Small Things

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, I really do love that top – and the colour!  It has made me re-think the colours I wear.  Oh dear!  I’m not giving up my nice, safe, easily matchable neutrals just yet, but I don’t see why a spot of red here and there would do any harm.

So, on to the latest stuff!  I saw over last weekend, lots of Acacia Knickers being made and shown off on Instagram.  It’s the latest pattern by Megan Nielsen and, if you sign up to her newsletter, it’s free!  In my current eco-warrior, save the planet with reusing & recycling mode, I signed up and downloaded.  I had to wait a few days for hubby to print it out for me.  In the mean time I dug out all those small pieces of jersey from the boxes (and bags) in the stash cupboard.  You’re always left with bits, the real scrap goes in the scrap bin for recycling, but what to do with the rest?

I had in mind to make more patch tee shirts like this one, but I’ve just not got there.  So I decided I’d make knickers instead!  Unfortunately, most of the leftover bits weren’t suitable for knickers.  Too stretchy, too thin, not enough recovery, not suitable fibre content.  But there was enough for me to cut out 10 pairs!  I traced the XS, S and M seperately so I could place as many as possible in one go.

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Hardly anything left from this fabric!

I also managed to find a fair bit of picot elastic in my lingerie goodies box, as well as several metres of fold over elastic – which I didn’t even know I had!!  However, there wasn’t enough in the stash for all the pants I cut out…  Knickers might not use much in the way of fabric, but they’re elastic gobblers!  So I’ve got some finished, some halfway.  I’ve not been partucularly fussy about the mixing and matching of the elastic either.  If this is a stashbusting exercise, I’m doing a proper job!

The pattern only takes 6 A4 pages, so it’s a doddle to print and stick together.  If you want to save the planet by not printing out the instructions you’ll manage just fine with them on your phone, tablet or laptop.  As I said, I traced the sizes I wanted seperately using scraps of pattern paper from other projects.  There are only 3 pieces, the gusset you cut twice.  I had fun squeezing as many out of the fabric I had, and am considering using mis-matched fabric for those bits that there wasn’t enough for whole pants.

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Sewing wise, they’re easy, but surprisingly time consuming.  I didn’t use the overlocker, just set my machine to a slight zig zag stitch (it doesn’t have a stretch stitch setting – way to old for that!!)  The gusset is sewn, then the side seams, then you attach the elastic.  Quartering the waist for the pants and elastic works well, and simply, but for the legs I took it further.  The first one I quartered, but found with the curved shapes that I didn’t have enough control.  So I marked the leg opening and the corresponding elastic with eighths.  It takes longer to do, but it’s worth it for me!

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Marking eighths for the leg elastic

I will have to buy more knicker elastic to finish off what I’ve cut, and I am seriously considering making many, many more.  There must be tee shirts in the cupboards that I can cut up, right?  Something with a little hole in it, or a stain that won’t go away.  Or tees that no longer fit…  I was also thinking of doing the rounds of the local charity shops for tees that they can’t sell (holes and stains), making more knickers and donating them.  I know women’s shelters are always looking for all sorts of clothing.  Then again, refugee centres and those collecting clothing to send to war zones and refugee camps could also do with donations of knickers!

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Liberty print Cotton jersey from the deepest part of the stash, with mix and match elastic!

What better way to use a free pattern than donating what you make??

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

15 thoughts on “Small Things”

  1. I have this pattern ready to print but put off because of a bulging knickers drawer. Perfect idea to make and donate. I have a ridiculous amount of suitable scrap and elastic so I’m sure I can manage a few of these 😃.

  2. You continue to inspire and amaze me even thought I haven’t written to you for a while! I had to comment on this post because I am currently in a lingerie mode as well and doing a similar thing – finding bits of fabric to try different free knicker patterns….and a bra! I can’t wait to have a try but just can’t get to my little sewing studio at the moment! Love your work – those blue and white ones are divine!!

  3. I did this very thing last fall! I signed up for Beverly Johnson’s class on Craftsy and bought her book and pattern online and went to town! I had bought 2 new pairs of bamboo/cotton panties at my local shop ($56 for 2 pairs!) so I would have models of what I really wanted and then made up 2 pairs from bamboo/cotton I had left over. I was so thrilled with these I promptly bought some silk knit (I know! so extravagant but I’ve always wanted really silk knit panties that didn’t cost the MOON) and made myself 2 undershirts and 2 panties with it. So, am I happy? I’m thrilled. I’ll never buy another pair of panties ever again 🙂

  4. It has been a few years since I have made myself knickers. I downloaded the Acacia pattern and plan on making some soon. Yours look great! 10 pairs! I have everything I need to make a nice batch as well! 😀

  5. Oh I need to try this! Last year I tried to self-draft knickers which I made in stretch lycra and used clear elastic. The VPL they created was hideous :-).

  6. I definitely need to try this – I just need to get over my obsession with needing to match my undies to my bra… (you never know when you might get hit by a bus now!)

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