Want to Sew Your Own Panties? Here’s What You’ll Need

If you want to jump into the realm of lingerie-making, sewing a pair of panties is a great place to start! If you’re familiar with most basic sewing techniques, sewing panties can be a breeze. The trickiest part can be choosing the materials to make your project successful.

A serger isn’t required… but it is helpful.

Most panties these days are made out of stretch knit fabrics. Because of this, there’s a misconception that you must have a serger to sew your own underwear. While a serger does make the process quicker and easier, you can sew your own panties with a regular sewing machine!

The one thing that is required in a sewing machine is a variety of zigzag stitches. A sewing machine with an integrated dual feed system, which helps to feed the fabric through more evenly, is very helpful as well. If this feature is not a part of your current sewing machine, a walking foot can help do the job.

When looking for fabrics, think outside the box.

I’m a firm believer that lingerie can be made out of nearly any fabric imaginable. From PVC to flannel, anything is possible. Check your pattern’s specific fabric requirements. Some panty patterns are developed for woven fabrics, like charmeuse or batiste, while most others are developed for stretch knits.

Picture of underwear

Most commonly, you will find panties made out of cotton and cotton-blend knits. These are breathable fabrics that come in an assortment of prints and colors.

However, you don’t need to be limited! Experiment with other stretch fabrics like stretch velvet, lace, or mesh. I like a knit with at least 5 percent spandex. This amount tends to give just the right amount of stretch!

No matter what you make your panties out of, you’ll need a basic cotton jersey for lining the gusset. I like to look for something that’s 100 percent cotton. This ensures that your undies will be breathable and comfortable!

Person holding fabric

Elastics keep things snug

One of the most important components of a good pair of panties is the elastic. Elastics come in a variety of forms: fold-over, picot or plain.

Elastics and underwear

My favorite choice for panty elastic is fold over elastic. It’s easy to sew and comes in nearly any color imaginable, making it perfect for coordinating with any fabric. It can be used on the waist or leg openings.

Another popular type of elastic commonly used in panty-making is picot elastic. This elastic has a plain edge and a looped edge, giving a delicate yet decorative finish. If you are new to sewing with elastics, this post is good place to start!

For a more decorative finish, stretch lace trims are perfect for edging leg openings. I like to keep a more sturdy elastic for around the waist, but it is possible to even finish a waist line with stretch lace!

Other helpful tools

Besides the more specialty items, like lingerie elastics, you will of course need needles, thread and fabric shears.

Panty sewing tools

Thread

A good quality polyester thread is all you need. Avoid anything too thick. Ideally the stitches will “disappear” into your fabric.

Needles

Someone holding needles

Ball-point or jersey sewing machine needles are required for knit fabrics. In some cases, a twin needle can come in handy and can be used instead of a zigzag stitch.

Rotary cutter

Last but not least, a rotary cutter and pattern weights can be very helpful when working with lightweight fabrics. Rotary cutters with a smaller blade tend to be more precise around small pattern pieces.

Someone holding a rotary cutter

Get inspired!

Panty making requires only a small amount of fabric and a small amount of time, making them the perfect project for experimenting with a variety of fabrics and trims.

Because small amounts of fabric are required, this opens up a world of more precious and pricy fabrics that you may have looked over for other projects. Don’t forget that you can also dress up a plain fabric with lace, appliqués and other embellishments. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless!

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6 Responses to “Want to Sew Your Own Panties? Here’s What You’ll Need”

  1. Evangeline Custis
    Evangeline Custis

    I’m so tired of bringing home panties from the store, only to find out what’s in the package is not what it says on the package. The crotch is too narrow; the waist is too low. There’s suppose to be 6 pair in the package, but one pair somehow went missing; and the fabric only pretends to be cotton. And you sure can’t return them. So, if I want it done right, as usual, I’ll have to do it myself. You gave me the idea. I’m gonna run with it.

    Reply
    • Marcy
      Marcy

      You literally just said it for me. Soo tired not to mention I need elastin free and there are limited options for that. Or hugely expensive. Last year and the year before I made masks, cushion covers etc. I’m no expert but I’ll give it a go.

      Reply
    • Amblessed
      Amblessed

      Good afternoon, please I want to start lingerie sewing and selling, please what are the specific materials and type of sewing machine I need to purchase? (perfect low priced machines please)

      Reply
        • Elthon
          Elthon

          There are two types of person that makes panties/lingerie: The former does it for herself, and the latter to sell them. Both have different types of materials required to fulfill those goals. I make women underwear/lingerie to sell, so I have a different range of materials/tools I need to meet this goal. I am going to assume that you wish to make panties for yourself? If that’s the case, here are some super basic start up tools:

          A Lockstitch Machine: this is what you call the “domestic sewing machine.” Make sure it has Straight and Zig-zag stitches of different varieties.

          Shears, rotary cutters, hand-sewing needles, fabric cutting rulers, sewing clips, tracing papers for patterns, fabric markers, fabric weighs, Polyester type of threads, seam gauges.

          As for materials? Panties comes in many styles (called silhouettes) and each have their particular types of fabrics, and trims (the finished legs/waist openings). For fabrics, any “knit” fabric will do. They’re stretchy one way or two ways (actually called 2-way and 4-way). Typical blends are: Cotton, Rayon, Polyester, Nylon, Spandex, Microfibre. Look for any blend that has at least Spandex in it . For the trims, there are many. Knits, Laces, Rubber. It all depends on your preferences and panties required some of these variations depending on what kind of edged finish you wish.

          Pattern: You need to buy a pattern, or make your own using/tracing your old pair, but both of these requires studies, and learning curves, which can be achieved with patience.

          Lastly, you need to have the most important tool of all I’ve mentioned: desire/motivation to do so. There will be countless of errors, stress, headaches, etc. that will come in as you start on this endeavour before you alas are successful!

          I know….I went through them all.! 😉

          Good luck!

          Reply