Lingerie Friday: Ladyshorts

Mmm, it’s technically Saturday here but who’s keeping track? This week I was working mad late-night hours on a special treat for you. It was a little ambitious and I got reallly far, but at some point (i.e., very late last night) I had to take a break before carpal-mouse-tunnel or brain-fry-tunnel took over. Read on…

My passion of the week is boyshorts–and butts. I can say that with totally comic ironic distance. I’m so analytical I forget how funny I sound, and when I stepped back for a second, I realized I’d been staring at butts a lot over the last week, or at least mannequin butts in underwear. Did I ever think for a minute I’d be writing about these things in public? Noooo. But even funnier:

Booty mannequins! I’m trying to find some fun ways to shoot lingerie, and I squealed when I found these last week at a local store fixture warehouse near my neighborhood. The guys running this hoot of a place are sweet old-timer Austinites with old-timey Texan accents. They were eager to sell me just about every mannequin in the joint to move their inventory. I was quite happy, having found a cheap torso in good shape, when they encouraged me to go upstairs and have a peak at another massively dusty floor of fixtures. Squirreled away on a shelf were these satin-covered lingerie forms for $5 a pop. I gave them a good clean and I’m probably going to re-cover them at some point. Another project!

And they’re wearing my new pattern. A few weeks back, the lovely Heather Lou suggested I make a pattern inspired by my favorite lacy boyshorts. So I took on the challenge; I wanted to figure out the “secret” that made them fit so well.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with boyshorts. So many of them fit me terribly.

I remember when they were first becoming popular, sometime in the mid-90s or so. Overnight, boyshorts practically colonized Victoria’s Secret, packed with pairs in every collegiate color. They were everything their previous counterparts weren’t–boyish, high-cut and athletic-looking. And unlike their sisters, they didn’t have any elastic in the legs–at most a lightweight stretch lace holding them to the body–which is genius for comfort and eliminating that thing that everybody got obsessed with eliminating after the 80s: VPL. (Of course, now VPL the brand celebrates that very thing. Ironic distance in design!)

The boyshort has certainly grown up in the last couple of decades, the cuts gone up and down, and even at times crossed genes with the thong. Boythongs–now who invented that name?

{clockwise: Mary Green silk knit, Hanky Panky Signature, Forever 21, Simone Perele, Huit Icone and Huit ‘Lucky Doll’}

There’s a style for just about any body if you like them, but they usually hold in common the seaming at the center front and back. Here’s the “secret” to my favorite pair, or at least part of it: they are cut a little like a boyshort in the back and a little like a brief in the front. They curve right along the hip, not falling low like hot pants or creeping up over the day like some boyshorts. (You know of what I speak?) I love having a drawer full of laceys like this because they cross that wonderful line between ornamental and everyday comfort.

The pattern for these is almost finished. I’ve been working a little crazy on it the last couple of weeks, making samples in different fabrics and grading it into eight sizes. I ambitiously thought it’d be done by yesterday but since it’s my first, I needed to make templates for everything so I could make the process easier the next time. I’m calling them the “Rosy Ladyshorts”. Ladyshorts, because that’s what I think they’ve grown up to be. So stay tuned, it won’t be long and I’ll be sure to post with a little how-to and some fabric tips along with the pattern!

Have a great rest of the weekend!

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    • Amy says:

      They had some pretty cool shelves and big display cases, too. Want a swinging comic book rack? They got it. It’s kind of cool.

  1. Sallie says:

    So very exciting!! I know EXACTLY what you mean about the boyshorts that creep up throughout the day – I have a good number of pairs shoved in the back of my underwear drawer! Your pattern looks perfect – and oh so sexy on those dismembered booties…

  2. Heather Lou says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYY!!!! Did you hear me clapping and cheering from Texas? My co-workers are shooting me dirty look.s… but screw ’em! Boy shorts! YES! Your timing is amazing. My knickers are so dire I went and bought a tri-pack of my stand-bys, Hanes Her Way boy shorts, this time in a microfiber (apparently microfibers are even more breathable than cotton, a theory I cannot conclusively weigh in on yet). Anyway, the fabric is gnarly and I was feeling defeated that I was buying instead of making, because there are NO good patterns in my preferred boy shorts style. But you minx! You just made my week! Can’t wait to get my mitts on some of your pattern magic! THANK YOU! (Sewalong?)

    • Amy says:

      You inspired me! On the microfiber front, there are some really great textiles that do breathe/wick better, at least for athletic/gym wear, than cotton… at least in my experience. I’ll be sure to post some fabric ideas.

  3. Lingerie Fridays is such a great series, Amy! And I love your new models. I’ve been wanting to make some comfy undies lately, and I definitely want to try your pattern. I would definitely do a sewalong, as Heather Lou suggests!:)

    Also, a tangent, I’m going to be in Austin this Friday and Saturday (19th & 20th) for a conference. I sent you a message, but am not sure it got to you. Anyway, if you’re up for a quick meetup, I’d love to get together for a coffee or something!

  4. Stephanie says:

    These are awesome! You amaze me as always. Who would think I’d have fun reading about boyshorts, but I like how you notice details that make a difference. Love the big rose pattern on them as well, kind of makes them unique, I feel a tiny pattern is usually on these kinds of items.

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