Episode 913

monica bravo

DIY Undies by Monica Bravo

Make your own cute underwear, plus learn tips for working with stretch knit and elastic.


Stretch knit fabric (such as stretch satin, tricot or jersey knit)

Knit cotton scrap (crotch lining)

1/2"-wide fold-over elastic (amount depends on measurements)

2 3/4"-wide stretch lace (amount depends on measurements)

Pair of well-fitting ready-made panties

All-purpose thread

Removable fabric marker

Ballpoint needle

Flexible measuring tape

Pattern or copy paper

Small piece of cardboard

Pattern weights


Select fabric similar in weight and degree of stretch to the ready-made panties. To determine the degree of stretch, take a fold of fabric several inches away from the edge. Stretch 4" of the fabric along a ruler. Every inch the fabric stretches is 25% of stretch. For example, if 4" of fabric stretches to 6" along a ruler, it has 50% stretch.

Measure the panty elastics at the leg openings and upper edge. Cut the fold-over elastic and stretch lace according to the corresponding measurements, including 1/4" seam allowances.

Fold the panties in half along the center front and back. Place a piece of paper over a piece of cardboard. Place the panties over the paper; secure using pattern weights.

Trace the panties perimeter by piercing through the fabric and into the cardboard using a pin. Trace the side seam to create a back piece on the fold, front piece on the fold and a separate crotch piece. If the panty doesn't have a side seam, fold them in half and pin-mark the desired side seam; unfold, and then pin-trace the new side seam. Unfold the panties to trace the crotch piece.

Connect the pin-traced lines using a pen or pencil. Walk the seams to ensure the pattern measurements are correct. Placing the measuring tape on its side, measure each seam to ensure connecting seams are the same length; adjust as necessary (1). 

Add 1/4" seam allowances to the side and crotch seams, but not the upper edge or leg openings.  

Note the stretch direction, fabric degree of stretch, and amount of elastics needed for the leg and waist on the pattern pieces. Cut out the pattern pieces.

From the stretch knit, cut one front on the fold, one back on the fold and one crotch piece.

From the cotton knit, cut one crotch piece.


Add any desired embellishments before constructing the panties. This could include appliqués, lace detail or color blocking. 

With right sides together, align the crotch and back-panty pieces along the crotch edge. Align the cotton crotch-piece right side with the back-panty wrong side at the crotch edge; pin parallel to the raw edges.

Roll the back-panty piece between the crotch pieces. With right sides together, align the crotch and front-panty piece along the crotch edge. Align the cotton crotch-piece right side with the front-panty wrong side along the crotch edge; pin parallel to the raw edges (2). 

Select a medium zigzag, overlock or backward blind hem stitch on the machine. Stitch each crotch seam. Turn the crotch right side out; press.

With right sides together, align the front and back along the side seams; stitch using an overlock stitch.

With right sides together, fold the elastic in half widthwise. Stitch the short edges using a straight stitch and 1/4" seam allowance. Seal the elastic edges using a flame, being careful not to burn the elastic.

Quarter-mark the elastic circle and one panty leg opening. Aligning the fabric edge with the elastic center, fold the elastic over the leg-opening edge at the quarter marks. Select a medium zigzag or other stretch stitch on the machine. Beginning at one quarter mark, stitch along the elastic edge. Stretch the elastic to fit the leg opening, and then ease back slightly.

Repeat to apply fold-over elastic to the remaining leg opening.

With right sides together, fold the stretch lace in half widthwise; stitch. Quarter-mark the lace and the panty upper edge. Position the lace over the panties with right sides facing up, aligning the upper edges and the lace seam with one side seam.

Using a zigzag stitch, stitch a straight line 1/4" from the lace lower edge, stretching the lace to fit the panty edge. Cut away the panty fabric from behind the lace next to the stitching line (3).

Products used in this episode:


© F+W All rights reserved.