Figure 2

Let’s Talk Panties!

The subject of panties seems to quickly come up in every fashion conversation of late. Who’s wearing ‘em, and if they are, where did they find a pair that fits? LOL or not LOL? A lady should not have to live life without panties. (Everyone shouts RIGHT!) Who among you have a panty wardrobe? How many even own one pair that fits and is comfortable and covers your lady parts sufficiently? (No need to answer. We already know.)

I must say that finding, fitting, designing, and every other phase of building a panty wardrobe for our population has indeed been rocket science: Real mind-boggling research from every angle.

Recently I was on a CLFF personal shopping mission for a couple of our Classy Clients and I came upon a package of children’s size 8 cotton panties that looked (to me) like they would fit either/both Jane and Jess. When I showed them to the ladies, they both quickly said, those are way too big! I’m lookin’ at them, and lookin’ at the panties and thinking – Too big? I’m not sure the back side is actually big enough. Why do you think they are so big? Hummmmm. Further discussion revealed that they were only focused on the size of the leg holes, which would leave their lady parts uncovered. Oh, I see.

So, I took the panties back home, with full intentions of returning them to the store. But, as things twisted and turned, I sat down one night to build panties from various fabrics and a child’s swimsuit pattern. That led me to YouTube to learn more about effectively sewing elastic onto lingerie. In my journey through “how to make your own panties” videos, I realized that my pattern only had two pieces: front and back of panty. The grown up patterns have a third piece: crotch. Children aren’t thick enough to require an elongated crotch piece. That realization, Ladies, was a true gift from the panty gods! That is research we can use.

So, I rummaged through my stacks of stuff and found the Calvin panties and began to measure and assess them relative to the ones I had sewn from the children’s pattern. The numbers supported my theory. All that was left to do was alter the purchased size 8 stretch cotton panties and then try them on Jane. It was simple, if you are familiar with a sewing machine and understand a little about working with stretch materials. I have not altered any lace or non-stretch panties because by the time I “got it” I had already produced a full wardrobe of panties. But, here’s what I discovered. You’ll have to make the decision on a panty size that covers your classy ass and is comfortable around your waist. Then you can measure the leg holes and determine how much crotch to cut out (Plz don’t tell people that I make crotch-less panties.)

fig1

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows how I determined how much crotch to remove. Jane’s legs measure 12” around the top. That translates to 2 x 6” plus room to wiggle a bit without binding. So, I had to remove 4” total from the crotch area, which was most of it. I have marked a black dotted line showing where the seam would be. Because the front is not as wide as the back, I stretched the front out while I seamed it to the back. Make sure you tack the start/stop of your seam so it won’t undo.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows the dotted line and the front and back pinned together accordingly. There was plenty of stretch in these panties to make the seam work. It ruches up the back and gives more room for the bottomous. If the fabric was not stretchy, I would have run some gathers on the back edge so it would easily fit the smaller front piece. Obviously, any panty with a cotton insert over the crotch area is going to lose that asset. I haven’t found an appealing way to add it back into the design. The stitching usually ruins the look of the panty.

Have fun, and good luck. Let me know how wearing panties impacts your life. Keep smiling and fashion on!

grey jacket

Grey Dress & Jacket

grey jacketThe grey dress is a size small Charlotte Russe top that I modified the length of the straps, cut off length and added the knit border to the bottom.

The jacket is from the same liquid knit fabric as the dress border. I used a children’s jacket pattern, as it is easier to modify with enlargements than it is to cut down a woman’s size 8.10487434_10204198083574352_7349769561133928351_n

I used size 8 cut lines for the majority of the pattern, except the length and sleeves are size 3. I added a flare in the front piece that maximizes at bottom edge to add 1″. to the chest area. To the back piece, I added 1″ to the fold, which multiplies to an additional 2″ across the back of the jacket. I may consider turning this additional fabric into a pleat at the neckline. I have to see how it lays on Jane. The biggest design epiphany was in the alteration for the left sleeve. Jane’s left arm has a bow that makes it difficult to impossible to wear a jacket. The pattern sleeve already fit pretty good, but she needed some bending room. I did not want to add any width to the armhole or the sleeve band, but had to have a good inch in the middle of the sleeve to allow for unencumbered movement of her arm. So, I bowed out the side seam of the left sleeve. It should work perfectly. The sleeves have a rouche created with elastic down the length of the sleeves that also aids with movement. I used a purchased bias tape around the edges to add a more crisp finish and contrast than using the knit would have created.

grey jacket pattern3

grey jacket pattern3

 

Boy cut panties

Panties & Bras

Boy cut pantiesOften the asymetrical shape of our Classy Clients rib cages present challenges in the department of bras. Underwire is often a problem in that scenario and when brittleness is a factor. In our search to fulfill fashion wishes for sexy, feminine undergarments, we discovered that Victoria’s Secret bralettes (approx $25) are a great add for many of our clients. They come in gorgeous colors and patterns. They are not binding and have enough gathers to add a little extra. The extended border of lace at the bottom creates a full camisole for most of our clients, which offers even more creative fashion opportunities. While we were shopping at Target last week, we found yet another selection of bralettes (approx $15) that are also quite nice. So, be sure to look in both departments and treat yourself to some RED luxury.

For those of you with similar challenges but are more endowed in the breast area, what have you discovered that works for you?

Panties are a whole “nuther” story. I would like to report that I have had some success in locating panties that have room for a grown woman’s buttocks, but small leg holes that fit snug enough to block peeks. But, alas, I have not been so lucky. I’m not even sure I have found thongs that are cut to fit our peeps. It appears that the boy cuts might come the closest, but not quite. This challenge has really got me on the look for a retail answer. So far, I’m thinking we are going to have to custom design and sew panties also. I found this gorgeous pattern for boy leg panties which I believe is one we can work with. Plz chat me up regarding panties.

Side overlap top

Overlapped Seams

As I lost myself in pattern catalogs yesterday, I came upon both of these lovely designs.I thought of all of you and how the sophisticated, free-flowing, overlapped seaming would allow for flexibility and comfort, and add eloquent design elements that add interest to asymmetrical areas.

Front overlap jacketThe white jacket has a concealed snap fastening it. It could be replaced by a bling or covered button, depending on the style of the Classy Client. Bling buttons are a simple way to accessorize without bother or worrying of things becoming misplaced. I also love the inward pleat on the three-quarters sleeves. It adds some room for easy movement, but does away with the bulk around the lower arm. Love it! The sleeve can easily be shortened.

Side overlap topThe orange set caught my eye because of the side overlap. I can’t see us ever utilizing skirt pattern due to the bulky front . But, look at that top! I can go a zillion directions with that, both formal and casual! Again, buttons play a primary role here — but they are on the side where you don’t have to worry about being injured or tangled up during transfer. The large darts running from bottom edge to bust line will allow easy tailoring so the top won’t ride up. I used a similar design element on the back of Classy Client Jane Hash’s orange top/skirt set with a gorgeous button for the fastener. It was the solution to several design challenges and it allows unencumbered movement and fun peekaboo elements in the back.

Our designs lean towards actual buttons and button holes as opposed to snaps or hooks/eyes. We feel that the buttons are more secure during transfer.