Tuesday 21 February 2012

Lace Bandeau Knickers Tutorial

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I’m so excited to be able to share a little tutorial with you all today. These lacy Bandeau Knickers are seriously easy to sew up, I literally made a pair from scratch in about 10 minutes (and that included figuring out how to make it!). These are based on knickers that I own (the black pair in the tutorial photos) and wear all the time (TMI?!). I am a bit obsessed about VPL (Visible Pantie Line) and these knickers are, in my opinion, the best way to ensure you never have the dreaded lumps and bumps you can get with regular jersey/elastic knickers – and they look sexier than other “no VPL” knickers and are super comfy to wear!
So let’s get on with the tutorial:
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  • About 1.2 yards of 6” – 7” wide elasticated lace
  • Thread (matching your lace)
  • An old cotton jersey T-Shirt in matching colour to your lace
  • A pair of RTW knickers (preferably in this style, but not necessary)
  • An overlocker & a regular sewing machine
  • Ribbon or Button (optional)
Get Your Measurements & Draft Your Pattern
As I mentioned, I made these based on a pair of knickers I already own. So if you own a similar pair, then please use these as your measurement guide. Otherwise, I will talk you through how you can draft your own pattern for the knickers based on your measurements.
sketch 2a
Using the diagram above as a guide, find out your measurements for A (just below your waist, where you would like the top of your knickers to come to – I measured lower than the diagram shows) and B (around your upper thigh).
Drafting your pattern - bandeau knickers
To find out the length of the waist/top edge of your pattern piece divide A by 4 and take off 3 inches. For the leg, divide B by 2 and take 2 inches off. We are dividing our measurements as the lace will be cut on a fold and taking off the extra inches to allow for a neat fit. It may require a little bit of trial and error regarding how many inches to take off. These figures are based on my own personal findings!
If you already own a well fitting pair of knickers like these, then all you have to do is fold your knickers in half along the sewn crotch line and then measure the upper line and lower line. Remember to keep your lace parallel to ensure an accurate measurement.
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Now that you have the two measurements for your pattern piece you can draft your own pattern based on the diagram above. To get an accurate crotch curve (lovely! can’t wait to see what Google search results my blog now turns up in!) you can just copy a pair of knickers, tights or leggings you already have. I used the black pair above to make my pattern piece.

Cut your Lace
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Fold your lace in half just long enough to fit your pattern piece. Place the pattern piece on top and secure with pattern weights (anything heavy!) and carefully cut out. Repeat.
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You should now have two pieces of lace, that, when unfolded, look like the above.

Sewing Your Knickers!
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Place the two pieces of lace RIGHT sides together, aligning curves. Sew each curve on your overlocker.
TIP - It can be difficult sewing a concave curve on an overlocker so I recommend deactivating your knife and pulling the curve straight while sewing (see image above). It won’t affect the seam.
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To secure the top of the seam run it back through the overlocker for about an inch and then trim.
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Now that both curves have been sewn your lace will start to resemble knickers! Position so that both seams are on top of each other, again with RIGHT sides together. Sew together on your overlocker. Repeat to secure seam.
Your knickers are nearly complete!

The Cotton Lining
As I’m sure you all know, knickers have a strip of cotton in the crotch for added comfort and hygiene, so we shall do the same for these knickers.
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Use a pair of your own knickers to draft the correct size and shape for your lining. For information mine is about 1.5” at one end, 2.5” at the other and 6” long.
Use this to cut out a lining piece from an old, clean t-shirt.
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Sew a rolled hem around all edges of your lining pieces.
TIP – for neat corners, ensure the knife on your overlocker is activated and once you reach the end of one side keep serging to get a long enough chain to bring the piece back under the presser foot and sew the next edge – this will cut off the chain from the previous edge (see above image), and produce a secure corner. Trim all excess chains once all edges are complete.
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Lay your knickers open so that the crotch is lying flat, wrong side facing up. Pin your lining piece into the crotch, ensuring seams are lying flat.
Using a REGULAR sewing machine, sew the lining in place with a normal straight stich.
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Since it was St. Valentine’s Day recently, I thought it would be sweet to add some little extra details to the knickers. On one pair I’ve added a little red gingham bow and the other a red heart button. These look extra cute, but obviously make the knickers a little less “invisible” under clothes, so do take that into consideration when making yours.
Elastic lace comes in all sorts of wonderful colours and patterns, so you could create endless looks even without adding any extra details.
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I hope you found this tutorial helpful. I know many of you may not own an overlocker/serger and I’m afraid I don’t know if you could make these completely on a regular sewing machine. Perhaps if you used an overlocking stitch? If anyone has ever made these just on the regular sewing machine then please do let me know which stitch you used. Or, if anyone wants to give it a try, please do let me know how you got on!

I’m off now to sew up a whole drawer-full of lacy knickers!!

P.S. I’m Linking to:
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