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  • Nicole Seafolk

I Made my own Custom Panty Pattern with Seamly!

Alright y’all I have something a little different for you all today! It isn’t the usual new pattern review or hack but it is instead a reflection on making my very own, custom drafted panty pattern using the free Seamly2D software and I am so excited to share with you all!

As you know if you have followed along here at SEWUPRISING, sewing underwear is kind of my thing, my shtick, my passion. Of course I love sewing clothing and that was my first sewing passion but slowly over time, lingerie sewing has won my fickle little heart. It is satisfying for me in so many ways and makes me happier than any other sewing has lately.

I have tried numerous panty patterns over the last year and while I have loved many of them none of them were perfect for me in every single way. Usually the alterations each pattern needed were fairly minor but after making the same changes on pattern after pattern I got the itch to just have a pattern that I would know would work for me time after time. A pattern I could use as a basic block to alter in any any way my heart desired going forward.

Enter my first attempts to draft my very own panty pattern! I started trying to draft the pattern with paper and pencil in June, you know, the old school way. It was much, much harder than I was originally expecting. I made about seven variations of hand drafted panty patterns and none of them were any good. Also, hand drafting is hard and takes a long time. Seriously like a long a** time. As you can probably guess, I eventually got frustrated and gave up.

Then last week I ran across a post in one of the lingerie sewing groups I am in on Facebook about Seamly2D software and was instantly intrigued. If you haven’t heard about Seamly2D I am sure you are not alone! Basically Seamly2D is a free open source, pattern drafting, CAD software available to anyone with a computer and internet access. Traditional software like this is almost disturbingly expensive and that fact, along with its steep learning curve, has kept pattern drafting software out of the hands of the vast majority of home sewists but Seamly2D is working on fixing that. Now because it is open source it is always “in development” and it doesn’t have all of the features a professional CAD program would have, but for those of us who just want to make custom patterns to fit us this software is a dream come true!

After doing a bit more research on the software I decided to give it a try and see if it would be any use in my custom panty pattern dreams!

The process: 

Using the software to make the pattern wasn’t particularly difficult but it was fairly time-consuming, especially since I had never used this program before and had to learn the basic tools and how everything was set up before I could get to drafting. I followed a YouTube video tutorial of how to draft the pattern and it was truly a saving grace! The tutorial follows traditional drafting of a similar pattern but shows you how to do it digitally. The software version the individual is using in the tutorial is an older one so there were a few things I had to find/locate on my own as I was drafting but over all the instructions were clear and concise.

Over all it took about five hours from software download to final pattern printing of my panty pattern. It may sound like a long time but that was much less time than I spent on all of the other panty pattern variations I had made before! A major plus for me of drafting digitally is that once you enter your measurements this program does all of the math. All of it. It is such a major time saver and even makes it super easy to resize a pattern for someone else quickly if you have their measurements.

The Results:

A *nearly* perfect fitting panty pattern!

The tutorial has you draft a basic high waist panty pattern, with the option to lower the rise at the end of the design process, and because of inputting my exact side waist length the high waist fit directly in my waist. Directly, perfectly, the first time. I have had to alter all other patterns in length so I was super excited to have the length of this right the first time.

After printing the pattern and making my first muslin from it, I did go back in to the design software and raise the front leg opening another 5/8 of an inch and added a slight sway back adjustment as well. I also shortened the length of the back gusset to get rid of some of that diaper butt action that was going on. These are both alterations that I have had to do on other panty patterns but now they are built into my own pattern.

Over all I definitely think this digital drafting produced much more accurate results in much less time than hand drafting.

Final Thoughts:

Over all, for how much I sew panties for myself and others this was definitely worth the time investment! I now have a basic, fully custom panty block that I can use to alter and add style lines to to make unlimited number of designs moving forward. And if my sizes ever changed, it is super quick to go back into this program, enter my new measurements, and print off a new, perfectly fitting pattern!

It is also fairly easy to go back in and change the leg openings to make other styles of panties as well! Next up I am going to spend some time altering my basic block into a mid rise thong option and a cheeky bikini cut as well.

If you love to sew undergarments, or haven’t been able to find a pattern that fits you perfectly I would definitely recommend this system! With no cost but your time, the skills and knowledge I gained while learning the program and drafting my first pattern was definitely worth it!

I loved the drafting process so very much that I am now actually in the process of drafting my first multi size pattern, based off of this basic high waisted, full coverage panty I am loving so much, and am hoping to release it mid November!

Be sure to enter your email below to subscribe to the SEWUPRISING newsletter and be the first to know when it releases and get a special discount for the brand new pattern! As a bonus for joining you will also receive access to my free EBook, 5 Reasons Your Clothes Look Homemade right away! How exciting is that?! First Name Email Address Submit

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