When Girl Charlee had new arrivals which included this floral knit fabric I knew exactly what I was going to make!
I bought some Ohhh Lulu patterns in the Black Friday sales back last December and I've seen her use this very floral knit fabric in some of her gorgeous lingerie.
I have lots of lightweight mesh and different elastics from a lingerie supplies splurge early last year and I set to work. First I made a sample pair of knicks to check the pattern sizing. The Grace Hipster Panties are designed for a mix of woven on the bias fabrics(front/back panels) and stretch fabric sides. This floral has a small amount of stretch but no lycra so I went down very slightly in the sizing- instead of cutting my hip size which is between small and medium, I cut out small and the fit is perfect. I love how the panels match up perfectly front and back too.
I find all lingerie making a nerve-wracking activity but this pair went smoothly. They are sewn on the sewing machine, I used the overlocker only to finish the edge of the floating gusset (let's not dwell on that sentence too long). The Ohhh Lulu instructions are good but I referred to the Watson bra briefs pattern as it gives specific zig zag stitch size for attaching waist and leg elastic and I need that level of hand holding for this. There are tutorials and videos at Ohhh Lulu which are great for understanding how much you might stretch elastic when you sew it. The stretch lace is lingerie elastic from Village Haberdashery and I heartily recommend it, soft and in pretty colours. The best way to attach lace elastic like this is to overlay it and sew on with one line of zigzag before carefully trimming the fabric away underneath.
I then moved on to a pattern I drafted from some Uniqlo hipster briefs. I've made these before in a stretchy cotton lycra. However, I underestimated the difference that degree of stretch makes!
These look perfectly wearable but in reality, the horizontal stretch is small and the vertical stretch is slight so when squeezed into, this creates a builder's bum effect and very skimpy unflattering coverage, even on my small derrière. This is the frustrating side of sewing knickers and bras. Fit is often late in the sewing process and you have to be prepared for failure as well as success. Knickers take a lot more elastic or lace trim that you would imagine and having sewn all the picot elastic with two rows of small zig zag, I was not going to make myself go blind unpicking it all. Instead, I repurposed the knicks into an eye mask with lightweight interfacing over the knit fabric, quilt wadding and a couple of layers of Kona black cotton. Result!
I've cut out three more pairs of Grace panties with different trims and I am now summoning the courage to test out the Josephine bralette- the pieces are cut and ready...
Fabric: here. Mine was supplied by Girl Charlee to make items of my choosing and share the process. Out of a metre of fabric I have cut out 4 pairs of knickers, an eye mask and a bralette with lots more left to play with.
Elastic/lace trims: here
Grace Panties Pattern: here
Recommended Eye Mask Tutorial: here