I have a couple of skinny kids so I found this pattern and thought I'd give it a whirl to see if I can make anything better than the ol' store bought panties. I like the fact these are made with knits instead of just light cotton which makes them seem more sturdy and there is no elastic which makes them look like they'd be more comfy. I say seem and look because I can't wear them though I have thought about resizing the pattern so I can.
The pattern was pretty straight forward. Nothing too difficult and it was described well. I made about 2 pairs in the first hour or so and that's with:
1. never working with knits
2. never making panties before and
3. not having a serger
I hadn't ever worked with knits before. It just seemed too scary. But now that I have I really like them! It has renewed my longing for a serger though.
The pattern says you can use 1/2 yard and get 2 pairs but if you're doing contrasting and the smaller sizes you can get a few more if you lay it out so you maximize the fabrics used. I hate wasting fabric so I was able to get 4 pairs plus a matching cami that I created out of 1/2 yard of a print and used much less than 1/2 yard for the contrast on the panties and the straps for the cami. I still have some left too that I might be able to squeeze another front or two out of as well.
Here are my first two I made. These come out more like boy shorts than bikini panties but my 3.5yo says they're comfy anyway.
I also didn't do the topstitch like it says to because I didn't use a serger and wanted to cut down on the threads and it seems to have worked out fine anyway. One thing that did snag me up is when you're attaching the bands it's sometimes easy to miss the bottom layer or the additional layer around the crotch where the lining is (this is for the girl panties, I haven't made boy ones yet!) so I had to check all my seams and make sure I grabbed all the layers of fabric when I stitched.
This is the next set I made. I created the cami myself and as soon as I can I'll get a tute up on creating toddler cami's. As you can see in the photo there needs some adjustments in the making. I made it too big and had to cut down the middle of both front and back but after I work that out I'll get it up. It's a great addition to the panties and makes for a nice summer jammie set. I used the same concept as the panties when creating the straps which I think ties the set together. This would be a great learning to potty train set or a gift set when your little one masters the potty.
Overall, I was really pleased with the pattern but expect a learning curve when you start. I have also heard that you can repurpose t-shirts and other knits to make these though I haven't tried it. If you buy the pattern (which is $9.95 at www.youcanmakethis.com) you can always keep your eyes out for knits when stores clearance them out. Only needing 1/2 yard for a few pairs is nice too since you can have many different kinds of knits in your stash and not spend a ton.
Now that I've made a few (about 6 pairs) , I'm by no means an expert I still have the occasional slip in fabric, but I can whip out 4 or so in about an hour. Much better than dragging 4 kids to the store and fighting over what kind I'm willing to buy and still shelling out gas money and $4-5 on 3 pairs. Plus there's the added bonus that my kids can tell everyone "mommy made these!".