This blog has been pretty heavy on the food-related stuff, so it’s time to toss in a post about something else!
In an attempt to improve my sewing skills to the point that I can actually sew some of the bigger projects I’m holding onto, I decided to tackle a relatively easy pattern – underpants. I’ve had a bunch of instructions sitting on Pinterest FOREVER – but I ended up going with this instructional because it felt the most friendly to me.
First, I used one of my most comfortable pairs and created a pattern by pinning the existing pair to some kraft paper, sketching around each part, and then adding a seam allowance.
Then I pinned it to some fabric and cut it out.
I got out my sewing machine, put Oz on the TV in the bedroom, and painstakingly sewed everything together. My machine has three speeds and I spent a lot of time on medium.
The first pair was too tight. I had realized, while sewing, that I was using a bigger seam allowance than I had planned. Oops. But the bigger seam was easier to sew than a smaller one!
I retraced my pattern and added an extra inch to the side seams. Re-cut. Sewed all over again.
Played with elastic a bit (easier than expected to sew onto the fabric!) and .. shazam, I had a pair of lovely pink and purple underpants. I washed and dried them, and they still fit, so I’m considering that experiment a success.
I bought some lovely lime green fabric with which to make a few more pairs. If I start feeling fancy I might use some of my rubber stamps and some fabric paint to decorate a pair or two. As long as all goes well, I should be ready to start sewing dresses in, oh, a year or two.
So, the question – why sew underpants? A big part of it is because they require some degree of precision in cutting and sewing but also had a decent amount of forgiveness to them. I got to do some straight-line sewing, some curves, and attach elastic. I also got to use multiple type of stitches from my machine – a good experiment.
In theory, if I were faster at sewing, the cost to make my own would be less than it costs to buy underpants in the store – since I’m plus-sized, I generally don’t find my size at Walmart (especially since I prefer thongs over any other style) which means I often pay about $10 per pair (or I can shell out $25 for 5 pairs) at a minimum when I go to Addition-Elle. The cost of fabric and elastic, per homemade pair, comes to about $2 – not including the “cost” of my time.
At any rate, it’s fun and useful. Two things I like in my learnin’.