K3881 Undies – First Attempt

I don’t know why but I seem to have an obsession with collecting patterns for undies. I use the term undies as I can’t stand the word panties it just makes me cringe. I have patterns I’ve purchased, some I have downloaded for free, I have read how to make them using a pair of your own to make a pattern but until this pair I hadn’t actually dived into the world of making some even though they seem to be popular to make.

I am very particular about they style of undies I like. I have been wearing the same style but not the same brand for like the last 20 something years. It is like a bikini style with a high cut leg opening. I can still buy the style I like and that is why I haven’t ventured into making some but I am getting to the point where soon I need to replace some pairs so I thought maybe it is time to try making some as everyone who makes their own loves them. Even though as mentioned I already had heaps of patterns in my stash I went and purchased the Kwik Sew K3881 pattern. The reason I purchased this pattern was I found a youtube clip showing how to make them using this exact same pattern. I have watched other youtube clips but they were all using other patterns.

I measured my waist 44″ and my hips 46″ so according to the pattern I should be a L or XL as I was tracing out the pattern pieces I though the XL looks massive. I held placed a pair of RTW wear and I knew they would be too big. In the end I traced out every size.

Strangely the XS seemed to be the best match to my RTW pair and that is the size I went with.

I was very excited to learn how to the gusset. All your gusset seams are enclosed as you do the burrito method to make them. I found Melly Sew’s youtube clip showing the burrito method very clear to understand. She also has a free pattern which I might try sometime.

These were made on the sewing machine. I set my machine to a stretch stitch of a length of 2.5. This was the first time I have played around with the length of this stitch.

I used some knit fabric from my stash. I made what the pattern calls the bikini version but to me are not what I know as bikini. The sides are wider than what I am used to therefore the leg openings aren’t as high. I have scars on my hips and avoid anything with a narrower leg opening. I have worn these to sleep in and they are comfortable but I would prefer the higher leg opening.

I like the back of these, there was no creeping of fabric into areas you didn’t want. They are a little bit snug so maybe I need to grade between the XS and the S but they may stretch after a few washes. They aren’t uncomfortable snug.

For the elastic on the legs and top I used fold over elastic. I have played around with FOE before but I can’t remember on what. Anne has a great clip showing how to sew with it. I need to work on my finishing technique with it as it just looks messy on these. I also has sections when I fold the elastic over and stitched down I missed so had to go back and redo these.

My overall first attempt wasn’t a complete disaster. It hasn’t given me the undie making bug but at the same time it hasn’t put me off making them again. This is a good basic pattern and the instructions were good but the sizing was off. I know different fabrics can make a difference but surely not by that much. As for the style even though it wasn’t what I would call my normal style they were comfortable. I don’t know if I would use FOE again, I think it will irritate my scars particular in hotter times. I may make this pattern again but using regular elastic, I might even try the size S to see if there is much difference in the finished size.

Even if I never make another pair I can tick undie making off my virtual to sew list.








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