achievement unlocked: underpants


i’m hoping that the angle on this photo is distorted enough that it’s not in any way a cheesecake photo. but look! you can see my ramona quimby tattoo. that i totally got when i was 19, well before i had any idea that i would someday have a daughter named ramona.

i was reading “threads” magazine a few days ago & there was an article on making foam inserts for handmade bras. & i started thinking about how i have always been kind of jealous of girls that get to buy cute bra-&-panty sets because those things don’t generally come in my bra size. i guess i could probably get coordinating underpants for a victoria’s secret bra or something, but that stuff isn’t cute. any matching sets in my size usually cost approximately a bazillion dollars.

so, reading this article, i was suddenly like, “wait! i know how to sew now! i could MAKE that stuff for myself!” i started wondering how difficult it would be, given that i had not yet sewn with any stretchy fabrics or lacy trims or anything. i had some stretch lace in my stash for another project that i hadn’t yet gotten around to (because i was scared of the stretchy fabrics), & i had just purchased some jersey in order to tackle mccall’s 6754 (which i’m thinking of as kind of a big 4 version of the colette moneta or the lady skater dress–any of those knit circle skirt dress patterns, but more interesting because i’m doing the bias-cut princess seam version). i realized halfway through cutting the fabric for the dress that i didn’t have enough fabric because i always have to lengthen the front bodice on everything i sew so much, so i went ahead & cut out some underpants using the free pattern available from

my measurements put me exactly mid-way between a size 12 & a size 14, so i graded between the two to customize my fit. i adjusted the measurements for the lace trim as well. i cut everything out & serged it together. i used a pretty wide zigzag stitch in coordinating blue thread to attach the trim. & done! from start to finish, including tiling the pattern & cutting the fabric, it probably took about two hours. it would have gone faster except that i’d never tiled a pattern before (the only other PDF i ever used was a paper-piecing pattern with only a few small bits that had to be taped together) so there was a bit of a learning curve there & the jersey i used curls back on itself like whoa, so pinning the lace in place was a lot of work.

but they came out great! a perfect fit, super-comfy, & pretty cute. some people complained that the pattern did not provide enough butt coverage but i think it’s fine. every butt is different though, i guess. i’d definitely make these again. now i want to buy all kinds of novelty jersey (the pattern calls for stretch lace but i don’t like lace underpants–too much information?) & dye a bunch of stretch lace & have an underpants-making party.

& we did take a family expedition out to hancock so i could get enough jersey to finish my dress. i’m super-worried that it’s not going to be wearable when it’s done because the jersey clings to itself so much. i’m not sure if that’s something that can be fixed with a dryer sheet or something, or if i just made a poor fabric decision. i felt insecure enough that i bought a few yards of much heavier black & red striped knit fabric. honestly, the pattern i’m using would look gorgeous in the striped knit, because of the bias panels. but the black & red would make it look like a radical cheerleader uniform. i mean, i used to be a radical cheerleader, but…i’m not one anymore. & i pretty much don’t wear red. i don’t know what i was thinking, especially since there was identical blue & black striped fabric. too late now.

i told jared that i used to exclusively dress in red & black in order to communicate to everyone that i am an anarchist, & then i was like, “god, that’s so dumb. i can’t believe i admitted that.” he said, “yeah, it is kind of taking a sports fan-like approach to your political belief system. but i can’t judge. i used to paint an R on my chest everyday just in case a bunch of people needed to spell out ‘ANARCHY’ on their bare chests & were missing the R.” god, i wish that was true. i wouldn’t even put it past 22-year-old jared. not that i knew him then, but stories i’ve heard kind of tally with this idea.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: underpants

  1. I actually think I remember Jared making that missing R joke when we were 17. :p

    Cute undies! I am fighting with a bench cushion that I keep fucking up and then having to tear stitches out of. I need to stop sewing at 10pm. It’s one of the only times that I have free time, but it also means that I make stupid mistakes.

    Once I get this #$!^! cushion done, I want to try turning some old t-shirts into rompers for LJ. I swear, the best part of getting back into sewing is browsing DIY stuff on pinterest. :p

    1. i hadn’t realized jared was recycling a joke old enough to be in high school!

      i made a cushion for an upholstered bench last year. it was a pain in the ass, probably mostly because i was still pretty new at sewing (well, i still am, technically) & it was tricky to figure out the best order for piecing the different sides together. i was also worried that i would inadvertently make it too small. it wound up being a little baggy on the sides, but…it covers the cushion, which was my only real goal.

      people give me a lot of crap for not sewing for ramona more. i do have some patterns stashed away for her…it’s just not thrilling to think about using my limited sewing time on something that will be outgrown in six weeks. though i guess kid clothes are faster to put together & require less yardage than things i make for myself…i do have plans for a quilt for her though!

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