I have now made several bras but I don’t have matching underwear. Of course, with plain white and black bras, I could always wear storebought panties, but making my own is much more fun! Megan Nielsen has a nice basic pattern for panties called Acacia underwear. What is even nicer is that you can get the pattern for free, if you subscribe to the newsletter.
The pattern details
The Acacia underwear is a low-rise bikini panty that comes in sizes XS to XL corresponding to hip measurements from 91 to 112 cm (36 to 44″). It’s a pdf pattern that comes in 6 sheets, so for once, there isn’t a horrible amount of taping included!
The pattern has been designed for knit (jersey) fabric with at least 20 % of elasticity. I used lingerie weight lycra for my both makes (except for the inner gusset that I made out of white cotton jersey). The white lycra, the stretch lace and the lingerie elastic are from Eurokangas and the dotty one from Pure Lady. The black FOE I got given by Annele at MakeBra when I tested their bra patterns. I had some of it left-over and decided to use it for this. Later I am planning to make a bra using the same dotty fabric and thus get a matching set.
The pattern comes with the instructions to make a closed gusset. The exact measurements for the elastics are given which is nice. I certainly am not able to estimate the elastic length or to sew two leg holes that are the same size without cutting two pieces that have exactly the same length. There are instructions to use either regular elastic, a lingerie elastic with a scalloped edge or fold-over elastic. Of course, these have a bit different stretch so, as you can see above the size of the finished panties may differ. This shouldn’t affect the wear that much, though.
My pattern adjustments
I made the first pair with bands of the lingerie lace that I used in my bra. Basically, I just slashed the front piece and replaced the sides with the stretch lace. I shortened the leg-elastic accordingly since the lace had some stretch.
The leg openings were a bit low in the first pair and there was a bit of loose fabric at the back, so I made some small adjustments before making the second pair.
I drew curves that lifted the leg openings and cut the pattern along those two lines.
I made a vertical dart at the centre back and taped the edges of the pattern together to narrow the pattern from the top.
Sewing the FOE was not easy and I had a lot of difficulties in using the method in the instructions! I am not sure whether it is my sewing machine or me, but the lycra tended to slip out of the FOE despite my rigorous pinning.
With the first leg opening, I had to rip almost everything out and fix the holes that I had created. With the second leg opening, I was more careful and used the end of my seam ripper to hold the fabrics together after I removed each pin. Now, I managed not to have any holes at the edges but the sewing was very slow. I finally went to YouTube and looked at some tutorials where they sewed first the wrong side of the FOE in place and finished then the right side with a second zig-zag seam. From now on I will use this method!
What else? I cheated a bit and sewed the FOE to the leg openings before sewing the side seams. I checked my underwear drawer and noticed that this was a method used in most of the RTW panties. Since I have never paid any attention to the finishing of the leg elastics before, I decided to choose the sewing order that seemed to be the easiest.
Finally, I decorated both panties with little ribbon bows that I made. I think that these tiny little details really add something important to the look of these panties.
I think that the Acacia underwear pattern by Megan Nielsen is a very good pattern with which to make your first pair of panties. Have you ever considered making your own underwear? If you are looking for a bikini-cut panty-pattern, I can warmly recommend this one.
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