Confession time….the problem I have with store-bought underwear is the elastic at the legs. It’s got a stranglehold on my legs it seems, especially when I am sitting at the computer. To express it as a town from an Agatha Christie novel…Much-binding-in-the-groin. Here’s how I solved the problem – by making lace edged underwear. It’s fun and easy and uses only two ingredients – stretch fabric and narrow stretch lace.
Just an aside – yes, I know I “could” make the elastic in the legs longer, but I hate the look of elastic that waves along the edge of the leg. In order to get the elastic loose enough, it would definitely wave. Some of you might be brave enough to suggest, however politely, that I might actually need a larger size of underwear. You know who you are…and you are getting a lump of coal in your stocking this year!
How to make Lace Edged Underwear
The lace edged underwear starts off as any other panty pattern. Sew the gusset in as you normally would (following the perfect gusset instructions here) then lay them out flat, like this.
Trim off the seam allowance off the entire leg curve. We won’t be using elastic so we do not need the allowance for it.
Then position the narrow stretch lace right along the cut edge. Keep the lace flat on the fabric on the innermost edge. Yes, it will ripple a bit on the outermost edge. Yes, you can pin it!
Stitch along the innermost edge with a zig-zag or three-step zig-zag stitch. Remember to pull the lace a little bit (no more than 2″ usually) on the curve of the bum. Only the back bum curve needs pulling.
Then trim away the fabric beyond the stitching. Since this is stretch fabric, it won’t fray. No, it won’t.
Here it is fully trimmed. Repeat the lace edging on the other leg.
Sew up one side seam and leave the other one open. If you forget and sew them both up (like we did), then pick the seam apart by at least the width of the lace.
Next, we sew the lace on the waist. Normally we reduce the length of the elastic by 4″ on the waist, however on lace edged underwear, we only need to reduce the lace edging by 2″ along the entire waist. Don’t worry, it won’t fall down!
Trim away the fabric from behind the lace. Finally, Sew up the side seam.
Your new lace edged underwear – finished! You can use this technique to give your much-loved panties a new lease on life. You don’t even have to pick off the old elastic, just pin on the new lace and they are a whole new pair!
Your Fairy Bra Mother
I’m going to copy a pair of bought undies that have this elastic already. Lately the company has been reducing the range in cotton, and the colour selection is terrible, so I’ve decided to make my own.
I noticed the link to the gusset tutorial mentioned at the start of this tutorial seems to be missing, so here it is:
Do you have the pattern for the panties?
Yes, we have 3 panty patterns on our website for panties such as these. Cheryl, Veronica and Betty….
Thanks for this. I have a pair all cut out but wasn’t sure how to proceed. Looks easy!
Thanks for sharing your information about making lace underwear.
What width of elastic lace did you use. It looks like 1.5 inch on the leg and 3 inch on the waist. Is this right? I definitely want to use lace as the elastic both hurts and then itches long after it is off me.
That lace is 1″ on the legs and 2-2.5″ on the waist. The waist one doesn’t matter about the width so much but on the leg, 1″ is best I find.