Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pants Self-Sufficiency


Before I could crack on with any of my proposed nippy weather sewing projects, I needed to take care of my foundations! I didn't have quite enough pairs in rotation, and regularly ended up wearing my least favourite pairs. Also, if I were to achieve a goal of mine (pants self-sufficiency) I had to make some more pairs so I could finally get rid of my final three pairs of shop-bought pants. I now only own self-made pants! 

Pattern:

It may not surprise you to learn that these, and all the other pairs I own, were made using my free downloadable pants/undies/knickers pattern. What can I say?! It's exactly what I want from a knickers pattern: low-rise with good bum coverage. This pattern has been downloaded over 34,000 times now! I chose to release the pattern as a free one rather to be paid for because I really want to encourage sewers to try making their own undies, and I know that a download doesn't equate a use, but I'm really happy with that amount of initial interest at least. 


If you visit my 'Free Sewing Patterns' page you will see that I have included an easy way to show your appreciation by buying me a coffee via paypal. Out of interest, do you want to know how many people out of that 34,000 have done that so far? 31! Obviously, I didn't release either of the free patterns in the pursuit to make money, but I do really appreciate it when a user of the pattern decides to acknowledge the time that went into producing them by fuelling me with caffeine!  


Fabric and Elastic:

I have made MANY pairs of pants from this pattern now, and by now I've got a pretty good idea of what type of knit I feel will work best. I like a medium-weight cotton jersey with a decent elastane content, the type that is suitable for form fitting T-shirts. So I raided my knit-fabric-scraps bin for suitable pieces left over from previous projects. Plus, all the elastic was from my stash, so I had no immediate outlay for this little lot. 


The cream coloured floral pair aside, they were all made using FOE (fold over elastic) that came from a variety of sources (mostly eBay). Right now, my blog's sponsor The Village Haberdashery, has a lovely range of FOE in stock, including the awesome neon orange that I used on the cream floral pair pictured above. If you would like some tips on how to use FOE, check out the blog post I wrote for The Daily Stitch which published this week.  

The only other type of elastic I used this time round was some of the gorgeous cotton elastic from my other sponsor, Textile Garden. It's the delicate lilac and duck-egg scalloped stuff that you can see in the picture below. I wrote more about her cotton elastic selection in this blog post around this time last year. 


Thoughts:

I've been aiming to eliminate all the shop-bought pants from my undies drawer for years and it feels fantastic to have finally made the leap! Maybe one day I'll get to a similar position with bras, then Marks & Spencer really will have seen the last of me.... Oh wait, there's still tights. Anyways, these pants are fun and comfy, just what I was hoping for. If you'd like to see examples of how other people have used my free patterns, check out this Pinterest board. And if you've used either of the free patterns and you feel like sharing the results, I'd love to see so pleassseeeeee send me a pic or a link. 

23 comments:

Sarah C said...

AHH! Now I have to make these! I haven't worked with fold over elastic before so this'll be a great way to start! What size did you use/would you recommend? Is there much difference between the 16, 17 and 20mm (from the Village Haberdashery you linked to)?

Leila H said...

The "buy me a coffee" texts link on this page and on the free pattern page just take me to an error page on Paypal. The image links on the free pattern pages do work, though.

Jo H. said...

These are brilliant! Inspiring me to have another go - I'm off to download it now! (And donate - I feel outraged on your behalf at home few people have done so!!)

Zoe Livana said...

Seamster patterns has a pattern for tights. :)

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

How gorgeous - your undies all laid out like that look like a group of butterflies!

Maeve said...

I love these batch of undies - I am happy to report I have a drawer full of me made undies using your pattern. Need to make a new batch and get rid of the first few I made - took me a few goes to get the hang of attaching the elastic. I keep good sized scraps of jersey when making dresses & tshirts. As far as I can remember I'm fairly sure I bought you a coffee and am surprised at how many didn't.

Knitlass said...

Good for you! I don't think I've downloaded your pattern, but I have made a mental note, and it is on my list of things to do, you know, when some spare time turns up!

And, double brownie points from me for doing everything from stash.

Jen said...

Omg these are adorable. I wish I has enough skill to even try this out!

Anonymous said...

seamster patterns offers the rose hip tights pattern. 😀 have heard good things about them.

Kate said...

Me too!

Kate said...

Me too!

Mother of Reinvention said...

Oh, I must live with my head in a bucket. I didn't know that you had a pants pattern. I was just thinking that I should try sewing some as I must be the only person on the net that hasn't sewn some. Will definitely give it a go soon. Xx

Hannah said...

Pants self sufficiency is a great goal! I've only just started sewing with knits so I don't have a lot in the way of experience or stash yet, but underwear is definitely on my to do list

Tasha said...

Good goal and congrats on getting to it! I couldn't go back to store bought undies, the fit is terrible compared to the ones I can make now. And I love that it's a great use of scraps too, if I make a knit top or something there's almost always enough left to make a pair of undies, which helps keep my drawer stocked up.

Linda said...

Congratulations on pants self-sufficiency! I love it when a goal comes to fruition! I haven't attempted to make undies, and didn't realise you have a free pattern to download. Off to download and buy you a cup of coffee - enjoy!

Louise Perry said...

Wow, pant self-sufficiency! Amazing. How is all the teaching going? Hope you are enjoying it.

senjivastudio.com said...

I still love your pants pattern! I've made a half dozen or so pair and they are still my best-fitting and most comfortable pairs. (and yes I bought you a cup) Now I want to make more. :)

Carolyn said...

I love these - so cheerful and colorful! :) I'm a huge fan of your pants pattern and have made many pairs. I wear them *almost* everyday, deviating only when I need a nude-colored RTW pair to wear under a white skirt or trousers. Thanks for such a useful pattern.

FlissFontaine said...

Ooh! I hadn't noticed the free pattern link. Have started using up large scraps of leftover wovens to make pants, and YAY for a pattern for knits! One step closer to pant self-sufficiency (and wearing matching outer and underwear, like a boss). Just downloaded this and the camisole pattern, and sent you a couple of coffees (or one mega coffee, with cream and sprinkles). Thank you!

Pippa Knight said...

Yay for pants self sufficiency. That is a goal I could do to live by, I've been using a modified pattern from the seamwork pants pattern but could do with other styles too. Need to download your pattern again and get round to modifying it to fit me
And find some decent elastic too...

JustSewJenna said...

Thank you for reminding me that I need to make more underwear! I love your pants pattern, and the vest too! x

Hazel_Myope said...

Just wondering, but what do you think of people sewing their own tights? I've seen a pattern making the rounds but I don't know how I feel comparing something knitted on a machine, making less waste but possibly exploiting third world labour, or cutting and making your own at home, which leaves scraps. Time to get out the knitting needles?

Your knickers look fickin' awesome, by the way. :-)

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