How to Sew Panties and a Camisole

Today the focus will be on our little ladies underwear!  We’ll show you how to sew panties and a camisole with the Classic Panties and Camisole Pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

The Classic Panties are super fast and fun!  However, if you have a directional fabric, then you’ll need a simple modification to make sure that the print on the back isn’t upside down!

Again, we won’t go over every step in this tutorial. For that, follow the step-by-step instructions in the sewing pattern. However, we will go over some of the trickier parts.

How to Sew Panties and a Camisole

Get Your Sewing Pattern Started: Start by grabbing your pattern pieces.

Panties1Sized

Lay the lining piece on top of the main piece.  Mark where the lining hits on the back part of the main pattern piece.  Cut your main pattern piece along that line.  You will need to add seam allowances to both sides, so I like to make that note on my pattern pieces to remind me when I’m cutting my fabric.  You can also trace the pieces onto freezer paper and add the seam allowance to create a full new pattern piece.

When you lay your pattern pieces on your fabric, make sure that they are oriented in the same direction so that your print will be right side up for the front and back of the undies!

I also needed to add an extra 1/2″ seam allowance to the back of the lining piece (the back part is the side that is closest to the “cut on fold” marking on the lining pattern piece).

With right sides together, lay the back on top of the front piece and sew along the new cut line.  Now you will have one main piece.

When I  make panties with directional fabric, I always add a lining to the undies.  This ensures that the new seam allowance won’t rub or be uncomfortable.  I matched the back lining edge with the new seam I created when sewing the front and back together.  

The right side of the lining needs to be against the wrong side of the main fabric.  Sew the back of the lining to that seam allowance.  Flip the lining down so it lays at the bottom of the underwear and topstitch in place according to the pattern.  Now the seam allowance from the previous step will be enclosed.  You can continue sewing up the sides and adding the bands as the pattern instructs.

Sewing a Camisole

Let’s take a quick look at the camisole.

how to sew panties

You can see that I added a design to the front to jazz it up a bit!  If you’re adding heat transfer vinyl (HTV), embroidery or fabric paint, I suggest doing this before constructing the whole camisole.  That way, if you goof, your camisole won’t be completely ruined!

When constructing the camisole, I highly recommend the Wash Away Wonder Tape.  The binding and bands are small and hard to pin.  I used Wonder Tape along the front and back bindings and especially when sewing the armbands.  Follow the pattern directions to attach the binding/bands to the wrong side of the camisole.  Then apply the wash away the tape to the seam allowance and around the circumference of the armband.  Refold the armband along the lines you ironed and the tape will be in the middle.  Now you can topstitch without a lot of awkward pins and clips!

Modification to Turn the Girl’s Panties or Boxer Briefs Into Trainers

I’m going to cover a simple modification to turn boxer briefs, briefs, and panties into training undies for your toddlers.  I’m sure there are a million ways to accomplish this, but I’ll share what worked for me!

Just as a reminder, I already did a tutorial on Sewing Briefs and Boxer Briefs if you need a refresher.

Both of my kids are out of trainers, so these pictures will show what I had on hand.  Ideally, you want a waterproof outer layer (such as PUL) and a thin absorbent inner layer (such as hemp, bamboo, or an old cloth diaper or diaper liner).  I searched around and ended up getting hemp by the yard for my son.  It was very thin and super absorbent but not very stretchy.  When the time came to make them for my daughter, I found Zorb, which is also the super thin and super absorbent fabric that has a bit more stretch.  I found my supplies from www.wazoodle.com, but feel free to shop around and find which will work best for your child and your budget.

The concept is the same for both girls and boys and whether doing boxer briefs, briefs, or panties – you want an extra layer to absorb wetness.  Please note: these are not meant to be diapers and will not contain a full bladder’s worth of wetness!  This modification will only add an extra layer or two to help get them to the potty in time!

So whether you are making boxer briefs, briefs, or panties, you’ll take the main pieces and cut those out in the outer fabric and in the lining fabric.  For boys, you can line just the front piece/panel or the entire front and back.  Note that the fly on these would be a faux fly.

If you use boxer briefs and want to line the entire front and back pieces, the technique will be slightly modified.

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Take the back panel piece and trace it onto freezer paper so that you have the full back piece (and not just the half that is cut on the fold).  Tape that piece onto the front panel subtracting the seam allowance.  You will end up with one solid lining piece that will fit into the boxer briefs and will not have a seam.  Use this new pattern piece to cut out your lining from the absorbent fabric.  Your waterproof outer layer of fabric will use the original pattern pieces.

For girls, you can either just add extra protection under the panty liner or you can line the entire panty.  You will cut an outer waterproof layer and a lining layer.

Once you cut the outer and lining, lay the wrong sides together and baste along the edges. Depending on how many layers of lining fabric you use, the undies may be a tad thicker.  If this is the case, suggest using the enclosed seam method for the leg bands.  When I made the training undies for my daughter, they were too thick (I probably added too many lining layers).  My serger didn’t like all of the layers when I added the bands.  Hindsight being 20/20, I think enclosed seams would have worked better!

Also, since these will be thicker when finished, you may want to size up or adjust your seam allowances.  You’ll have to play around with both of these and see which provides the best fit based on how many layers of lining and the stretch of the outer fabric.  PUL will not be as stretchy as cotton lycra!

If you need further help sewing the Classic Panties and Camisole or want to share what you make come visit the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Facebook Group.

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