the Third Pair

–of panties from KS 2200.


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I followed my hunch.  I:

  1. serged the crotch to back and front
  2. Serged the side seams
  3. Coverted to Coverstitch
  4. Applied leg elastic in the round
  5. Applied waistband elastic in the round.

It’s a good procedure, but will need some refinements.

For starters, I have a stash of lingerie elastics that I’d like to use before they all go bad. Yes elastic goes bad. It dries out, stiffens and becomes less elastic with age. Some of the very early stuff will actually fracture into itty bitty pieces. So I’m trying to use up this stash of elastics most of which is wider than standard pantie elastic.  This is actually problem number one. Because one pass of the coverstitch is not enough to keep the elastic lying flat.  Place the CS in the center and the edges will roll toward the center.  Placed on either side, the other side rolls up or down (Bottom edge free? It rolls up. Top edge free ? It rolls down.)  The initial solution, especially since I had one edge already coverstitched, was to make a second pass securing the other edge.   I truly thought this would be an unwearable muslin and so didn’t take a lot of time.  IOW, I didn’t finish the first pass, clip threads and begin the second pass.  No, I just kept the machine running and guided the stitch to the other side.  It’s a bit messy.

I also didn’t carefully overlap my elastic.  I didn’t cut lengths, but merely marked the length on the elastic.  I thought I needed a tail to hold onto and that did turn out to be a good idea.  Since the 2nd pair of panties felt tight at the waistline, I added 2″ in length to the elastic at the waistband and 1″ to each of the legs.  I held the elastic firmly and only very slightly stretched.  This turned out to be perfect as far as the ratio of elastic to fabric. When I came to the end of the first  pass, I clipped the elastic and continued on with the second pass. As a result the elastic is a bit misaligned and could stand more care.

It is however a nice flat and comfortable application. Even if the inside has a serious case of uglies

The raw edges remained raw.  I could not use my applique scissors and trim the fabric close to the stitching, but I thought one of the reasons to use the CS was so that you didn’t need to do any more finishing.

So I will keep using this procedure with 2 or 3 changes.

Problem #2 the awkward elastic join will be easiest to fix.  I’ll repeat the marking of the elastic instead of clipping lengths.  When it’s time to complete the circle, I will

  1. Align up the stitches
  2. Overstitch at least 3 stitches
  3. Stop, and clip threads.

Problem 1 and 2 need more thought. Part of problem one, the rolling elastic and need for 2 rows of coverstitching may be eliminated by using 3/8″ elastic.  Since I want to use up my existing stash, I’ll keep that in mind but develop other solutions. What I”m really wondering about is the possiblity of treating these like a Tshirt hem.  i.e.

While still flat (before serging the side seams) press up the leg holes (did we ever come up with an official name for these orafices?)  press up the leg holes by the width of the elastic.

Serge the side seams

Covert to CS

Apply elastic while cover hemming the leg holes and waistband.  I think this will mean instead of aligning the top edge of the elastic with the top edge of the fabric, I will need to line up the fabric with the needles and align the elastic appropriately.  I’d still like to avoid hand trimming excess fabric after the CS is done.


I may need to make a few more muslins.  Fortunately, I have lots of knit fabrics in small amounts.