Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Refashioning underwear.

Well, as you can see, not a lot of posting has gone on in the last year.
There are a couple of reasons for this but probably the main one is that I haven't done a heck of a lot of crafting. There has been a wee bit of sewing and the same of knitting but since I was barely feeling the crafting mojo I had even less blogging mojo going.
I will try and remedy that! I promise.

So to start my latest project (I promise to catch up on previous projects soon) - underwear refashioning!

A while ago, while away from home I popped into my favorite clothing store. I didn't find any regular clothes I wanted to buy but just at the end of my visit (as younger family members were getting tired of being there - parents, you know what I mean!) I spotted a sale on knickers. So, I quickly grabbed the 'special' (5 or 6 for ?$), paid and headed out the door.
Problem was I was assuming that if I wore pants in a size Q (Like I'd really tell anyone what size I wear!) then panties in a size P/Q would be the right size....wrong! They were close and maybe for fancy pants only worn for an hour or two they'd be fine but not for regular everyday wear and as they were cotton....

So they sat, languishing in my underwear drawer too un-comfy to wear regularly and too new to throw out.

I thought I might be able to do a re-fashion on them but never really got around to until - I realized I was going to be traveling with a school group next year and rooming with someone I didn't know and who I just really didn't want to share my slightly ratty (but comfy) knickers with. Eeek!

Eventually I came up with a plan; first take off the top elastic and see if that helps. The real aggravation to the fit was the top elastic biting into my squishy bits. Those bits of mine are squishy but not quite that much!
I tested the fit on one pair after removing the elastic and it was much better but.....not quite good enough to bother with a whole lot of fussing, if you know what I mean, so I left them.
A lot of the time if I leave a project I'm having trouble with and let my sub-conscious work on the problem, it comes up with an idea.
Which it did!
My sub-conscious said; if you're going to take the top elastic off and replace it with elastic lace (which I find much more squishy-bits friendly) then why not take the panties apart at the side seams and add a strip of the lace down the side too, adding some extra to the side seams?

Sub-conscious....what a great idea, let's go try that. So we did and here's how it went and what I learned along the way.

Step 1 and 2 - take off the elastic at the top and take out the side seams so you're left with a flat piece like so.

 Step 3 - pin some elastic lace (purchasable in a WIDE variety of colours [the variety I got]

 and widths for a great price from  Sew Sassy ) to the sides. I used 2 inch wide elastic, Sew Sassy has a lot in that width and more in other sizes.
As you can see I didn't do a hem on the bottom, just did a quick fold-over and assumed the sewing of the side would take care of it. So far it's working.

Now you don't have to pin your lace to the very outer edge of the fabric. If you don't want/need the full width of the elastic feel free to just pin your lace where you need it. You can trim back your side seams later (for fullest see-through) or do a 2nd line of stitches at the edges of the elastic (so it doesn't flop around or fold over on you.). The choice is up to you!

Step 5 - sew the side elastic. I used the magical 3 stitch zig-zag. I LOVE this stitch for sewing anything knit. It flexes with the knit, it's easy to do and I like how it looks. Tie off all your threads and trim the elastic at the top.

Step 6  - pin (if you want, I didn't bother by the 3rd pair) and sew the elastic lace around the top of your underwear. I will admit the I didn't pin, or pre-cut the elastic for this step. I just laid it down and sewed for a bit, then laid more. When I got close to the end I cut it where it gave me enough for a bit of an overlap, then sewed up one side of the overlap, across the overlap at the top and down the other side to the very beginning.

Voila! New to me knickers!

One of the things you may find is that your panty material, if it's a  knit, may try and roll over on you. To combat that I would lay the elastic on the material down from the top and sliiiide it up to the point that I wanted, unrolling the fabric as I went.

As an add on - I did some more modifications based solely on my body shape after I finished. I'm an 'apple'. That means I carry most of my weight in my front which causes some interesting problems in fitting. I will share those modifications in another post later.

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