Have you ever considered making your own lingerie? It may seem like a weird concept, but it can be a great decision, both creatively and financially.
After all, chances are you got into crafting and DIY to save money, and there’s nothing quite like the expense of a good bra alone.
As something that you need to wear every day, you would imagine it’d be more affordable. Unfortunately, lingerie is very costly. Sometimes, they’re not even that comfortable!
Making your own lingerie will solve all of those problems. Plus, what’s nicer than knowing that your undergarments are specially tailored to your unique preferences?
For those new to sewing or crafting in general, lingerie can be a bit tricky, due to the number of techniques involved. However, with enough time and practice, even complete newbies can make their own lingerie in no time.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to do so from scratch, including the machine to use, the fabric to pick, and the different items you can develop.
In order to ensure that you craft an item which suits you, let’s first explore your reasons for taking on this DIY venture.
- Why Make Your Own Lingerie?
- What Sewing Machine Should You Use?
- What Fabric Should You Choose When Sewing Underwear?
- How to Make Lingerie
- Where to Find Patterns
- Loving Your New Lingerie
Why Make Your Own Lingerie?
The DIY trend came from a need to save money, by skipping marked up store prices and instead using low-cost materials and some know-how to craft things of similar quality.
For lingerie, this is even truer. Unlike most things, lingerie can’t be bought second-hand.
You may be desperate for a good pair of underwear, or a nice bra, but buying lingerie from thrift shops (and why would they be selling them in the first place?) is a big no-no.
While you may feel desperate, buying second-hand underwear can put you at risk for infection – and that’s never a good idea, no matter how sweet the deal.
Of course, if you can’t or don’t want to buy first-hand, learning how to make your own is always an option!
Buying at the store also puts you at the mercy of what’s available.
For those who just can’t pick any underwear from the rack, such as those with allergies or who are plus-sized, choosing from the rack can be a disappointing experience.
Trying out the twelfth bra can not only be demeaning but exhausting as well. For those who need customizability in their underwear choices, DIY is the way to go.
And of course, even if you don’t need specifics in your underwear, it’s always good to have more choices. After all, lingerie should be cute and comfortable, and these two things are extremely subjective.
If you make your own, lingerie can be as cute as you please, and as comfortable as you need it to be.
What Sewing Machine Should You Use?
Making lingerie will present its own unique obstacles. For that, you may want to have a sewing machine that can address these problems.
Of course, it’s still perfectly acceptable to sew lingerie with a regular sewing machine. However, sewing with the right features can help speed up your process and give you a better result.
Here are a couple of features to save you time and headaches when sewing your own lingerie.
Adjustable Foot Pressure
Since you’ll be working with a number of lightweight fabrics, such as silk, lace, and knit, the ability to regulate the foot pressure is invaluable when making lingerie.
Without it, chances are your fabric will be pushed around, causing seams to match in the wrong places.
This will also lengthen the amount of time spent on any one project, even if you don’t need to correct mistakes.
Adjustable Zig-Zag Stitch
When making lingerie, you’ll be using the zig-zag stitch quite often.
While most patterns require it, each pattern may ask for a different length and width. Make sure that your model can be adjusted to address this.
Overall, this leads to greater strength and durability in your final product, as well as a finer look.
A Small Foot for Seams
When making lingerie, you will need to sew tiny seams. After all, a bra put together with concise stitches will look and feel better, no matter its size.
A foot with a ¼ inch distance between the needle and the edge of the toe is going to be necessary for you to make these small seams.
If you’re looking for it at shops, you can pick a straight stitch foot, a ¼ inch foot, or a patchwork foot.
What Fabric Should You Choose When Sewing Underwear?
When choosing material for lingerie, you will come across fabrics that are specifically made for them.
With that said, keep in mind that it’s not the only fabric you can use. However, for beginners, it’s a good idea to start with stretchy fabric, so that it has a bit of give when sewing. It’s also more forgiving, as you could stretch out the fabric when necessary.
Fabrics like nylon and satin are perfect for beginner crafts. More experienced crafters may want to branch out to lace and knit fabrics.
How to Make Lingerie
Making your own lingerie isn’t extremely different from sewing other types of clothing.
All that’s different is that you should pay closer attention to the various elements of your pattern, making sure that you take careful measurements.
Lingerie is meant to stay flush to your skin, after all, and stray hems and loose threads can make you uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are many resources to help you along the way!
In this part, we are going to discuss how to make a bra, underwear, and a negligee, for all your lingerie needs.
How to Make a Bra
Making a bra can be intimidating. It’s always a good idea to brush up on the basics prior to starting!
This shouldn’t be a huge deterrent, as there are many resources online that help you with the basics of sewing. Here are a few tips to get you started in making your own bra.
