Hello, ALD Family! This is Jan, and I'm a modmin for the Amelia Lane Designs Facebook group. If you haven't already joined us there, this is the perfect time! We're having a whole week of Quick Sews! These projects are great for getting rid of scraps and odd cuts, filling gaps in your wardrobe, or just fun self care sewing. Check out the event in the group to see all the ways to enter to win this week's prizes!
Yesterday, Emily introduced us to an awesome scrap busting twist-knot headband. If you haven't already, take a few to check out her post and video. It took me longer to decide which scrap to use than it did to sew a headband!
Today, I'm asking you to make a pair of undies! Myself, I've tried a whole BUNCH of patterns, but my favorite is the Lucky Undies from Rad Patterns. I find I'm pretty picky about the amount of cheek I let peek, and the Lucky's cheeky cut is just right. To be eligible for today's prize though, I want YOU to pick whatever undies you need. Maybe you have a little that needs trainers? Perhaps you prefer a boxer or brief style? It's all great! Make what you need, and you're still in it to win!
One thing I've discovered that I prefer is a more seamless edge on my undies. Elastic and fold over elastics all cause a distinct line under my favorite leggings. Bands aren't much better. Even leaving edges unfinished with the right fabrics doesn't always work out. My favorite solution is adding lace around the edges. Stretch lace done right gives a smooth, comfortable finish without adding any bulk.
There are several ways to go about adding lace. A lot of trial and error has given me a finish I'm very happy with, so I thought I'd share it with you.
I used the white stretch lace from ALD for the edges here, and it was PERFECT. No edges under even the thinnest RTW leggings.
First, pick your pattern of choice. The only extra things you'll need to complete this hack are about 2 yards of stretch lace (less than 1 1/2" wide), thread that matches your lace, and a pair of sharp scissors! Most sizes can get by on under 2 yards, but the cut of the leg opening makes a big difference. Briefs take a whole lot less than cheeky cuts! As an example, I made an XL in the Rad Lucky Undies cheekies, and needed two pieces 26.5" long.
To get started, assemble the your undies including the gusset and liner, and you're ready for the lace! For this pair, I'm using the Copper Tricot and the 1 1/16" White Stretch Lace from the ALD shop. As a liner, I'm using a worn out cotton lycra tank top that I found in the repurpose bag.
Now, take your lace and lay it along the edge, just as if you were measuring your leg opening with a tape measure. If it seems to want to jump around, clip or pin it in place as you go. You want to ensure you're not stretching it at all for this step!
When I get to the edge, I like to draw a line with a washable marker. You can also pin or clip here. Use whatever works best
Now that you know exactly how much you need, lay out your piece of lace. Using a ruler, measure 2 1/2 inches in from your line and cut. Your end result will be a piece of lace 2 1/2" shorter than your leg opening.
Take your undies and your lace piece and divide them into quarters, just as though you were attaching a band. The only difference is that you aren't going to be sewing in the round. You'll be adding your lace while the undies are still flat to give it a clean finish.
Now that you've quartered your lace and edge, match up your quarter points and firmly pin or clip the lace at the outer edges so it doesn't shift. Line the outer edge of the lace up with the outer edge of your undies. You shouldn't be able to see anything but your underwear fabric thru the lace.
****DOUBLE CHECK YOUR LACE TO MAKE SURE THE RIGHT SIDE IS FACING OUT!**** Not all laces have a right side and a wrong side, but you want to make sure yours looks great. Make sure the right side is facing out, and that the wrong side of the lace is against the right (outside) side of your undies.
GENTLY stretch the lace between the quarter points to ensure that it's evenly spaced. There won't be as much stretching as you would ordinarily do for a band.
Once you've evenly stretched the lace, it's time to sew! You will want to use a very narrow zig zag stitch. The lightning bolt stitch on most newer machines isn't the best to attach lace. It's a lot of stitches in a very narrow, easily snagged space. On my machine, I have discovered thru trial and error that the default length of the zig zag stitch is great, but the width needs to be reduced from a "5" to a "2". Check your zig zag on a piece of scrap fabric to make sure it isn't too big. My ideal zig zag looks like this.
Now, stitching RIGHT SIDE UP, stitch along the inner edge of your lace. Go slow and steady. If your lace has a scalloped edge, follow that edge as best you can. Stitch as close to that inside edge as possible, while still catching the lace and not stitching over onto your undies where it will show. As you get to the liner area, you can either continue on that same course (which will reduce your liner width) or you can stitch thru the lace and move closer to the outer edge for the length of the liner and shift back to the inside edge as you get to the end of the liner.
I prefer a mixture of both worlds. I do my initial line of stitching all the way down at that absolute inner edge of the lace. This secures your lace to your liner to keep it from flipping up with wear. After I have finished the first entire pass, I go back and stitch that outer edge as a curve to allow me to keep more width in the gusset area, but not lose any of the lace edge. (I'll go over this in my live video tonight. It's tricky to explain, but my favorite pairs are done this way!)
Using this method, your liner should look like this from the inside at this point. (I tried to use contrasting thread to show the stitching. You can use threads in your needle and bobbin that match your lace and fabric for a less visible result.)
Here comes the touchy part! Take a pair of scissors that you feel very confident with. My favorite pair is a small one with a curved tip. You are going to take your scissors and cut off the excess fabric behind the lace. Take your time. Go slow and steady. Make sure as you cut that you don't nick the lace or your stitching! The end result is totally worth it!
When you're finished, you won't be able to see any of the underwear fabric behind the lace. You also won't have any bulky band seams around the liner to cause any problems! Basically, you're going to feel like an underwear wizard. Give yourself a high five!
(Then repeat for the other leg... including that high five because you're awesome.)
From here, you just need to attach the front and back at the sides and add the waistband of your choice! I chose to band the waist here since I'm running low on elastic, and I added a teensy bow to make them feel extra fancy.
I'm going to go live about 7 pm CST in the ALD Facebook group and sew up another pair just like this! Feel free to join me and ask questions or just hang out.
Be sure to check back tomorrow when Sarah shows us her favorite scrunchie patterns! My favorite messy bun isn't complete without a scrunchie, so I'm super excited to make some new ones!