Perfect Panty Gussets

Ready to wear does some impressive sewing, like the enclosed perfect panty gussets (we never call it a “crotch”) on a pair of panties. Even inexpensive panties will have both ends of the gusset enclosed like this…perfect panty gussets inside out flower - Copy Why should we even want to enclose both ends? After all, we see ready to wear panties with one end left unsewn.
perfect panty gussets open end - Copy The most important reason is that with one end open, lint and fluff from the washer and dryer can get trapped in the pocket created by the open ended gusset. After all, this is the stuff you have to clean from your dryer – it’s not unreasonable to assume that some of it can get trapped in the gusset. Yikes!

perfect panty gussets lint - Copy
The other reason is purely for the pure joy of mastering an advance sewing technique, and when you do, you get that little rush of “YES!” afterward. perfect panty gussets baby happy - Copy
Here’s my method of sewing a perfect panty gusset. It’s an enclosed yet angst-free gusset!

Here’s how to do it

First lay out the pieces of the panty. Have the panty front closest to you with the right sides facing up and the gusset in the centre.
 perfect panty gussets 1 - Copy
Now flip the gusset upward to the back of the panty with right sides together and pin the curved seam. You will be pinning an inward curve of the panty back to the outward curve of the gusset so it will look like this at the start of the seam… perfect panty gussets 2 - Copy
See where the pin is? That is what I call a “dog ear” and it happens every time two angled seams are pinned or sewn together. The trick is to match the seams at the exact spot where the two fabrics intersect. But…the two fabrics must also intersect at the 1/4″ seam line. So it is a definite skill to get it right…but you can do it!
 perfect panty gussets 3 - Copy
Once the back gusset seam is pinned (no sewing yet!) lay the gusset back down so you can admire your work! And this is only pinned at this stage!
perfect panty gussets 4
Now flip the front of the panty up to the gusset and pin the seam. On my panty pattern and in my book (Make & Fit Panties), the front gusset seam is a straight line. There is no need to have a curved seam in this area.
perfect panty gussets 5 

Like Magic, the Burrito Method!

Now the real magic of making perfect panty gussets is ready to happen! Roll up the front of the panty (like a burrito or a jelly roll) so that the pinned seam is visible
perfect panty gussets 6 
Then roll down the back of the panty so the pinned seam is visible. It should look something like this…
 perfect panty gussets 7 - Copy
Now pin the gusset lining, usually made of cotton jersey) right side down, to the pinned seams, removing each pin and replacing them as you pin the lining to both seams.
 perfect panty gussets 8 - Copy
OK, now you can go the sewing machine and sew those two seams. You should use a straight stitch 2.5-2.6 mm long and pull the seam slightly as you sew (this is called the “stretch-and-sew method” of sewing stretch fabrics.) Alternately, you can serge the seams with a four thread overlock seam if you have a serger. 
So now you may be wondering, what kind of mess you have made. Don’t worry! Pull the panty front and back on one side through the gusset to the other side. (it doesn’t matter if it is left to right or right to left) Voila! it will look like this from the panty outside…
 perfect panty gussets 9 - Copy
And like this from the lining side…
 perfect panty gussets 10 - Copy
So now you know how easy perfect panty gussets can be! If you are interested in panties or boy shorts – how to draft them from body measurements, fit them, and re-style them into every other style you see in the market, you might consider purchasing my book, Make & Fit Panties
 perfect panty gussets book - Copy
10 replies
  1. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    Hi – just a quick note to say 1) thanks for the valuable info and 2) the link at the very end of the post is incorrect (you perhaps updated your site name in the past few years?)
    Caitlin K
    In Stratford, ON

  2. Anne Link
    Anne Link says:

    Thanks for this great info. I just had to return several pairs of panties to what used to be a really good lingerie company whose panties I’d bought for years. I’d bought a lot online during a one-day sale, and was dismayed to find the gussets on all of the styles are open at the front end. Good grief! Luckily they have an unconditional return policy.

  3. Vicki Maggs
    Vicki Maggs says:

    Hi Beverly
    I am wondering if it is possible to do this kind of gusset on a pair of bike pants (or similar). I am looking to start making my own underwear as I can’t find what I want in RTW. I need a little length in the leg (more than we see in boy pants) but I would need a double layer and if at all possible to enclose the gusset seams, so that the seams are comfortable as I would be wearing the ‘bike pants’ as my underwear without another pair of panties underneath. I appreciate any advice you can give me.

  4. Nancy Egelton
    Nancy Egelton says:

    Awesome. I alwys wanted to make my own. Purcased either roll.down or fall down. It’s so annoying. As a plus size, it will be so nice to have panties that match my beautiful custom bras.Thank you Beverly.

      • Laura Piwowarski
        Laura Piwowarski says:

        I wish Craftsy would offer Early Sign-Up so those of us who have been waiting for this could have it pop up as soon as it’s available!

        I didn’t know it was draft your own from measurements. This is going to be great!

  5. Laura Piwowarski
    Laura Piwowarski says:

    I know you might think I’m just causing trouble, because I’m the person from the Craftsy class who can’t post right-side-up pictures, but there are NO pictures in this post! Maybe it’s just that you’re working on the new web site?

    • Beverly V. Johnson
      Beverly V. Johnson says:

      Poor you, Laura…plagued by pictures upside down, or non-existent! It’s not you…seriously…when we migrated over to Word Press from Blogger, none of the photos came along for the ride. So I am bringing them over one by one to each post. And they all have to be labelled now, which they did not have to be in Blogger. Fun stuff. Keeps me out of mischief! I’ll do this panty post next so you can see it properly!


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