It has recently become pretty obvious that I could use some serious batch making of undies. That got me thinking a lot about the process, which really is so simple. I also thought a lot about the pattern and design, both in sewing and in retail. I looked long and hard at what was available on line and in the store, including my own undie supply of purchased pants. I refuse to use the "P" word, just don't like it.
My deep thought brought forth two questions.
"Why does the front of the crotch gusset end in the middle of the crotch directly under my lady bits and not further up where, frankly, I think it belongs?"
"Why does the front edge of the crotch gusset stay open? Is it to grab profit margin at the manufacturing level? Does something get stuffed in there I never learned about? (Stop laughing.) Really. "
I went where all sewists seeking knowledge go --- to the Worldwide Masses of Sewists on Pattern Review. It abounds with opinions, multiple levels of experience and always a lot of interest. My visit was well rewarded. What ensued is now up to 14 pages of incredible information regarding making our own underpants, PRICELESS INFORMATION. I highly suggest a visit there and you can see it all here. In the meantime, so much is helpful that I thought it would be nice to sort it all out and organize the info on this blogpost along with some linkable recommendations.
Links to actual recommended patterns for underpants:
These are in order as they appeared in the PR thread or given to me later.
Great Teaching Videos
Sewing Lingerie Elastics with Liz Sews, I learned a lot on this one.
-Measuring the gusset and other brilliant measuring lessons are found in this link.
-Merino Wool makes a great gusset.
-Black or red cotton knit recommended for gussets of those concerned about staining as in blood.
-It's OK to keep the leg elastic flat on flat parts of your anatomy. No need to stretch.
-It's Ok to put side seams on the outside if they bother your tender skin. I will.
-Sergers make lumpy seams and many prefer a narrow zigzag on the machine instead.
-It's OK to machine sew the gusset and then grade the seam allowance, much less bulk than serging.
-The Underpinnings Museum is a great place for ideas and you will be there a long time.
- The Liz Sews undies are really exquisite bits of lingerie. Make sure you visit her site listed above under teaching video links.
Please read Pattern Review for a great discussion on elastics, fabric advice, patterns, stitching choices and pages of so much more. It's fascinating with wonderful contributions from so many. I hope you've enjoyed some of these links and the conversation that preceded this post. It was a bit of work to put it together but it helps me as well as you so we all benefit. I will add more links and tidbits as they appear. Thank you to all on PR who so kindly and generously answered my question and shared their opinions. Now, why do you think the gusset is only sewn on one end and is so short?