March 6, 2013

Lace back panties - some extra information

Because of some nice comments from people who wanted to try the idea of lace-back panties for themselves, I had sort of promissed to post a bit more about them. Well, I remembered that now.

First of all, as I've mentioned before, I drafted the pattern using Pattern School's Cheeky Shorts tutorial. I basically just followed it except that I used my own lingerie bottom block as a base and I didn't take out crotch length. 
Pattern School also provides tutorials for lingerie/swimwear block, so you don't need your own ones to their designs. Because I was using my own sloper, I don't know whether I lowered the waistline as much as or less than the instructions tell you to. Pattern School designs always look quite skimpy in the photographs, so I tend to err on the side of caution there. 

My patterns look like this:

The one on top is the pattern for the blue panties, the one on the bottom is the adepted version which I used for the lace back panties (backs on the left, fronts on the right). You can see I cut the leg higher and changed the angle of the back crotch (this is recommended and explained in the tutorial). I've worn both pairs of panties and both fit well and are comfortable.

Obviously, if you want to make panties with lace at the back like this, you have to have a (nearly) straight line at the back legs. Which automatically means you need a style with a center back seam. These Cheeky Shorts fit the bill, but you could also use the Boy Leg Shorts pattern or maybe even some kinds of thong patterns with a low leg line (there's no such pattern on Pattern School, but you may know the style from RTW). 
As with all lingerie making, you can only really judge the fit when the item is finished, so I would recommend making a muslin in lycra or jersey with normal picot edging before cutting into your good lace. Not putting elastic on the legs would be fine in this case. 
Judge the fit and alter when necessary. You don't want the panties to be very snug because stretchy lace is not as stretchy as lycra (don't worry about it too much though, it doesn't require alteration of the pattern)

When cutting, make sure your pattern piece doesn't have seam allowance at the back leg line. Place that back leg line along the edge of the lace.

Fold or cut the crotch piece away where it curves. Cut out with seam allowance. The crotch piece is then added to the front crotch piece and the whole thing is cut from lycra (cut on the fold). Also cut a crotch liner from jersey. Mine is about twice as long as the piece removed from the back. 

The order of assembly is as follows:
- Finish the front edge of crotch liner (I didn't sew mine down at the front. If you prefer, you can add and extra seam at the front of the crotch and encase both ends of the liner) 
- Sew the center back seam
- Pin the crotch seam, sandwiching the back piece between front and crotch liner. Sew and turn right side out.
- Apply elastic to the leg line (front and crotch)
- Sew side seams, carefully matching lace and elasticated edge at the bottom.
- Apply elastic to the waistline. 

Enjoy wearing!