- Find Your Correct Bra Measurement
The first step in sewing a bra is determining your measurements.
If you’ve never measured yourself before, chances you’re wearing the wrong bra size. Of course, that’s nothing to be ashamed of – you aren’t alone!
Many people go through their lives with the wrong bra size – which is a shame, since the appropriate size can work wonders for your posture, comfort, and the rest of your clothing.
Here is a guide to taking your own bra size, which you can use to buy bras at the store or to make your own.
- Choose a Good Pattern
After figuring out your bra size, it’s time to find a pattern. There are many patterns that you can choose from online, from blog posts to shops.
How do you choose a pattern? For first timers, it’s best to start simple. A wireless bra can help you understand the basics; from there, you can move on to more complicated patterns.
Pick a pattern you like in your size, compare it to a bra you already own if you have one to spare, and you’re set to go.
- Pick the Right Fabric and Elastic
Elastics come in different types, and they aren’t interchangeable, especially when making bras. Be sure to get the right type depending on your pattern. You may also need more than one.
As for fabrics, the most important thing you should watch out for is the stretch. For beginners, starting with a two-way stretch fabric can be a good idea.
Remember to determine the stretch direction and sew accordingly. Keep in mind that, due to stretching, it may not always line up right! Here is a great guide about stretch direction for beginners.
- Learn About the Parts of the Bra
The bra is actually more complicated than it first looks. There are a number of parts to it, all of them with their own functions.
Understanding how they work and how they affect the other parts can help you understand how to build one, as well as to avoid a lot of mistakes.
Here is a great guide from Craftsy on the different parts of a bra.
This video shows an example of how to make a bra.
How to Make Underwear
Sewing underwear isn’t as complicated as a bra. They can be sewn just like usual clothing patterns.
However, there are still a few things to keep in mind when sewing your own underwear.
- Pick the Right Fabric
The fabric that you choose will determine how comfortable your underwear is, even more so than the pattern.
While this is true for most sewing projects, it is truer for underwear, since the material is flush to your skin.
While you can pick almost any fabric that you want to use, the gusset (or the crotch area) is often made with breathable fabric, like cotton jersey.
- Use Underwear You Own for a Pattern
Finding the right underwear pattern can be a real hassle. The best underwear pattern will differ from one person to the next, and there will be some that are more comfortable than others.
If you are having a difficult time figuring out which pattern to choose, you could use a pair of underwear you already own and make your own pattern from there.
- Use the Right Elastic
As with bras, using the right elastic is also important when making underwear. Picking the right width of the elastic is crucial to ensuring they’re a comfortable fit.
A good rule of thumb is to use an oversized width when following a pattern that provides more coverage.
How to Make Negligee
Of course, what’s a lingerie set without a beautiful negligee? Negligees may appear to be a difficult pattern to handle, but the truth is, they’re simpler than bras or underwear.
Negligees take their patterns from dresses. After all, they’re essentially nightgowns made of sheer fabric, so they’re breathable while still beautiful.
For those who want to sew a negligee, choose a pattern for a nightgown, and use a sheer fabric to make it.
Good fabrics to consider are silk, lace, and chiffon. For those who want a nightgown pattern, Sew Guide has a quality choice to get you started.
Where to Find Patterns
If you want to branch out and try out other patterns, there are many places for you to choose from.
All Free Sewing is a great way to start branching out to more complicated patterns, especially for those who still lack the adequate experience to make buying patterns worthwhile.
Like it says on the site, All Free Sewing has patterns that are all free, which means that you don’t have to pay for any of them. You can test out your skills and gain practice without touching your budget.
Blogs are also a great place to find free patterns. Unlike other websites, you can be sure that these patterns have been tried and tested.
However, there aren’t many blogs that specifically focus on one type of clothing, and you will need to do a bit of digging to find one with patterns you like.
Ohhh Lulu is a great place to start. While they mainly post patterns about lingerie, you will also find the occasional non-lingerie post.
Here’s a video showing an example of how to make a negligee.
Loving Your New Lingerie
Making your own lingerie can present a number of challenges. Especially for patterns that have many complicated parts, lingerie can be harder to make than it actually looks.
However, like with every skill, that payoff is worth it. As a matter of fact, sewing is perhaps the most helpful craft to learn, as making your own lingerie can save you the headache of shopping for items that don’t fit, wear out quickly, or don’t match your style.
The cost of fabric also wins in comparison to a $40, $60, or even $100 bra.
Hopefully this DIY lingerie guide will be helpful in your journey to making your own lingerie. Of course, you’re going to need more than tips. Hard work and perseverance are necessary to get quality lingerie.
With enough practice and experience, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Have you tried sewing underwear?