I loved the look of Rad patterns Panel Undies, but sewing my own underwear seemed daunting. However, I decided to bite the bullet as part of Phee Fabrics’ Pheenominal Panty Party. I found that not only can I make my own panties, but I can make the most AMAZING panties, and will never go back to store-bought underwear.
The Rad Panel Undies pattern includes so many options, including 3 panty options (hipster, mid-rise, and highrise), and 7 different options for the waist and leg bands (3 options for adding lingerie elastic, 2 options for adding fold-over elastic [FOE], and options for adding either binding or bands). You can also elect to have a crotch seam or not. So many options for 1 pattern!
After making myself a muslin from some scrap cotton lycra I had leftover from another project, I found the fit to be perfect, so I went ahead and used my fabulous Heathered Hot Pink Circular Knit from Phee Fabrics and paired it with some Black Powernet.
The first thing you will need to do is pick your options. I’m going to be showing you how to make the panties using fabric bands, as I don’t like elastic on my underwear. I also went with the mid-rise option, and elected to inlcude the seam at the crotch. This seam will be fully covered by the crotch lining.
Cut out all your pieces according to the pattern. You should have 1 back piece, 1 front piece, 2 side pieces, and 1 crotch lining. (If you elected to eliminate the crotch seam, you will have one front/back piece that is combined.)
Since I’m using bands, I also cut my waistband and leg bands according to the chart provided. I went with the length in the chart, however, I did make my waistband 2.5″ tall and my leg bands only 2″ tall based on how my muslin had fit. If you are using elastic, you can cut your pieces now as well.
Note! Make sure you are using the correct panty option when cutting your bands/binding/elastic! If you picked the mid-rise panty option, you need to use the measurements for the mid-rise panty.
Let’s get sewing! First place the front and back pieces right sides together at the crotch and serge or sew with a stretch stitch. (If you are making the seamless version, you will skip this step.) Once you have serged/stitched your seam, press it towards the back of the panties.
Tip! Be careful when pressing! Make sure your fabric will tolerate the amount of heat/steam you are using. Use a pressing cloth if needed.
Take your crotch lining piece and serge the front and back edges (or use a zig zag stitch or other finishing stitch).
Place your lining piece into the crotch of the panty, lining the raw side edges up the leg edges as shown, and then baste the lining piece into place.
Now take your 2 side pieces and place them right sides together with the FRONT of your panty and then serge/sew along the side seam.
Press the SA towards the front of the panty, being careful based on your type of fabric. Optional: Topstitch using a coverstitch machine, twin needle, or zig zag/other stretch stitch. I used a zig zag stitch in a contrasting color thread on mine to give it a little detail.
At this point in the pattern, it gives you the option to attach your leg elastic/bands before attaching the side panels to the back of the panty. This option is definitely easier if you are new to sewing, but it’s not the cleanest finish. I’m going to be attaching my bands “in the round,” so will not be using this method.
The next step is to attach the side panels to the back piece right sides together.
Press the SA towards the back of the panty and topstitch, if desired. Your panties are now almost done!
Time to attach the bands. This part can be challenging, but I’ve provided some tips and tricks that I’ve found to be super helpful. They do take more time, so you super experienced sewists probably don’t need to follow them, but if you are a new sewist, they might make your project go a little more smoothly.
I first press my bands in half the long way, wrong sides together, to create a memory fold.
Then open up the short ends and place them right sides together and serge/stitch to create a circle. You can then refold the ends, lining up the raw edges. The memory fold makes this much easier to do!
At this point, I serge the raw edges together so that my band becomes 1 layer to work with instead of 2. Just run the band through your serger without cutting off any fabric.
Tip! If you don’t have a serger, you can also use a zig-zag stitch on the raw edges.
Now, find the quarter points on your bands. We’ll also mark the quarter points on our waistband.
Match up the quarter points and clip/pin. Place the band seam at the back of the panty. Gently stretch the waistband between each point and add more clips/pins as needed to hold the waistband in place. At this point, you can serge/sew the waistband in place, making sure you are stretching the band to fit.
Tip! Before serging, I baste my bands in place. It’s an added step, but it’s much easier to take out a basting stitch than a stretch stitch or serged seam! Also, I don’t have to worry about removing clips/pins while at my serger. Just use a long straight stitch and baste the band to the panty within the SA.
Repeat these steps to attach each leg band. Make sure you place the band seam at the back side seam (where the panel and back meet). Also, while stitching in place, make sure you are fully catching the crotch lining.
Press the SA for all bands towards the panty/away from the bands and topstitch if desired.
And that’s it! You’re done! Try on your new pair of panties and enjoy!