lots of different methods for layout and cutting. Here’s my suggestions for cutting a perfect pair.
- I prefer to use scissors instead of a rotary cutter when using knit fabrics.
- I feel like I can get a more precise cut and the fabric doesn’t shift and stretch.
- Make sure you cut your traced pattern out before you lay it on the fabric.
- If you cut the paper and fabric at the same time you don’t get a very accurate cut.
- I use pins instead of weights.
- Use your pins sparingly as too many pins can bunch up your fabric.
- I use glass head silk pins because they won’t puncture lightweight, delicate fabrics.
Before you start sewing you will also need good thread and a needle. I always use a 100% polyester thread for all my sewing. The type of needle you use will depend on what works best in your machine. Mine loves a size 75/11 universal, although if I am getting skipped stitches I will go down to a size 70/10 or 65/9. If your machine is picky about such things, try a ballpoint or stretch needle.
And one more thing…embellishment! If you are going to add something fancy to your britches, you need to do it before you sew them up! How many different ways are there to spice up a simple pair of panties? As many as you can dream up! One of the simplest additions is a little lace accent. Just lay a piece of lace on your fabric wherever you want it to land and use a narrow width, medium length zig zag to stitch down each side. You can leave the fabric behind it or cut it out. You can use the full width of lace or cut out a motif for an applique. The best part of lace applique is that there is no need to finish any of the edges as they won’t fray or ravel. Below are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Another fun finish is a shadow applique. Cut out a lace motif and sew it on to a piece of sheer tricot, then cut around the edges. Sew this piece to your panties and cut out the fabric from behind it. You can use different color combinations for a stunning effect.
Once you have everything cut out and any fancy bits added you are ready to start sewing!
Join in next week as we begin sewing the panties.