Customizing the Mama Vicki

Years ago, I joined a healthy living/weight loss challenge at work. The organizer knew me personally and was short on team leaders so she asked me if I would lead a group.

{I have a hard time saying “no.”}

Within one minute of meeting with my team, one of the ladies asked me what my qualifications were to lead the group.

Once I recovered from being put on the spot, I confessed… None. I had zero qualifications. She was greatly displeased…

So, here we are today to discuss making underwear and I confess to you – I have precious little “expertise” in making undergarments! But I can sew and this is truly a super simple make. Two pattern pieces… a bit of elastic and lace… and voila! You have a pretty perfect pair of underwear!

{This is me… wearer of underwear, but neither expert maker nor model of underwear. You get flatlays today. Haha!}

I was part of the testing group for the Made for Mermaids Mama Vicki pattern and had a great time trying out different ways to customize the pattern. While they are all hipster-style briefs, it offers high-, mid-, and low-rise options. I’m going to show you a few different ways to dress them up, using the low-rise style.

The pattern directions are incredibly simple to follow so I won’t be sharing a step-by-step for making the garment itself.

Lace

For these two versions, I used Phee Fabrics’ rayon spandex. Rayon spandex is the softest, silkiest, dreamiest knit fabric I’ve ever worked with. It makes an amazing pair of underwear!

I was inspired by my favorite style from Soma Intimates and decided to add a pretty lace detail to the front.

There is no right or wrong placement of the lace detail, but you want to make sure the sides mirror one another. I measured in 3.5″ from the top edge and 3″ from the leg edge to ensure identical placement.

I attached the lace with a small zigzag stitch and trimmed the top and bottom to match the curves of the garment.

The pattern instructions direct you to add the trims – be it picot, lace, or standard elastic – and “join” them in the side seams. Here’s how that process looks:

Stretch the lace to fit the length of the entire leg opening!

Then, sew up one side of the brief. Repeat the process with the waistband elastic. Sew up the second side of the brief.

And here’s why I don’t like this method…

It’s tough to match up the fabric and trim. However, if you look at any of your RTW undies, you’ll see the same method used.

I prefer to join in the round – meaning sew a circle from your trim or elastic and attach once the brief is already assembled. It’s a little more work, but it makes for a much cleaner look. That’s what I’ve done with this pair.

I’ll demonstrate joining in the round with my next pair.

Once you’ve attached your lace, you’ll want to trim your fabric to match the curve of the lace.

I love these!!

Fold-over Elastic

Fold-over elastic (FOE) is a great way to finish the edge of an undergarment. It’s very easy to work with! Just fold over and sew with a zig-zag stitch.

I really “went fancy” with this make and added some wide lace to the sides. To do so, I basted the edges of my briefs together.

I then attached the lace by lining up the center of the lace with the side seam and sewed the edges with a zig-zag stitch.

I trimmed the lace to match the curve of my brief and then cut out the fabric behind the lace.

I prepped my trim for joining in the round by sewing the seam allowance of my FOE to create a circle… Matched the quarter points of my brief with the quarter points of my FOE…

Then attached with a zig-zag stitch.

So simple! And such a clean look all around.

Mixing Fabrics

I consider this fabric match both a win and a fail.

I swore I’d use every scrap of my beloved oatmeal rayon spandex from Phee and I had just enough left for a front panty panel. I paired it with Phee’s camo powernet and did a simple black picot elastic trim.

The pair didn’t photograph very well, but I decided to share anyway! They aren’t as wonky as they appear here.

Why a win? Talk about lift, ladies! Powernet is as awesome for lifting the backside as it is the girls…

Why a fail? Size up when using powernet. This experiment resulted in a VERY cheeky pair of briefs, which I will totally wear, but will definitely be sizing up for my next pair!

I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned in prepping for this panty party is that it’s okay to experiment with different design ideas when you have a winning pattern. And panties are the ULTIMATE use for leftover scrap fabric. When I think about how much I’ve spent on underwear in the past, it’s exciting to know I have the ability to make a better fitting garment with supplies I already have on hand.

Now, I just need a bigger underwear drawer…

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