Perfecting my undies

Is there a better time to be talking about perfecting your me-made undergarments than me-made-may? I think not! This turned into a pretty long post!

I’ve been making my own undies, something I never thought I would do, since we tested the Waratah Undies & Period Undies for Muna and Broad in November 2019! In August 2020, we released the Banksia Bralette and then November 2020 saw the release of our high-waisted Kapunda Undies.

Now, I wear entirely me-made undergarments except on days that I wear a ‘proper bra’!

pink cotton
Above, I’m wearing a Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette and Kapunda Undies. The fold-over elastic is 20mm shiraz foe from my store, Chch sews.

What I’ve learnt along the way

I’ve got a huge draw of me-made undies but there are still some that I reach for before others, so I thought I could share them with you here so that you can learn from my mammoth undies effort!

Make them so that you love them! When I first started, I sewed a lot of scrap-busting undies, where I kind of paid attention to making nice colour combinations, but not really. These super-scrappy undies don’t bring me much joy. I would have been much better off waiting for more scraps to make combos that really made me happy!

Kapunda Undies

Fancy undies, aren’t necessarily favourite undies! I reach for my cotton and bamboo undies first. The fancy undies I made with lace, or mesh are the last ones to be used, because they make me sweaty.

I love a matching set, but smarter! I think we can all admit that we probably don’t wear a bralette once and then wash it. I’ve got multiple pairs of pink Kapunda Undies (like the ones below) which match with this pink Banksia Bralette (also below). Matching sets bring me joy, so this helps me drag the matching-set-joy out for longer.

Fold-over elastic will become your friend. When I started, I sucked at fold-over elastic, and it was very frustrating. Now, after probably 30+ pairs of undies, plus bralettes, fold-over elastic and I are best buddies. I apply the elastic directly off the roll, and feel like a wizard.

If you’re in NZ, you can get fold-over from me through ChCh Sews, or checkout my roundup of elastic shops on the M&B blog.

pink cotton 3
My favourite undies are my pink undies pictured above. I used Chch sews Shiraz FOE with two cotton/lycra blends from NZ fabric shop Backstreet Bargains, Lipstick Pink and Ballet Pink.

Colour is important for me. I made a few great fabric combos, and then realised that none of my fold-over elastic shades were quite right (I have a lot because I stock them at ChCh sews). Planning ahead to make great colour combos that I love will bring me extra joy when I wear the undies!

Kapunda Undies Size Details: I make a Size F, which matches my hip measurement. I make no modifications even though my waist is technically smaller than the size chart calls for.

Merino gusset is king. I stockpile discount merino to use for both the inner and outer gusset on my Kapunda Undies. I also used a not-very-stretchy merino to line my favourite Banksia Bralette! Basically, if you see cheap merino- get it, you won’t regret it! Definitely don’t make a mesh gusset. You will regret that sweaty situation.

Kapunda Undies

Work out what you like and then make it over and over again. I’ve made a few full-powermesh Banksia Bralette, even though I know they’re not my favourite combinations. Why, Jess? Why?

Embrace your fabric preferences. I love bamboo blend fabric- it’s cool to the touch. I also love cotton with 4-way stretch, it makes for undies that look good for more washes than some other fabrics. Both bamboo and cotton with 4-way stretch also make super comfie t-shirts! So, I buy a little bit of extra fabric than a Tarlee T-Shirt would use, and use the rest for undies!

7 comments

  1. Merino? Wool? For the gusset? Would it have have another name it would be called (here in North America)?

      1. Merino is something new to me. In Canada, and I think in the USA, a cotton knit is the most common fabric for the gusset.

  2. I felt like I hit the jackpot of personal comfort and support with my first couple of Banksia bralettes, and now I’m a little gunshy to try other fabric combinations. I used athletic knit for the outer fabric and went full powermesh + slings for the lining, and they’re both comfortable enough to wear around the house AND supportive enough for indoor cycling.

  3. They look great Jess. Thanks for the pictures. I love the colours and you are so right about reaching for certain sets of underwear. They are not hard to make once you have nailed the fit. Why don’t I have a drawer of fantastic underwear as well! Because I haven’t made it a priority but you’ve inspired me. One Bralette is sitting cut out and lonely on my cutting table right now. Time to get myself sorted. I might even (gasp) specifically buy fabric to make underwear instead of using leftovers. Is that even a thing?

    1. Special undies fabric is ABSOLUTELY a thing, and I’m going to be leaning in hard as my me-made undies move towards undies heaven!

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