I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants!
A while ago I made some cotton and bamboo fabric boxers for my boyfriend, and now I have a pair of undies for myself! The Makehouse offers a few different types of underwear workshops, and most recently I attended the Bamboo Underwear workshop. It was a wonderful evening of sewing taught by Jenny where in the three-hour workshop you create and take home your own pair of cotton bamboo fabric undies! Similar to the boxer workshop, Jenny has all of the pattern pieces pre-cut on a variety of fabrics for when the workshop starts. As I was sifting through the fabric for my undies, I found a piece in the same octopus pattern as the boxers I made for my boyfriend. It was kismet, so now my boyfriend and I have hilariously wonderful matching underwear.
Once your colourway was chosen, it was straight to the serger. First, we serged up the sides. Next, we attached the gusset in a similar manner to the boxers, where we fastened the two layers of the gusset on either side of the bottom edge of the front underwear piece.
That was serged together. Then, we rolled up the underwear into a burrito (like with the boxers) so that we could attach the gusset layers to the bottom edge of the back underwear piece.
Next, we measured the elastic and pinned it in quarters to the waist first, and then the legs. This ensured that you don’t mistake the waistband for the leg elastic and accidentally sew it in the wrong spot. That would create some real funky underwear! And probably not the most comfortable.
When pinning and sewing the elastic, it is important to make sure that the soft side of the elastic is facing upward and being sewn onto the outside of the underwear. Once it is attached, the elastic edge is folded over so that only a decorative edge is showing, and the soft side of the elastic will be on the inside of the underwear. After the underwear is all serged and sewed together, it helped that we gave it a good steam with an iron to relax the elastic and even out the stretch in the fabric.
The women’s style underwear sewed up much faster than the boxers, mostly because there are less pieces to put together. I found that the majority of the workshop was spent on pinning and attaching the elastic and on finishing techniques for the undies.
My octo-undies are super comfy and so fun. I love that I now have my own custom underwear that are fit to my body. I see a lot of underwear creating in my future, and it is an especially fun project for the cold of winter when you don’t necessarily want to go outside all the time.
Jenny often has Bamboo Underwear and Bamboo Boxers workshops happening at The Makehouse. Get your winter project season started by taking a class! Handmade undies are also a great gift for the holidays. Jenny and her team create a variety of fits and colours that are available to purchase at the shop as well.
Undies for everyone!