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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sewing underwear on a picnic table: Bunzies review

Part of the resumption of my normal life are a few posts of catch up on some of the sewing I did on the road.

I used the opportunity of limited resources (my husband would dispute that the range of sewing supplies I took with me was limited) to do some experimenting while I travelled.

One of those projects was making myself underwear out of some knit scraps. Note the thread doesn't match but the line was drawn at packing 48 cones of serger thread ...

So here they are, my first pair of Bunzies:

This pattern is from Stitch Upon a Time, the same outfit that produced the popular and better known Scrundlewear pattern. I had originally intended to make the Scrundlewear but was advised by the pattern designer that the full back version of the Bunzies had the most coverage, so I made these instead.

The Bunzies pattern is distinguished by various booty coverage options - you have the option to expose various quantities of your backside, something that I have personally been trying to coverup my whole life, as reflected in a lifetime of discernible panty lines and the bottoms of swimsuits that ride up. But this pattern has views that allow you to cover up completely, which I did, or expose various degrees of cheek which I am sure makes someone happy somewhere.

Seeing younger women in really, really short shorts I can see how higher cut underwear, as an alternative to thong underwear (anyone who says those are comfortable IMO is doing some major tuning out of messages from body to brain) might be useful.

Back to the it's not me part.

The base fabric is a beautiful rayon knit and the bands are cotton lycra.

For some time now I have been seeing underwear with knit bands as opposed to elastic edgings sewn up. I have been intrigued by the possibility that using knit edgings would be a good and efficient alternative to having to coordinate hard to find elastic colours. Plus I figured it might be more comfortable and of course cheaper if, like me, you have enough knit scraps to load up the cargo hold of a 747.

I hate the feeling of too tight leg openings, or too stiff leg openings in my underwear and I am sure I am not the only one who feels this.

The pattern was very straightforward and I made these up without any changes. I did note as I often do that the instructions called for some construction details that are not always needed in knits - pressing and finishing the raw edge of the crotch for example. Like the Jalie panties these do not have an enclosed crotch piece in all seams - only one seam is enclosed and the other edge left raw.

In terms of drafting the only thing I noticed was that the crotch piece itself was a bit narrow. I figured out this is because the leg bands are fairly wide and those sort of supplement the crotch by the time they get under there.

Now to the really important question.

How do these feel?

First, a little different. The first time I wore these I felt they were a bit bulky under the crotch, because of the bands etc. but I quickly got used to it. The waist and leg openings are super comfortable and stay put without cutting in any where, which meets my over riding criterion.

They are definitely a pair I reach for in preference in the morning too, which says something. 

I might make the leg bands a bit narrower next time, and I might try this treatment on my standard Jalie underwear pattern too.

Or I may not.

This is definitely a completely easy, lazy person's way to whip up some underwear that will actually get worn so I can see next time I am delusionally convinced I am efficient and decide to cut up some of those scraps, this is the pattern I will reach for.

I actually think making underwear makes sense. The stuff you buy is either a) cheap but wears out/sags real fast or b) crazy expensive given what it is and where it will be worn. 

On other news, because I think sometimes my sewing life needs context, Daisy is back on 6 weeks bed/crate rest for her disk issue in her back. 

She is a hoppy, bouncy, happy walker and ran rings around the back yard when we got back. However I am feeling sorry for not catching her when she jumped on and off the curb when we went for a walk or for, this is horrifying, the time a few days ago when she jumped off a chair she was cuddling in because there was a loud noise in the kitchen.

We never let her go up and down stairs or jump on and off anything so I am feeling very guilty for not catching her in time. The truth is Daisy is going to have this issue on and off for life and we have to be so careful with her. This might be a result of bad treatment in her past (she has some slight issues in one eye probably as the result of trauma) or it might be genetic in a dog with a long back and short legs. At any rate if it gets really bad she might end up with surgery if these bouts of bed rest don't work. It is too early for that option (which costs about the same as a small car, second hand that needs new tires) the vet said, and there are risks too with surgery, so we have to do this first.

So Daisy is set up in a child's Pack and Play until June and the dog stroller is how we are breaking up her boredom.

Even other news is the mouse folks were back and have fixed up some holes that a former and apparently no good employee left when they supposedly mouse proofed the house last time.  As opposed to poisoning for the current residents we have opted for one way mouse doors that let them out and not back in. Apparently it will take about 3 months to move them all out this way, but it is safer.

In the meantime the mice are sort of still running around (thanks for the heads up on the dog food- I hid it in the dishwasher last night - remind me to take it out before I turn it on this morning). 

Last night in fact one ran over my husband's foot in the middle of the night in the bathroom. He eventually killed it with the toilet plunger but after all of this I had trouble getting back to sleep.

I kept thinking of the mouse family that is certainly one of many in my walls.

"Where's Ed? He should be back by now. He said he was only going to nip out for a quick run around the bathroom and he's still not back."

"I told him he should just use the mouse door to the outside. But you know Ed. Can't tell that mouse anything."

Yes I actually thought this lying in my bed in the middle of the night.

Apparently the mice have made me lose my mind.

But at least the underwear fits.


KellysSewing said...

