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(Very) Small Yardage Sewing

One of the things I struggled with when I first started sewing was the ever-growing stash of scraps.  Too large to throw away (what if I can use it??) and too small to really make anything with.  Over the years, I’ve discovered that making undies is the perfect use of left-over scraps (or projects that didn’t go quite right)!


All of the pairs here were made with the left-overs from another project or a projects gone wrong.  As you can see, they’re all different fabrics with different stretch percentages, weight, and content, so let’s talk about each one and what that means for fit, comfort, and longevity in terms of your lingerie drawer.

  1.  Striped Floral Jersey

You may recognize this fabric from my dress!  I had a ton of scraps left over from this project, and just couldn’t stand to see them go to waste, and I had more than enough for a pair of ladyshorts.  The fabric is just so pretty.  I’d characterize this fabric as a mid to light weight jersey.   It’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend, so it’s very drapey and stretchy.   You’ll definitely want to pull your elastics just a little bit tighter to give it some stability, as it tends to stretch out a little on its own from the feed dog pressure.   It makes for a very comfortable pair of undies!  In terms of longevity, I would say this is not the best choice for “everyday” wear.  I’ve worn these once already, and the fabric is starting to pill every-so slightly in places that get the most friction/wear.  I can’t see these lasting more than a year.


2.  Pink  Neon-Stripe Jersey

This is the perfect example of something that just didn’t go the way I wanted it to turned into something I need.  I bought this fabric with the intention of making a summer tee out of it.  The pattern I chose just wasn’t for me, and it was a total wadder.  I was able to save the fabric by turning it into a pair of undies.  This pattern is the  lola from Ohhh Lulu, and it uses a lot less fabric than the ladyshorts because it’s cut in 3 separate pieces.  This is a very lightweight, almost tissue-weight poly/rayon jersey.  You can see I learned my lesson from the first pair (above) and pulled that lace tighter than I normally would to give it a bit more stability.  They’re cute and comfy, but like the pair above, I don’t expect them to last forever.  Light weight jerseys are not the best choice for undies in terms of long-wearing ability, but they sure are cute!

3.   Cotton Jersey

Ahhhhh, cotton jersey!  Can I just say how obsessed I am with this fabric? It’s the perfect weight for a non-see through t-shirt (which I had initially thought it would become).  I used it to test the fit of the top floral, striped maxi I made,  with the idea that I could tweak the fit at the side seams if necessary and still have a cute crop top.  I had to make so many changes to the darts to get them to fit right, that it just wasn’t possible.  I was really upset because the fabric is just that good.  BUT, this fabric is also perfect for undies!  I was able to get 2 pairs out of this fabric because it’s so wide, and I’m pretty sure they’ll last forever.  I made another pair of ladyshorts (because they’re awesome) and a thong that is my own draft, so no pattern, sorry!  In my humble opinion, cotton/lycra blends are the idea undie fabric: breathable, stretchy, and durable.  These things will probably last forever!  I full expect the laces to break down before the fabric does.    The mid-weight fabric is also great because it’s smooth under clothes, but has just enough stretch to help smooth out any bumps that might be underneath said fabric.  Perfect!

What do you use your jersey scraps for??


Ashley is currently dealing with a lingerie-sewing addiction and blogs about it here.   She’d say she makes lots of colorful dresses, too, but at the moment it’s really just lingerie.  Lots of lingerie.

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