I did sew a test garment as I was making reducing the cup size to an A and I learnt a lot- as you always do on the test run. I made the cami and knicks in some spotty cotton/elastane jersey. I did change the knicker style, especially at the front as I made each pair. The easiest way to do this is to put them on as you sew and then to draw the leg line that you prefer as you are wearing them with a soft pencil. The original style is a short style so there is quite a bit of fabric at the front. I left the back as it was for full coverage!
My machine is fine sewing standard cotton jersey but previous unsuccessful knicker sewing activities have struggled with any lycra mix fabrics, chewing up the fabric and skipping stitches no matter what adjustments I made. This time, two realisations:
1. Lightning stitch is great for sewing knits (stitch 6 and 7 on photo below). I still used zig zag as all the lace and elastic is attached that way but the lighting stitch is strong and perfect for the side seams. I didn't use my overlocker, I tried but it wasn't necessary and more trouble than it was worth.
2. Ballpoint needles are great for standard jersey but for fabric with more elasticity and lycra/elastane content, a stretch needle is the business. No more skipped stitches. I bought mine on ebay. Apparently the difference is to do with the needle eye- helpfully explained here on Sewbox.
My previous knicker activities have involved using picot elastic, this time the emphasis is on stretch lace and here is where I learnt something crucial to my failure last time. The lace is overlaid on the fabric- no stretching , zig zagged on and then the base fabric is cut away behind. Before, I have tried to sew lace and elastic on the very edge of stretch fabric and it has slipped and slid whilst I was also stretching it and stitches skipped- all disastrous. This time, all successful. I do use ballpoint pins and they make life easier too.
I am so thrilled with the result. I now have a go-to pattern for a cami and a slip which works in slinky lingerie micro jersey as well as cotton jersey.
For future makes, the best selection of lingerie supplies appears to be on ebay, at least for UK folks- thats where I've sourced the biggest variety of stretch lace/clips etc although quality is a little variable. Buying the kit for this did make it a much easier project than sourcing separately.
I now feel confident enough to make a mini wardrobe of knicks!