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.
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%.
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!
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!)
If you know of other stops for lingerie laces, especially outside the U.S., let us know in the comments. 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.