We’ve had so much fun putting pretty touches on our lingerie patterns and sharing the tutorials lately that we thought we’d do a roundup with these and a few more ideas! We drew inspiration from the lovely lingerie of past decades and changed them a bit for a more modern sensibility. If you decide to make some lingerie of your own, consider using some of these ideas to spice up your sewing.
1. Lace trims
Lovely lace trim in contrasting or similar colors is easy to add to the hem of the underwear. Many widths and colors of lace are available. If you can’t find the color you want, you can always dye it. Using vintage trims make your garment very special. Be sure not to use a heavy trim, which will pull on the underwear, distorting them due to being cut on the bias. Lightweight lace trim is the best way to go!
2. Ribbon straps
The Nutmeg bralette looks adorable with many kinds of ribbons for straps. Velvet ribbon adds a touch of luxury whereas striped grosgrain is fun and bright. The ribbon you choose changes the tone of your garment. Be sure to use good quality ribbons because they will last much longer than inexpensive ribbon.
3. A fabric covered button
We love the look of a fabric covered button centered on the bra or tap pants, especially when it matches the lace trim. Most self cover button packages come with instructions printed on them and are easy to assemble. You have the pick of whatever fabric you want for your button. A small button works the best as an accent to the underwear.
4. Lace applique
Lace applique is an amazing detail! It looks extremely difficult to make but is actually very simple. It can be applied just about anywhere on any garment, and would look fantastic on any of the lingerie patterns. Use this excellent lace applique tutorial to add it to your garment.
5. Contrasting elastic
Lingerie elastic is different from regular elastic in that it can be sewn through and not lose its stretch. It’s also thinner and softer since it must press right against the skin. For this underwear we used a picot edge elastic in black for a high contrast. See if your fabric store carries different types of lingerie elastic. The most common colors are white, black and champagne. If you’re able to find alternative colors, go for it! Sew Sassy also carries lingerie elastic in several varieties. Elastic is a nice little detail to highlight.
6. Reversed charmeuse
Silk charmeuse is a two sided fabric with one side quite shiny in contrast to the matte side. Both sides can be used as the right side. If you’re using this luxurious fabric, you can easily add some interest by contrasting the two sides in your garment. Though quite simple to achieve, the effect is stunning!
7. Applied ribbon
For those who love ribbons, apply ribbons down the front of the legs. We recommend this for the Nutmeg knickers pattern, which lends itself to fun details such as this. Because the fabric is cut on the bias, carefully pin the ribbon. Allow for a little bit of stretch in the leg when you pin the ribbon. We suggest basting it in place before sewing it with the machine, or better yet, hand sew it. If using a satin ribbon, pin only the edges as piercing the ribbon will leave a mark.
8. Lace inset
Rachel put together a great tutorial on adding a lace inset to the side of a hem. This looks so beautiful and easy to assemble with her instructions!
9. Ribbon rosettes
Rosettes are very sweet and a gentle detail to add. They can be store bought in many different colors and sizes, or handmade with thin ribbon. Rosettes take very little time to add since you only need one; just a simple few stitches to tack on the flower and it’s done!
Fagoting looks beautiful on garments. It would be a lovely addition along the hem of any of the underwear patterns such as a matching camisole and knickers. Sarai’s fagoting tutorial shows you how to make this amazing detail.
11. Machine scallops
Gertie has a great tutorial on making a scallop hem. Who knew it could be so easy? We made a scallop hem on charmeuse with matching thread. Contrasting thread or perhaps a deeper shade that matches your fashion fabric would be a fun idea to try.
A very quick and easy addition to your garment is a little bow. Simply cut a few inches of ribbon, leaving a little extra length. Stitch the middle of the ribbon to the garment. Tie the bow and trim the ends. Look for ribbons ¼” and smaller for your bow as a thicker ribbon will cause too much bulk.