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How To: Underwear Design & What You Need To Consider

Updated on November 13, 2016
My non underwired bra make
My non underwired bra make | Source

Underwear Making

Whether you just want to make your own underwear or you're learning how to make lingerie with the intention of going into business as a custom underwear designer; you've probably looked into the technical construction methods for sewing underwear. You may even have started researching the various styles, underwear designs and types of lingerie patterns. But there are a few things you should be considering above style, construction and fabric choices. After all, underwear is unique in its purpose. It needs to be supportive, comfortable and suitable for the wearers everyday activities.

Lets go into more detail on some of the essential things you must consider when learning how to make underwear that addresses the needs of the wearer.

Elaborated on from Corset Training's HOW TO: Underwear Wiki -

Function and Support

There's absolutely no point sewing underwear if it doesn't support correctly. A sports bra needs to hold the bust in place when the wearer is down the gym. Similarly if you make a bra for a size 36E bust the design is going to need to be more supportive than if your customer (or yourself/friend/family member) is a 32B. Simple design features like strap width, band width and fabric type should all be selected with the wearers needs in mind; their size and activity level as well as their personal tastes should come before your own design preferences.

Comfort VS Style

Comfort is an essential consideration when making any form of underwear. We're talking about a garment that is worn directly against the skin over some of the most sensitive parts of the body.

That's not to say you need to compromise style in favor of comfort. A good underwear designer will be able to select fabrics and attractive design features that marry wearability with fashion and style. The level of comfort will depend entirely on the intended use of the garment. Custom underwear designed just to be worn in the bedroom doesn't need to be comfortable as much as it does alluring, as it's not intended to be worn for long. A day to day bra however would need to be enjoyable to wear for ten hours or more without discomfort.

Covert or Overt?

Lingerie sewing differs dramatically to any other form of clothing sewing in that underwear is designed to be worn under other clothing. When you make underwear or even start to pattern underwear this should be forever kept in mind.

Not only is some underwear made to be hidden but its concealment can be its main feature; most women have at one time or another had to seek out a strapless bra for a shoulderless dress or one with a lower wrap around band for a backless one.

Thongs are another example of a covert underwear staple designed to eliminate the dreaded VPL (visible pantie line). Layered decoration in the form of lace, sequins, rhinestones and other embellishments should also be carefully considered in terms of how they will show through outer layers. Sheer and clingy clothing will show up any lumps and bumps below the surface; turning what are the pretty frills of your DIY bra on the inside, into an unsightly uneven mess on the outside.

Color presents a similar issue to texture in that a bright color will show through lighter fabrics. Thus making flesh tones a necessity when you design underwear for wearing under such outfits.

Having discussed the need to hide intimate apparel for the aesthetic of the outer layers, I do want to note that on the flip side underwear is sometimes designed to be seen. A contrasting color or intensionally visible style is teamed with an outfit it compliments. In these cases the underwear makes the outfit more appealing. For example in the case of a red bra intensionally worn under a lower cut black dress to frame the décolletage or one with a complicated strap system intended to jazz up a plain outfit.

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To conclude there is a lot to consider when you design underwear in terms of its function as an undergarment. It is worth putting some degree of thought into how to make underwear that is practical, comfortable and fit for its intended purpose. These less glamorous considerations are after all what make up our collective reasons for why we love our favorite bras.

© 2016 Scarlett


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