Thank you for the smile this morning. And the panty pattern info. 🙂

Summer Flies said...

I bought some undies like that a few months ago - made from milk fabric no less - and they are so soft and comfy. I use them as my sleep undies.I hate having nighties swishing around my legs so wear these and a pj top. I'm feeling your pain with the rodents... I have rats in my wall tonight.. I hope it's a rat (am I really thinking that?) because if it isn't it's a possum and that's a much bigger problem.

celkalee said...

Thanks for the undie review. I am rather stuck in a rut and still have my favorites available via amazon at a decent price. I have a stand-by Vogue pattern from the 1990's that works well for me but I might try this one. Love the banding vs. elastic.

Glad you are home safe and sound, always enjoy your posts.

PS: the only good rodent is a dead rodent with someone else to take away the body. 3 months! I would move back into the RV!

Julie Culshaw said...

We were infested with mice a few years back and one pest control company didn't help at all. I called Affordable Pest Control, the guy was great. He explained how the homeowner really has to plug up every hole in the house with steel wool, and metal screening in all the vents, the object being to herd the mice into one room (obviously the kitchen) and then sticky traps do the work. I caught 24 mice in a 6-month period and we only had one mouse show up after that in the next year.
The house was sold and the new owner is probably wondering why there is so much steel wool behind baseboards and screening in every heating vent.
The guy also said if you have a few mice, you can be sure you have probably a hundred as their cycle from birth to reproduction is 21 days. A formidable foe!

me said...

I use the green 'tomcat' blocks to poison the mice. I also have an electronic pest control. I understand your wanting to turn them back out - but they'll be back if you don't do 'something'. They are dirty and carry lots of germs. My pantry looks like an add for plastic containers.

Loved the info on the undies.

Kansas Sky said...

Your mind is not lost! Thanks for the undies review. Hmm. I'm thinking. I've never considered making those.

garnet128 said...

Like a previous poster, I like the idea of banding vs elastic as well. I think I will try that with my favorite pattern.

You are hilarious having a mouse conversation in your head. In the middle of the night. Just too funny.
I came down one morning to do a load of laundry (basement) and right there all snugly and warm was a mouse, sound asleep on top of a load I had piled and ready to go in the washer. Stayed asleep until hubby swept it right into a bucket for immediate relocation.

Daisy...Please DO follow what they say. I speak from experience, with a really bad ending. It may be hard and she may hate it. And yes the surgery is the price of a vehicle, or in our case, our Holland/Ireland vacation. Plus some. But more than anything is the heartbreak when it all goes wrong. If I knew then what I know now....

patsijean said...

I recently watched this video by on Craftsy by Beverly Johnson. I subscribe to Craftsy Unlimited and watched the class "Lingerie Essentials: Boyshort Panty Styles, The Combo Panty Variation". One drafts the pattern to personal measurements. I so have knit fabric I will be using after I make the planned tops. Beverly covers fabric bands too. I will be jumping in and making some panties soon. The techniques look very easy and quick.

Barbara said...

Janet don’t have anything booked in MA, where are you? My husband has relatives who come up to Nova Scotia every summer, maybe we can organize a courier?

Barbara said...

Garnet would you email me with your own experience with dog back surgery? Need more information.

Carol in Denver said...

Maybe leg bands instead of elastic would provide relief for those of us who are allergic to latex. My favorite panties (Elance by Jockey) seem to sometimes have latex elastic and sometimes not. When I wear latex I am frantic with itching. Even though the elastic is covered with fabric (thin cotton knit) the itching is horrible.

jirons42 said...

I love a post that can make me laugh at 4:30 AM

Kathie said...

Darn you, Barbara!

Good thing I hadn’t just taken a sip of my coffee when I read the dialog about Ed's whereabouts! Would have made a bit of a mess.

Anonymous said...

Love the comfy looking undies, going to try that with some leftovers. If it's any consolation on the mice front,this past winter I woke up to terrible yowling in the living room,looked in and the cat was toying with a mouse. I have no interior doors right now,so I barricaded myself with boxes as best I could. It went on for hours, mice screaming. In desperation I climbed out the bedroom window and slept the rest of the night in the car (seemed like a good idea at the time). I drove to Tim Hortons in the morning in my pyjamas and called my son who came and cleaned up the slaughter. Five dead mice shredded all over the place, one ancient 20 year old female cat who slept for 3 days solid. A total nightmare, I'm still traumatized. I called the exterminator who said I don't need them, I already have an exterminator!

TracyKM said...

I've been making the Scrundlewear and love them though would like a bit more booty coverage. Not bad in the rayon ones, but the CL ones come up instead of across the botttom. One thing I do is taper the leg bands, instead of just narrower. So they're narrower through the crotch and wider over the outer thigh.

marciaelaine said...

B, I know you love animals & you’re trying to avoid harming the mice so I’m leaving an idea I’ve heard about but not tried myself. I heard on the call-in part of a podcast (Christopher kimball’s milk street) that mice dislike the smell of peppermint. The caller said it was successful for hm and was asking how to make peppermint oil as it is expensive to buy. Hope you have time to listen to his question & their response. Episode 140 around 12 minutes in