Don’t laugh, comfortable underwear is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s not that difficult to find pretty underthings and with some effort also comfortable items, but not usually both at the same time, or at least not to my taste. Personally I like to wear minishorts and strings, depending on the occasion, so I decided to make these myself.
must be washable at 40° C without degradation
must be composed of natural fibres mainly
must allow efficient production process
must be comfortable to wear
I picked the most comfortable pieces of underwear I already owned and my mom – who is a professional pattern maker – made a paper pattern based on those. We had some Shinto elastic bands that we bought in Paris a while ago and used leftover pieces of fabric with a slight stretch (95% organic cotton and 5% elastane).
We made two prototypes: one string and one minishort. Then followed a period of testing, adjusting the design, testing again, checking the quality of the fabric by washing it repeatedly, etc. We had enormous fun figuring out the best finishing: what width of elastic to use, how to get the best fit around the body’s shape, how to make it easy to sew, ..
After a year or so we had perfected both the design and the production processes and now we have production sessions every year or so: not only for myself, but also other women in our circle. We’ve also added different embellishments, like stamped designs (including a deliciously ironic space invader) or 5 thread seams with five different colors of thread. We’re now considering to sell the mini-shorts and strings on my mom’s webshop.
This is where it gets a little complicated. We use a normal sewing machine to temporarily fix the elastic to the waist, but also a 5 thread coverstitch machine to do the seams and hems. The coverstitch looks nice, keeps the fabric from fraying and most importantly: it makes an elastic seam.
Improvements for next version
- different stamps? It’s difficult to find stuff that has no double meaning.. A large text is fun, but more difficult to realize with stamps.
Design & testing: Febe
Design, pattern & production: Kristien
Flower stamp design & crafting: Freija