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Sewing Lingerie – further pantie styles

Sewing lingerie

This article is the last of three guides on how to draft patterns for lingerie and sewing lingerie by Nicola Chadwick – a former senior fashion lecturer, now retired, Her business is aimed at providing designers, adventurous dressmakers and pattern cutters with the tools they need to create their own patterns from their own designs. You can find out lots more at

Nicola also has a website Wabi-Sabi Studio – where you can create 7 dolls with their own wardrobes.

 Here comes the fun part of this three-part series dedicated to making your own lingerie. We finally get to develop a range of styles from the basic panties block we developed in part one. We also know these styles will fit us perfectly as we refined the fit of our ‘toile’ in part two.

One of my favorite panties styles is ‘Le Bresilien’ – it’s a very pretty style and you can make it even prettier if you select contrast fabrics and add a bow to the centre front. The style is high at the side and has a deep V shape at the centre front. The back has good bottom coverage too.


Developing Le Bresilien Style From Our Basic Panties Shape

Take your basic panties shape and make a copy of the front and back and gusset piece on a plain piece of pattern cutting paper – lets work on the front first.

Pattern for Le Bresilein pants

1. At the front side seam measure down 5cm (2 inches).

2. From this point curve a line back to the gusset line – this shaping is very much up to you; it’s referred to as a ‘style line’ in pattern cutting. You are designing your own individual panties style and you can create a line that looks pleasing to you. You will want to come closer to the original panties as you get to the gusset area for modesty!

3. Now drop the centre front line by as much as you dare! I am dropping mine by 10cm, you can choose to increase or decrease this. Again, gently curve a style line from the side seam along the waist to the centre front.


 The back

Measure down 5cm at the side seam to match the front. Shape the back as illustrated, keeping the curved shaping for the buttocks.


The gusset

The gusset piece can stay the same.

There are now several options for more style lines for the front panties – let’s look at a few.

Gusset styles for pants
Make your own panties
Techniques for lingerie construction

Once you are happy with your new style or styles of knickers, trace off each piece from your main plan. Add seam allowance where you need it. Don’t forget that if you are binding an edge then you don’t need to add seam allowance. Seam allowance needs to be added to the seams you will be sewing back together.

Sewing techniques for making underwear

If you need some help with the seam allowance and the sewing of these styles you will find plenty of information in parts one and two. Take a look at this video on making panties, it covers the basic techniques.

You really don’t need to do very much at all to create beautiful styles from your basic panties shape, simply lowering the waistline, adding some style lines and using contrasting fabrics and matching trims is all that’s required.

Making adjustments for lingerie patterns

For this style simply lower the waist level as much as you want to. You will need to nip the side seams in a little to make them tighter so that they cling to your body. Applying fold over elastic at the waist will help greatly with the fit – see my video on measuring and applying FOE.


Creating a basic slip style

Sew slip style knickers

Work on the front first

1. Drop the waist at the side seam by at least 5cm. Place another mark 6cm down. Of course if you want to change these quantities then feel free! Nip the waist in a little if you want a snugger fit.

2. Gently re-draw the leg and waist shaping

3. Place any style lines you want to add.

Back panties

Repeat the steps for the front panties as illustrated, use the same quantities at the side seams so they match perfectly.

 Gusset piece

Leave this the same.

I could go on and on forever developing different styles from this basic shape. If you head over to my blog page you will find lots more information. If you have any questions, then I am always happy to help.

I would love to see any style you develop from your basic block shape. If you would like to post your photos on Instagram using #modelistecreativebasicblocks so we can all see your fantastic creations.

I hope you have enjoyed all or part of this series.