The First Knickers…

My foray into designing and making lingerie has officially begun. I’ve decided to start with knickers partly because I feel better catered for in the bra department by retailers and partly because I think knickers are too often overlooked and are less intimidating for me to approach as a notice sewer. 

My plan is first to figure out how to make a basic, presentable pair and then develop the design from there. I cut up an old pair of knickers which fit well to use as a pattern. I must admit my first attempt is not encouraging….

  
As you can see I didn’t even bother finishing them – I got to this point and broke into hysterical laughter at how terrible they are. The gap between my start point and where I want to go really couldn’t be further apart!

However, it did make me realise that (apart from my terrible sewing) the fabric I used was completely different to my pattern pair, being non-stretch and the size was therefore all wrong. So I traced a larger pattern on paper, went to my local sewing shop and bought some Jersey cotton and the only bit of decorative elastic they had to try again.

 

These look far more presentable. There wasn’t enough elastic to do the  legs so I used a rigid trim and the pattern needs a little adjustment but a definite improvement. I am particularly (ludicrously) pleased with the gusset. Loving a patterned gusset!
  

I need to properly look at how sewing machine settings work. I don’t have things set right since although the stitching is fine on the top, underneath is a total mess. I’ve never really been shown how to use a machine so it is all a bit of a mystery to me. If anyone (probably everyone) knows what I’m doing wrong, please tell me!

Plus Sized Lingerie

  
I have been thinking a lot about underwear recently – in particular about the difficulty I have as a plus sized woman in finding truly beautiful underthings. 

I realised that somehow, not only are they difficult to find but also I feel an inexplicable twinge of shame in even looking for them. I have no problem shopping for well fitting and attractive clothes but faced with rows and rows of tiny briefs I do the quickest scan I can, trying to peer down at the racks nearest the ground without looking like I’m looking for the biggest pants available.

Even looking online is a challenge. Plus sized underwear is either tacked on as an extra section with what appears to be little thought – the implication being we should be grateful it is there at all, or else is just plain tacky/seedy masquerading as ‘sexy’.

I want what the skinny girls want. I want special underwear. Lingerie which feels pretty and fun and feminine. Knickers for me, not necessarily for the other person in my life. I want lingerie which is comfortable and flattering to me as a larger woman but still feels like gorgeous scraps of silk and lace.

So, I am on a mission. I have a creative background as a jewellery designer. I can’t buy the underwear my heart desires so I am going to make it. This will be a challenge since I have next to no idea how to use my sewing machine and fabric is oh so different to metal but I cannot be alone in wanting this and I will use this blog to record my progress.