Rosy Ladyshorts: Materials

Alrighty! Today I want to write a bit about different materials you can use for the Rosy Ladyshorts pattern. It took me awhile to finish this post, with surgeries and birthdays and whatnot going on. But first I want to thannnk you for your enthusiasm about the pattern! It really reminded me that I love designing things. I love sewing!

Onto the materials… Friends are often asking me where I find my fabrics. For lingerie fabrics in particular I like to hunt! So I’ll also include some possible online sources.

Main Fabric

For the main fabric of the Ladyshorts, the possibilities are wide open. I designed them around stretch lace, but I know it might not be everyone’s choice and some of us prefer natural fibers. Any kind of lightweight jersey would be beautiful! I made these pairs out of a stretch mesh and a rayon/lycra jersey.

Jerseys are easier to find so I won’t focus on those so much. Stretch lace for lingerie is usually a nylon fabric and may have some spandex/lycra in it. Look for something soft and lightweight, that stretches at least 60%.

White stretch lace fabric (which I’ve already cut for another pair) from Sew Sassy, turquoise galloon stretch lace from Merckwaerdigh.

Most of the time galloon lace trims like my turquoise lace are too narrow to cut an entire underwear pattern. It just so happens that this one is extra wide and enough to fit my pattern. Galloon laces often have a strong design pattern with scallops on both edges, so they’re a bit harder to work around. A wide stretch lace fabric, with a consistent design repeat like the white lace, is usually easier to work with. I’ve since dyed the white lace because I had some extra yardage and really want to play with dyeing!

Trim

For the legs and waist you need an elastic lace trim. Sometimes called elastic lace or stretch lace trim, it’s basically a narrow lace trim that stretches like elastic. There are a lot of folks making baby headbands out of this stuff on Etsy. Who knew baby headbands were such a booming business?

This is really fun to use in underwear in place of regular lingerie elastic. You can try other widths than 1″ but keep in mind that the trim goes around the leg and so the wider it is the wider the crotch will get. I found that 3/4 to 1″ were just right. Look for a trim that has a fairly straight edge or small scallops.

For the liner, I usually just use whatever light jersey I happen to have, sometimes cotton, sometimes rayon. No one’s going to notice what color it is… but if you plan to make several pairs of undies, a light cotton jersey in nude is always a good thing to have around.

Sources and ideas…

Sources for stretch lace fabric: Sew Sassy, Spandex World, Spandex House. Some of the European lingerie-supply-sellers like Merckwaerdigh and Elingeria may have some stretch lace fabric although they usually carry the galloon types. Harts Fabric sometimes sells soft stretch lace fabric.

For some ideas to get you started, these would all make cool Ladyshorts:



(click on the photos for more info)

For lace trim: Most of the same places I listed for fabric carry it. Sometimes you can find it in the trims section of a fabric store. Mine are mostly from Sew Sassy, but I’ve also found some nice trims on Etsy. I like to narrow down the search by adding “lingerie” to it so I’m finding something soft enough. (On Etsy, sometimes you’ll get “vintage lace” which isn’t always a good thing when elastic is involved!)

And I’m making a new pair with my dyed fabric over the weekend so you can have a picture tutorial soon! But in the meantime, please feel free to shoot me any questions about fabrics.

More ideas for materials are on my resource page: Where to Shop: Lingerie and Bra Making.

19 comments

  1. maddie says:

    Great post with a lot of resources. Other than my trip to NYC, my main source for trims have been Etsy. I hadn’t heard of Sew Sassy until you mentioned her. I’ll have to check her out!
    In addition to your resources – I suggest Pacific Trimming (in NYC). They have GREAT stretch ribbon, including velvet!

  2. Thea says:

    I just noticed that Elingeria seems to have closed as of May, so I wanted to share this knowledge. I liked their easy navigation, and the fact I didn’t need to speak dutch to order lace…*sigh*

  3. Kalli says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this pattern but I was wondering where you get the light cotton jersey in nude for the lining since I checked out all the websites you suggested and they only sell white?

    • Amy says:

      Hi Kelli, I can’t remember where I originally got my nude knit fabric. Maybe spandexworld.com? Cotton knits, especially lightweight ones, are hard to find in solid colors. You can also use scraps of rayon jersey if you have that. It makes a perfectly good lining.

      • Look for stretch fabric for making dolls. I’ve seen it in several flesh colors.

        Search for “100% Cotton Knit Waldorf Doll Skin Fabric – One Yard Blush” on Amazon.com.

        Google Cotton knit for dolls (or Waldorf dolls). It’s everywhere!!!

      • Amy says:

        I replied here with a different comment but I didn’t see that you were commenting on lining fabric possibilities. Oops. Sounds like this fabric is cotton interlock, which is definitely very easy to find.

  4. Ros says:

    I mostly find lace elastic in bundles on ebay for not much money. Stretch lace fabric is harder to come by in the UK, in my experience.

    • Amy says:

      Hi Ros, you may want to try bramaker.co.uk – lots of allover stretch lace fabrics and they also sell goody bags with surprise mixes for a good deal. I have to order mine online, too. It’s not in local shops much, but that is the case with almost all lingerie-specific fabrics.

  5. Ros says:

    Oh, and for plain cotton jersey, I buy it at Birmingham rag market where it’s usually £2/m in a wide variety of colours.

  6. marietjie says:

    thanks so much for this free pattern and tutorial. I made 6 panties in lace, lycra and t-shirt material and all fit perfectly!

  7. Unn says:

    I made my first pair last weekend. I say last since I’m planning to replace all my underwear with Rosy Ladyshorts as soon as I can. It is by far the most comfortable set of knickers I own to date, even with its flaws due to my sewing skills. Thank you for an awesome pattern. Can’t wait to try Watson out.

  8. Gabrielle says:

    I’ve been making my own panties–both thongs and low-rise bikinis–and have been quite happy finishing the edges with picot elastic. I got some stretch lace from Sew Sassy and have been having such a hard time figuring out the stretch issues. My zig-zag stitches pop. I’m sewing it onto two different kinds of silk knit–one is quite stretchy and the other more stable (with fewer popped stitches.) I’m about to try stretching my knit and making the stretch lace ruffle a bit, but I’d really prefer to have it flat and in sync with my knit. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

    • amychapman says:

      Hi Gabrielle,

      You may want to experiment with different zig-zag widths and lengths. Perhaps try a zig-zag that is a little bit wider but shorter in length than the one you’ve been using. I typically zig-zag around 3.2 width and 2.0 length for both elastic and stretch lace trim, and that never pops… unless of course I pull too hard when putting something on.

      Another reason for popping might have to do with tension. If the bobbin or the needle thread is too tight it could pop. To test tension issues I sew onto a piece of paper to see if one of the threads is getting pulled to the other side.

      I hope that helps!

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