Scraptember!

It’s a good thing that I sewed for Scraptember in August… because suddenly it’s days away from the end of September and I haven’t posted yet! In the last month I’ve started at a new school, which means setting up a new classroom, meeting new coworkers, breaking in a whole new class to my way of doing things, and adjusting to teaching not one but two grades in the same classroom. We leave the house at 7am in order for my husband to drop me off at my school and then drive north to get to his school by 8:45. Then the whole thing repeats at the end of the day and we get home around 5… in bed by 9, and the whole thing repeats. Not a lot of sewing or writing been going on around here!

On the upside: my Scraptember project has been getting nearly daily wear! And that’s because I made… underwear!!!

Sewing Underwear

I’d toyed with making underwear once before, and tested out a bunch of different patterns. I like a full-coverage brief so I ended up with a version of the Ohhh Lulu Betty undies, unwittingly modified to look basically like her Ava pattern. (Side note: Sarah/Ohhh Lulu lives just an hour north of me, so I’m glad to support local patternmakers!)

Now, I’m not going to show you any full pairs of undies, because, well, you never know who will read this blog. But close-up shots, I can do!

Sewing Underwear

I have a lot of ITY scraps, so my goal here was to make lots of undies at once. I cut them all out, including cotton gussets and the right lengths of fold-over elastic (FOE). I made each pair with a slightly different colour combination. Then I bagged them up into sets with the same colour elastic – that way I didn’t have to change my sewing machine thread for each pair!

Sewing UnderwearThe next step in mass production was chain-stitching all of the loops of FOE. This really saved a lot of time! The underwear seams were all serged together, and then it was time for sewing on the elastic.

I initially found sewing on the FOE a little tricky, so I asked Ohhh Lulu for advice on twitter: more pins or less? She said she doesn’t use pins, so I went with that too. After a little practice it did get much easier!  I pinned at the side seams, but nowhere else.

Sewing Underwear

In the pics above, to the far left and far right, I’m trying to show two different ways I figure out how much to stretch the elastic. On the left, I’m finding the half point of the fabric and elastic, then I’ll match them up. The one downside of this method is that sometimes the elastic or fabric pulls out of place under the sewing machine foot. On the right, I’m finding the half point by pulling the loops towards me, which keeps things in better alignment. Once I’ve found the half points using either method, then I pinch the fabric and elastic together like in the centre picture and stretch while I sew that section. Not sure if that makes any sense, but that’s how it works best for me!

Sewing Underwear

Once the FOE is attached on the inside of the opening, it’s easy to fold it over and zig zag from the front. Mine certainly aren’t perfect, but they look pretty good to me!

Sewing Underwear

In the end, I made 10 pairs of underwear in a day with just fabric from my stash! Some are scraps (from teal leggings, the black and white paint splodge Myrtle I made my sister, and my birthday dress) and other are yardage I didn’t know how to use. Because of the high-waisted style I chose and size of my tush, I found I could make about 2 pairs from 1/2m of fabric.

The best news is: WOW, these are so comfy! The waistband sits nice and high, so it works perfectly with my leggings and dresses. The legs stay in place, and sit low enough that the VPL is pretty subtle. I really couldn’t be happier! I’m really glad Morgan’s Scraptember gave the push to try this project.

Untitled

And one last Scraptember project to squeak into the post – the day after writing about how much I dislike the term Selfish Sewing, I did some #sewwhatyoulove present-making for my sister-in-law and niece. It was really relaxing to make some simple knit projects, and I was happy to give them away to people who appreciated them. Both pairs of toddler leggings shown above are made from old RTW shirts using the Hosh Pants pattern. And lo and behold, when i showed up to see my niece she was wearing some Hosh Leggings I’d made her last year. Now that’s how to convince people to keep sewing for you!🙂 Thanks, Sister Kate!

Have you sewn anything for Scraptember? Morgan has been doing a great job sharing inspiration over on the Sewcialist blog. For October, Jo and Claire are going to be leading a Grease-inspired month. I’m so very grateful to all the people who have stepped up in the last few months to help keep things lively on the Sewcialist blog. Thank you, folks!

Me-Made underthings – yea or nay? Have you been able to sew the kind of underwear you like, or is RTW better for you?


35 thoughts on “Scraptember!

  1. They look great, so colourful and great idea to treat it ‘production line’ style and make a lot. I might follow suit! Have you worn undies to match your outer clothing yet?😉

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    1. Oh yeah, I totally have worn matching undies! I find it hilarious. Most days I’m at least colour co-ordinated, but full-on matching is sometimes possible!😛

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  2. These are so cute! I think I’m going to continue to be several months behind on my Sewcialists sewing. I have quite a few scraps intended for underwear, but they’re going to have to wait until I get my UFOs done.

