Knickers In A Twist

So, it’s that special time again, the time that single people and coupled up couples…also hate, I assume. Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s Valentines Time! The big day is just a scant 14 days away and already Etsy and CVS and Godiva have teamed up to make everyone feel bad about themselves at all times. It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime, of the YEAAAAAR.

Oh, that’s just the bitterness talking. Really, I don’t actually hate Valentine’s day, I think it’s sweet if it’s done in an understated way and HILARIOUS if it’s not. And I look awesome in red, so I don’t really mind the color-scheme. But given that as a single woman I’m entitled to, nay, SUPPOSED to, EXPECTED to hate this holiday, I figure I might as well act the part. Which is a shame, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sewing my own unmentionables.

Which brings up two questions. One, as a single person, why am I expected to always be sad and bitter and especially angry about couples? I’m happy for people in relationships, if that’s what they want. I’m especially thrilled for people like my friend Jenny, who is getting married this summer, or my cousin Jessie, who is getting married this spring. Not only are they celebrating their love, but I get to make some new dresses! It’s win win!

And number two, what do you call your undergarments? Underwear? Panties? Knickers? Immortal Enemies? Best Friends? And, perhaps more importantly, would you make your own? Would you make your own slips, your own negligees? Would you, in fact, make your own Valentine’s day/Friday night/Tuesday morning (what? I don’t know your life or your, um, schedule) ensemble?

Now, I’ve made my own pajamas, and even a half-slip for an event, but I’ve been more and more interested in breaking into the world of what-to-wear-under-there. Luckily, BurdaStyle just released a couple of new patterns to that effect including this retro-charmer:

Cute, right? But they have a zipper which is just odd. Who has zip-up underwear? Burda has also released this business:

Which is not exactly my cup of tea but I could see many a woman or daring drag queen rocking it. They actually made 9 bedtime inspired patterns, and why any person needs a boudoir bolero escapes me. But apparently they do, and you can see all 9 patterns here.

I recently bought a few downloadable patterns off of Etsy, too, from the lovely Anna Depew, who blogs at A Few Threads Loose and offered a sew along based on these patterns:

Is it weird that I really want to make myself tap pants? Maybe I just like the NAME, tap pants? But really, I’m sure I would wear them with everything. All the time. Of course.

And there is a matching slip/camisole. But say you don’t want to spend any money? Personally, I never want to spend any money. Well, then you have this amazing slip pattern/sewalong from Sherry at Patterns Scissors Cloth (clearly I love this woman, I keep linking back to her, she’s just inspirational and helpful, why isn’t everything in my life like that?)

Behold, the Ruby slip. It’s a FREE PATTERN.  Actually, in these shades it looks spot on, as Sherry might say, (she lives in New Zealand, they say that there, right?)  for Valentine’s Day, but you could also go with classic cream or chartreuse or cerise, whatever. Life is about choices.

But really, if we want to get right down to it, there is also underwear. And I found a world of tutorials and patterns of how to make your own.

This one from Drumbellina has a host of cute illustrations. This FREE PATTERN from BurdaStyle is mighty cheeky. And this classic layout teaches you how make a hanty (panty from a hankerchef. If I didn’t hate the word panty so much I might find it cute.)

The question is, should I? Would you? Is it worth it? Honestly, it might be the most cost effective sewing possible, you can cut up old t-shirts, make cute undergarments out of mere 1/4 of a yard of nice knits and luxurious stretch silks and laces, and really be able to make your own outfit, from the foundations on up. So, what do you think? Would you get your knickers in a twist? Or make a slip? Or join me in tap pants adoration? Or do you leave that the professionals at Victoria’s Secret? Discuss.


Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Inspiration, Refashion, Sewing

12 responses to “Knickers In A Twist

  1. OK, I LOVE the idea of making my own undies, but it’s a little scary! I mean, you know how when you put on a pair that you never wear but don’t remember why, and then two hours into your day things are chafing or riding up or twisting or just generally not right? That’s my image of what happens when you make your own lady stuff. But I’m open to try it, just need to find a pattern that looks similar to what I wear.

    • I totally understand, and that is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. Drumbellina’s tutorial uses a pair of your own old underpants to make the pattern,which I feel like would be a good plan.

  2. I’m TRYING to make my own bras (’cause I’m really fussy) it’s interesting, especially because I can’t find any patterns I like so I’m having to try and make my own.
    I did find this lady
    on etsy who you send your measurements to and she makes a custom pattern!
    I’ve made the tap pants from the Colette nutmeg pattern they are soo nice for summer
    although I’m starting to understand why nice underwear is so expensive.


    • That is so cool! How amazing of that woman. I don’t know, my own chest region is rather large and I don’t know if I could possibly make an effective bra for what I’ve got going on. But I’m glad someone else is into tap pants! How did they turn out? Do you wear them under skirts or just to bed? These are fairly intimate questions, I’m sorry!

      • yeah well most of my bras my mom says look like training bras! I don’t think I would go there if I had a lot to support!

        I mostly wear the tap pants under skirts or dresses, I made them from silk so their cool in the summer, I found their really good for hot sticky weather!
        I’ve got some more silk so I think I’m going to try the French knickers soon, and I was going to try a bed version in some leftover jersey.

        I would say use natural fabrics, synthetics can be errr… uncomfortable!


  3. I have a serious mental block about making my own scanties, I just can’t seem to get motivated to do it, tho I love pretty delicates and know its a major skill set. By the way, my auto correct kept changing delicatessen to delicatessen.

    • Hahaha, that’s awesome. Oh, autocorrect, aren’t you a treat. I just started thinking about making my own, but I think I’m just going to do it. I mean, how bad can it be? And it’s not like you waste all that much fabric, right? Thank goodness it’s a limited amount of space to cover!

  4. I’ve made the Burda Bambi slip, and have nudged the Colette tap pants up on my list recently as I get other things ticked off. And this WILL be the year I make plain ol’ panties. Not plain. But prolly from old tees. But zippers… uh, no.

    • Right? It just seems weird, like clearly those are not for day to day use but just for posing. I would have used the images of the Burda stuff with models but they looked, for lack of a better term, porny, so I declined. But I feel like if I could just master the skill of making my own underwear that would be such a good use of scrap jersey! Not that I have so much, as I only recently got way into knits (seriously, it’s bad, this in my jungle in Vietnam and I’m lost within it) but I know I will in the future!

  5. It’s a funny thing, I probably should make my own pants as I have so much jersey that needs to get used up before it gets bequeathed to someone else who won’t use it but it’s not something that I ever feel like doing. I would like to have a go at making a bra though – just to see if I can.

  6. My partner and I don’t really give a crap about V-day. We get each other little things (and big things) throughout the year so there’s no pressure to splurge out for whacky things. Hilariously it falls during the time when Oz is starting to get shitty weather (and the powder is superb in Japan) so we’re usually on different parts of the globe at the time…

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