So Zo undies with lace waistband

So Zo undies with lace - finished

My adventures in sewing lingerie continue!  I haven’t yet taken the plunge into bra-making like much of the online sewing community, but I’ve sewn plenty of handmade undies and swear by them.  The latest addition to my lingerie drawer is a somewhat fancier pair of So Zo undies, my go-to pattern for comfortable, well-fitting, and flattering (seriously!) underwear.  The pattern is free and easy to use – check it out if you haven’t already!

So far I’ve only used cotton jersey and fold-over elastic (FOE) for my handmade undies, which is a great combo for everyday wear, but let’s face it, not all that exciting.  This time, I wanted to try a somewhat elevated version with different materials, both to inject a little excitement into my handmade lingerie wardrobe and also to learn how to sew with new-to-me elastics and trims.

I’m pretty pleased with the results.  🙂

So Zo undies with lace - exterior

For my first experiment (and yes, there will definitely be more!), I used a rayon/spandex jersey, 2-inch stretch lace, and picot-edge elastic, all purchased in person at Fabric Place Basement.  I used a leftover piece of hot pink cotton jersey for the crotch, leftover from a winter Renfrew-sewing marathon.  The rayon/spandex knit was a dream to sew with!  It’s my ideal fabric for lingerie, I think.  It’s cool to the touch and has a smoother hand than poly/spandex blends, and the drape is beautiful.  It can be hard to find (in person, anyway), so keep your eyes peeled for it.
So Zo undies with lace - interior

I had to make a few modifications to the pattern to incorporate the lace and picot-edge elastic:

  • Since the lace was 2 inches wide, I cut off the top 1.5 inches from the pattern pieces along the waist, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance to work with.
  • The pattern doesn’t have seam allowances along the leg openings (you don’t need any when using FOE), so I added 1/2 inch SAs around each leg to incorporate the picot-edge elastic.

So Zo undies with lace - seam attaching the lace

I cut a strip of lace to the exact measurement of the waistband, with no stretching, and sewed the short ends together to form a loop.  To attach the lace to the fabric, I overlapped them by 1/2 inch (the SA I left along the waistband) and topstitched the lace in place using a 3-step zig-zag.  As an afterthought, I also ran a line of regular zig-zagging along the very bottom edge of the lace, following the scallops, to secure them nicely.  Then I trimmed off the excess jersey from the wrong side.  I think you really only need 1 line of stitching here – lesson learned for next time.
So Zo undies with lace - exterior seam detail

The incorporation of the lace worked out pretty nicely, I think!  The lace join is slightly offset from the side seam on purpose (well, kind of) – I realized too late that I had pressed both seam allowances toward the back, so I offset the seams a bit to avoid having too many layers on top of each other.  Another lesson learned.  Are you sensing a theme here?  This was a bit of an experiment.  🙂
So Zo undies with lace - picot elastic detailTo attach the picot-edge elastic, I used this method that was recently posted on the Colette blog.  Perfect timing!  Essentially, you zig-zag the elastic to the edge of the jersey (right sides together), flip the elastic to the wrong side, and topstitch it in place using a 3-step zig-zag.  The stitch length I used was too long (another lesson learned…); it should have been much shorter, closer to 1mm as Colette recommends.

The reason I say my stitch length was too long is because these undies are *just* a bit too tight on me, oops!  They do fit, but they’re nearly stretched to their limits when worn.  The lace, elastic, and jersey all have a good amount of stretch, but I think I need to experiment with my machine’s stretch stitches to find the best combination for these fabrics.  I can feel the stitching lines restricting the stretch a bit as I handle the undies.  This is interesting because my cotton jersey pairs all fit great, with plenty of stretch.  Different materials make a huge difference!

Despite the minor fit issue, I’m really excited about this little project.  🙂 The undies look great and are a bit more feminine than my usual style.  I have lots more lace and rayon/spandex knit, so I hope to continue experimenting.  Thanks to Zoe for such a versatile free pattern!

Has your lingerie sewing veered into sexy territory yet?  🙂

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14 thoughts on “So Zo undies with lace waistband

    • Thanks Sonja! I’ve just dipped my toes into the lingering sewing world, and there is so much more to learn. One day I will sew a bra… one day. 🙂

  1. These are my best ever fitting undies – the only onrs ive ever tried. You have totally transformed them. Love it. Your next pair will fit better. Now I need to go and find some nice lace and elastic 😊

    • Thanks Maeve! Isn’t this pattern awesome?? It’s the only one I’ve tried as well, and I’m finding it difficult to come up with a reason to try another pattern. The fit is great, and you can use it as a base for different styles. Hope you try adding some lace to yours. It’s fun! 🙂

  2. Oh I love the hot pink gusset! That is such a perfect example of why we sew! I still haven’t got round to sewing underwear – I am possibly the only blogger in the world now who hasn’t…

    Louise

    • Thanks Louise! I feel like the only blogger who hasn’t sewn a bra. 🙂 I have lots of black fabric remaining and a heap of colorful cotton jersey scraps – perfect for colorful crotch gussets, LOL!

  3. They turned out SO nicely! My homemade underwear always looks a bit crazy until I’m wearing them and the elastic is stretched out by my body. Your’s look RTW! (Since it’s Lingerie month, will you upload them to the Sewcialist Flickr group so I can put them in the roundup?)

    • Thanks so much Gillian! I agree – I didn’t stretch the elastic or lace when sewing this pair, and it makes the flat garment look nicer. Then again, who cares! It’s all about comfort during wear. 🙂 Sure, I’ll upload the photos to the Flickr group. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks Sally! The So Zo pattern is such a great base. Even better, it’s free. 🙂 I find the fit to be spot on and flattering while still being comfortable and providing enough coverage.

    • Thanks Claire! I definitely want to experiment with more lace. One of my local fabric stores carries a decent variety of stretch lace – lots of widths and lace patterns. I just need to borrow a car for the day to get over there. 🙂

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