Vintage Lingerie Sewing Tutorial with Valentine’s Decoration
Vintage is something I regularly integrate in my lifestyle – from my 1955 Studebaker to my wardrobe – so of course when it comes to under things, I want those to have a retro nod as well! Trouble is, you can’t exactly buy vintage panties. In the past I’ve tried buying granny panties from department stores, but they don’t usually end up fitting right – besides, they don’t come in exciting colors with fun embellishments. There are a few retro-remake lingerie makers, I’ll share some of my favorite at the end, but I don’t generally have that kind of a budget for underwear! So I decided to make my own – I took my favorite pair from my drawer, evaluated what I would change on them, and began to measure and draft a pattern. The first pair turned out WAY too small…but by my third pattern I had it down pretty good. If drafting a pattern is beyond your patience…I found a great vintage panties sewing tutorial with printable pattern over on Craftsy.com.
The cherry print pair were my first success, but I kept wanting a pair of more authentic vintage briefs. So using my previous pattern for the cherry underwear, I measured the difference for where I thought the briefs should go on my body. Switching around the pattern a little, I soon had something to work with for vintage briefs…beware, these always look extremely huge on paper and when you cut out the fabric…but just take a gulp, remind yourself you love your body, and continue on.
The materials I used were a sheer, stretchy fabric. Exploring the lace/elastic section of your fabric store is key to these undies. I live in LA, so get the benefit of wandering around the garment district – and they have all sorts of weird elastic trim, I finally decided to buy some and see if I could figure out a good use for it and ends up that it’s underwear!
I like the look and fit of undies that have a little seam in the back. I used an 1/8″ elastic and just zig-zagged it up the middle back of my undies to create a gather there. On the briefs, I ended the elastic at about the spot where my bum stops. If you can’t find lace elastic edging, 1/4″ elastic is another option for the edges – just turn under the fabric and zig-zag over it. The laces though make it incredibly easy to sew – I just zig-zag twice…once to catch the edge of the fabric and another to secure the inner edge of the lace.
All in all, sewing a pair of panties is really quick and easy!
After the logistics of the pantie foundation was finished, it was time to embellish! This is where I integrated a little bit of valentine’s day elements…bows, hearts, and glitter of course! Using a 6″ strip of ribbon, I folded it over then sewed across it to form a bow. Then I used this amazing glitter canvas material to cut tiny hearts out of (it doesn’t fray at the edges, nor does it flake off glitter…it’s amazing!) Now I needed to determine where to place them on my new undies.
I wanted to add a little flourish at the top of the stiching in the back as well, so placing my little glitter canvas hearts on top of each bow, I sewed both to the underwear fabric.
The fun thing about sewing underwear, is you can be as creative and whimsical as you want! It didn’t take much time, or money, to make these fun, vintage panties…I can’t wait to make some more! If you’d rather find some retro undies to purchase, here’s some of my favorites:
- Secrets in Lace
- What Katie Did
- Etsy (search for retro lingerie and see what it pulls up!)
Now one of these days I’ll finally getting around to making my own bra! I was on such a kick with the bows and hearts that I made a variation for Lucy’s valentine dog collar…who could resist?!