Knockout Knickers at The Make Lounge

Last night I returned to The Make Lounge, with Rae this time, for a workshop called Knockout Knickers. I don’t necessarily want to make my own underwear, but I do have a need to learn how to sew elastic onto fabric without jamming my machine and ending up with an expensive disaster, so I thought this would be an excellent way to learn. Not only would I have three pieces of elastic to practice on during the class but, if all went well, then I’d have something to wear at the end of it. OK, so you can find instructions and videos on the internet for doing all sorts of craft and sewing things, but nothing beats learning in a room full of other friendly people with an expert on hand to answer questions. Ruka Johnson of Sugarlesque was our resident knicker expert for the evening and The Make Lounge’s own Jennifer Pirtle was also on hand to assist with the machines and provide much needed help with pinning (two hands just aren’t enough when you need to stretch your elastic!).

After adjusting our patterns, selecting our fabric from the lovely printed cottons on offer and working out how to cut on the bias, we all sat down at an overlocker to stitch our pieces together and sort out our edges. Rae somehow ended up with a duff machine but, with two tutors and so many to go round, we all ended up ready to select our elastic before long. Overlockers really are rather time-saving. I may have to come up with a few projects of my own for these machines now too as they now have open studio time!

Once we had measured and pinned our elastic in place, it was time to use the sewing machines to get the waistbands nice and stretchy. This was far more difficult than Ruka made it look so we all hoped that the legs would look a bit better, and in most cases we really did improve. Before long, people were hopping up from their machines with squeals of delight and running off to find somewhere to try on what they’d made. Anyone wandering past 41 Barnsbury Street last night will have been rather puzzled at why so many women appeared to be flashing their underwear at each other! After the addition of some lovely satin bows, we were done and Rae even got a photo of us with our handiwork. All in all it was a great evening… and even Topper seemed slightly impressed with the end result.

UPDATE: I’ve now added a photo of the finished knickers to this blog post. The spots aren’t quite straight, but not bad for a first attempt, eh?

3 thoughts on “Knockout Knickers at The Make Lounge

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  1. What a great idea! The ultimate recycling. It's surprisingly easy once you have the pattern and get the hang of sewing the elastic so I'd definitely recommend the class.

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