    The only pairs I’ve made so far have been the Measure Twice Cut Once Mary knickers, and the first pair I made was of a much stretchier material than the subsequent pairs, which are a trifle tight. Which is very annoying.

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    1. That’s a cute pattern – probably better suited for your shape than mine though!😉 Are you going to stick with the same pattern now that you’ve figured out the required stretch?

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  3. Wowsers! That’s scraptacular! You are inspiring! Personally, I have made 3 pairs of undies so far and I love them. It’s so great to be able to customize the fit and fabric. Well done!

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    1. Your undies were really cute. I’m really excited to have figured out a pattern I like to wear – and figuring out how long to cut the elastic was a big breakthrough! The few pairs I made last time were too tight and totally uncomfortable!

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  4. OK, those are terrific! I really should make undies. If only I could stand to wear non-matching sets… But really, I should make beige and black undies, if nothing else. Not that that would stash-bust.

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  5. I still need to try undies making–it’s more just finding the time!! Also, at this point, I’m wondering if I can just post an in-progress pic on the flickr group for Scraptember. I really wanted to finish my sis-in-law’s crazy patchwork skirt before my trip, but it wasn’t in the cards. And since I’m still traveling home as I type this, and she has the skirt at the moment, I don’t think it’s happening in the next two days!

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    1. Definitely put your pics in the group! A big scrap project like that is a lot of work. Hope you have a good trip home – was your vacation everything you dreamed?

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  6. Wow your routine does sound exhausting! I’m out the door before 8 and often not home for the night until 7.30 or 8 (running all over town for the kids) so I well know how tired you must be.
    Wowsers. My wardrobe is brimful with clothes, I’m not sure my underwear draw could take the same pressure! But I curious to make at least one pair. I have purchased the Lizzie pattern from Measure Twice, Cut Once… it just seemed necessary!

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    1. The thought of having kids added to the mix just sounds overwhelming! I’m busy enough with other people’s offspring.

      You *have* to make those Lizzie knickers! Not a terribly practical pattern, but fun!

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  7. I’m hoping to squeeze in a few pairs of undies for my Scraptember project too, but it may be a bit late. I love sewing my own, they fit SO much better than the storebought ones (though I might like RTW better if I’d quit buying the ones that come in a 5 pack…) Yours turned out pretty cute! I always have trouble with FOE too, but maybe I’d have better luck if I were better at finding the midway points instead of “winging” it.😛

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    1. You can always upload your pics to the Flickr group next month or whenever you get around to it! There is usually a second round up once all the stragglers finish up!😉

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  8. I shouldn’t be surprised that your scrunds are as fun and colorful as your wardrobe! I like your production line sewing. I ended up making a few pairs and quite a few bralettes this month and now I don’t want to wear anything else. I applied my FOE a little differently, stretching as I sewed and lapping the edges (which I singed a little bit with a lighter). It worked really well and was super easy!

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    1. Will you post about how you do your elastic? I’m curious! Scraptember has been great – it’s been fun watching so many projects pop up lately! Well done, Morgan!

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  9. These look great! Glad to know you’re tested a bunch of patterns and like this one… I made one pair of undies a long time ago from one pattern and somehow decided that undie sewing wasn’t for me. hahaha. I still have some elastic and plenty of leftover knits so I’ll have to give it another try!

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  10. These look like so much fun to make and wear. The colours and patterns are just gorgeous. I am a little intimidated to try to make a pair. I would love more tips on the FO elastic. So inspiring!!!

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  11. I see London, I see France…..! What?! I can’t believe no one said that yet! Sorry but you know…it’s late. I’m waiting up for my daughter….always waiting for a teen, so I’m getting to that giddy tired stage. Anywaaaaays…..

    Very cool to have matching undies to your makes and they look better than most RTW. I have made bathing suit bottoms but no undies yet. You cute ones are making me think that I should!

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  12. Yayyyyyy! I’m so glad you gave underwear-sewing another try! 🙂 Isn’t it amazing how much more comfortable they are than RTW undies? I love how colorful yours are too.

    I’m glad you posted about your method for attaching the FOE, since it’s different than mine, and it’s always great to learn a new way of doing things! I pre-fold the FOE, sandwich the fabric in between, and sew it all in one shot. Isn’t not as precise as your two-step method, but it seems to be good enough for undies at least. 🙂

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