There are four underwear patterns I have and love, all made by Stitch Upon A Time, and they ALL have options. Everything is available from XS-XXXL, and the brief cut and boxerwear are also available in kids sizing as small as 12 months.
If you want super simple straight forward ordering, that’s probably a brief cut, low rise, standard waistband and leg bands. But if you’re into looking for options? Oh my word, the options!
- How much coverage would you like? (Minimal, medium, or a lot.)
- Low rise or high rise?
- Do you want a standard waistband, maternity waistband, or an extra wide waistband? (A maternity waistband cuts down below your belly, and an extra wide one can act as more coverage when you bend over, and it can help smooth out love handles.)
- Would you like bands for around the legs, or fold over elastic? (Many tend to find bands extra comfortable, but fold over elastic shifts around less – I prefer fold over elastic myself, and find them both comfortable.)
And again, if you want simple, a brief, low rise (or low rise plus), and leg bands is always a good fall back. 🙂
In case you’re not sure what I mean, I’m talking about how much of your bum is covered. 🙂
For medium to lots of coverage…
The Brief cut is your best bet for medium coverage. It’s right around the middle, pretty standard.
There is the Boyshort cut for more coverage and a different feel (as the legs cut across parallel to the floor rather than curving up). Full Coverage has lots of coverage (it does have more coverage than the Boyshort in the back, while cutting up in the front like a brief), or Boxerwear for a boxer brief fit (available in a men’s or women’s fit).
I find the Boyshort cut isn’t quite as boyshorty as I like, and I’ve had some customers say the same thing, while others find the original fit perfect. I’ve adapted the pattern slightly for those looking for the little bit of extra length on the legs, so that they do stay parallel to the ground, and it’s this version featured in pictures. I’ve added 1-1.5″ down the outer edge of the legs depending on the person, and how much extra length they want.
I will warn you, in my opinion, especially when they’re not being worn, Full Coverage is the granniest of granny panties. It’s also AMAZINGLY comfortable. Seriously, the most comfortable version I’ve tried, and they’re all super comfy.
Boxerwear fits like a slim short or boxer briefs, it has a shorter or longer leg option (a difference of about 2″).
They’re super comfy, and in the mens cut can be sewn with or without a fly, whatever floats your boat.
Decorative touches can also be added to boxerwear, for example, the blue plaid pair has ruching in the back, shown below (near the end).
And for minimal coverage…
There is, in order of most coverage to least coverage (using pattern names), Booty, Super Booty, and Thondlewear.
Booty hits between Super Booty and Brief, Super Booty has an identical front and back, and the Thondlewear pattern is a thong.
And as with all patterns, all options are fair game, from rise to waistband to legs to decorative touches.
To be perfectly honest, I was really surprised by how comfortable these options were (and that does include the thondlewear). Even though I’m absolutely in love with the boyshorts cut, I would still happily make more minimal coverage for myself.
I was most shocked by the thondlewear. I haven’t worn a thong in months, and it was STILL really comfortable, and barely felt like I was wearing anything at all! (Really actually. Which is NOT what I was expecting given that it’s a thong.)
So if you’re on the fence, you might be surprised by how much you actually like them.
Rise and Waistband
Here we have low rise, low rise plus, or high. Personally, I don’t find the low rise to be super low, but I do find the high rise to be quite high.
The standard waistband is comfortable and works well with low or high rise, but I’m in love with the extra wide waistband, and I really think you’ll love it too! I call it low rise plus.
Low rise plus is an extra wide waistband that has a double layer of fabric around your upper hips and waist, which is extra comfortable, helps smooth everything out, and keeps you from wondering if you’re covered when you bend over.
Plus, because it’s combined with a low rise, if you do bend over or stretch and it can be seen above your pants, the band can just look like you have a camisole tucked in and won’t automatically look like underwear. (Unless maybe if you’re wearing ultra low rise pants.)
The maternity rise cuts down lower in the front into a v so it sits comfortably under your belly, and can be applied to any cut of underwear. It’s still comfortable even if you’re not pregnant, so they wouldn’t be useless after the baby is born. If you’ve had a c section however, it will likely hit at the same spot as your scar, or at least it does for me. So in the even of a section I’d personally stay away from maternity rise for a while, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
Leg Bands or Fold Over Elastic (FOE)
For the underwear patterns, these can have bands or fold over elastic around the legs. I really like both, though I’ll choose either over the other depending on a couple factors.
I most reach for bands when I want ultra comfort (because I can’t feel the bands in place at all), or when I’m wearing something looser or thicker like jeans. Bands show a little more of an underwear line than fold over elastic, and then can shift slightly as you wear them.
For me, this in minimal, and only for underwear that is medium to lots of coverage – Booty, Super Booty and Thondlewear don’t shift at all with bands. I also have some customers who rave about the bands for any amount of coverage and who don’t experience any shifting at all, so everyone is different.
I go for fold over elastic when I’m wearing snugger pants and want to hide an underwear line, or when I’m wearing a pad (because bands can create some bulk if a pad has to go around the underwear as well as the bands). Also, if the fold over elastic will sit under your bum (boyshorts or full coverage), it can create some, erm, definition lets say, under your bum.
I’ve heard some say they find the bands more comfortable, however I find both options quite comfortable, and FOE may be my personal favourite (though I’ve been falling back in love with bands again since trying them more). That said, I’m not super sensitive to tags and seams in clothing, so if you are quite sensitive in that way, bands are probably your best bet.
Keep in mind though, everyone is different, and my own personal preferences may or may not match yours. 🙂
Decorative or functional “bits/perks”
Warning – this section might make some people uncomfortable. But we’re talking about underwear, panties, or skivvies, if you will, so keep that in mind, and follow your heart in reading or not, whatever floats your boat.
So the tamest one is a bit of colour blocking on the front. Pretty simple, but it can snazz things up a bit. Similarly, a strip of fabric or lace could be added along that line to add a bit of something something. Or you could have a faux drawstring, but the drawstring would probably be visible under snug clothing, so it might be better saved for bathing suits or sleep shorts, etc. I’m also a big fan of a faux fly.
Another option is a strip of thin ruching elastic that goes up the back. This makes your cheeks look more, umm, defined? from each other (while not becoming floss). This is one way to jazz up underwear, especially the full coverage underwear, and feel awesome about yourself. Finally, it keeps everything extra snug, which holds pads extra close, particularly overnight. It’s also still just as comfortable as underwear without ruching (at least in my opinion).
The final one I’m going to mention is about gender and underwear, and fair warning, I’m going to say the “p” and “v” words. The underwear patterns were all designed for the proud owners of vaginas. Not having a penis myself, I can’t speak to how easily one would fit into underwear that didn’t have it in mind, so maybe it’s not something that needs to be accommodated. But I’ve spent some time looking at the two boxerwear patterns, and by looking at the little dart (I mean, generous and manly dart) on the men’s boxerwear pattern, I’ve figured out how to add it to the patterns designed for vaginas.
I’m also open to custom situations, so if you’re looking to suit a specific need, I’ve honestly probably seen it mentioned in one of the millions of sewing groups I’m in, even if it’s super personal or involving sexy times. At any rate, I’m happy to talk with you honestly about whether it’s something I think I can accommodate, and if I don’t think I can sew it well, I’ll tell you. 🙂