My first attempt at underwear, I wrote about here. I was not particularly happy with the fit. They reminded me somewhat of those dreadful leotards with the high cut legs that everyone wore to the gym in the 1980's. I shouldn't have been surprised really, because this pattern was, after all, a relic from the 1980's. Carolyn suggested that I use a swimwear pattern. Genius, I thought....why had I not thought of that before. I had just the pattern in my stash already, McCall's 5400. I have already used it to make a replacement for my ailing bikini pants so was happy with the fit.
The only change I made to the pattern was to use knicker elastic instead of swimwear elastic. These were super easy to make. I used some nylon Lycra lingerie fabric that I picked up on the sale table at Fabric Vision for $8 per metre. By my reckoning I think I can get about 8 pairs for my metre of fabric. For the gusset, I cut up an old cotton Lycra tee shirt from the discarded clothing bag. I stitched the elastic to the nylon Lycra right sides together with a straight stitch close to the picket edge and then flipped the elastic over and three step zig zagged from the right side....simple! As you can see from the photo, though, the elastic needed to be a little tighter so next time I think I will reduce the elastic by 10% so it gathers slightly. There will definitely be more of these, but first, I need to buy more elastic.