The Love Yourself (aff link) testers are doing a round-up of easy tips and modifications you can make to perfect the patterns for your own use. I’m here to share ALL the undies I made during testing as well as a quick tutorial for period panties using the Hipsters. For reference I have a 29″ waist and 40″ hip. I could have graded in to an 8 on the waist, but I prefer lower rises, and the size 10 fits me there.
I giggled A LOT when I made this pair. Credit to Piccadilly Textile Corp for my grenade fabric.
The last (mask) pair are version 1, so the fit was adjusted a bit. There is no elastic in the leg openings of that pair. Fuck Fabric is from Fabric Anthropology (aff link); kitty masks from Jumping June Textiles.
Boyshort Hipsters; Strawberry Fabric from Smoogie (aff link); Velvet is from Michael Levine Loft in LA.
Period Panties Tutorial
Please note that I do not consider myself an expert- I’ve done a lot of experimental underwear sewing, particularly for post-partum stress incontinence and there’s some overlap with this application here. If you are interested in making your own period panties and/or cloth menstrual pads, I strongly recommend joining this Facebook group and carefully reviewing the files there: Sewing Cloth Menstrual Pads. There’s a really helpful chart there to help you figure out the layers you need for absorbency. This tutorial covers light to moderate days. This works for me as I use a cup and only have to worry about occasional leaks and spotting. Also note that menstrual and incontinence aids including pads and underwear are currently regulated in the U.S. as medical devices. If you plan to make and sell please do your research and get appropriately registered.
You’ll need some semi-specialized supplies:
- your main fabric should be soft, stretchy, and comfortable. I’m using mid-weight athletic brushed poly from Z&Q
- your top liner needs to be breathable and moisture-wicking. I prefer the athletic brushed poly from Z&Q for this as well
- your core liner should be absorbent- you can use flannel, terry, organic bamboo velour (OBV), but I prefer Zorb from Wazoodle. It’s a little thick, but very reliable. You don’t need a ton- I picked up a yard in a destash and it will last me forever
- your bottom liner should be waterproof- I prefer PUL which is most often used for cloth diapering and wet bags
My first draft is the Strawberry Hipsters posted above. I like the hipsters because they are really comfortable for me when I’m bloated, and they stay in place even with looser (or no) elastic around the legs. I made a full liner with Zorb and it’s a little too bulky for all-day comfort4. Following is the tutorial for my adjustments.
- Gather your supplies and cut out the pattern pieces. You’ll need a regular front and back piece for the undies, the full liner in both the top liner fabric (red ABP here) and PUL (Lil Shit). The core liner should be smaller, about the size of a regular panty liner. There’s a free pattern for this in the Facebook group linked above, but I just eyeballed it here.
- Sew your core liner to the wrong side of your top liner and create some channels to help contain flow. Do NOT sew this to your bottom liner/ PUL. That is your waterproof barrier to prevent leaks, so you don’t want to sew through it any more than necessary.
- Sew your front and back pieces together at the crotch seam. Press that seam then layer your liners so that the PUL is on the bottom, then your core liner and right side of the top liner is up. Your PUL and core will be completely hidden. Sew that assembly to your main panty at the front an back edges of the liner.
- Depending on how you want to finish your leg openings, you may want to get that started here. You can press the seam allowance so it’s easier to turn under once you do the side seams. I baste on my elastic, and trim it away from the side seam allowance to reduce bulk there.
- Sew your side seams, finish your leg and waist openings, and you’re done! I do recommend running through the wash before first use to prime your core for absorbency. Just like for cloth diapering, do NOT use fabric softener for these loads- it will impede the absorbency.
There are some awesome tutorials in the works from other testers! Please check out:
– Lone’s very helpful tutorial on applying FOE: https://sewnbylone.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/foldeelastik-foe-for-love-yourself/