Then, I recently discovered that Merckwaerdigh has a great tutorial on converting Lingerie into swimwear. SWEET! I've been wanting to try the clear elastic, but wanted a little guidance before I dove into it. Her tutorial was just the push I needed.
So, I grabbed some pink nylon lycra I bought at Joann's in the dancewear section and remnants of the Funkifabrics Ikat Lycra I used to make this skirt plus some white swimwear lining from Pacific Fabrics and went to town.
One of the techniques I learned from Jan Bones was to sew elastics flat as much as reasonably possible. Though her technique is a little different and is focused on the comfort and placement of elastic around the leg in a slightly different way than I will be explaining. I suggest getting her smoothie panty pattern because the techniques she includes are worth the price of the pattern alone! Flat elastic insertion (rather than in the round) is what I did with this thong. That entire curve from side seam around the leg circumference to the other side seam is basically a single line.
- I put side seams together, marked 1/2 way
- then took the side seam to the 1/2 way point and marked that new 1/2 way point (which is really one of the quarters. You're halving the halves.
- Then, I took my elastic, folded in half and marked
- Last, I took the cut edge of the elastic to the mid point (the pin you placed in step 3), and marked that half. Halving the halves or marking the end of the the 1st and beginning of the last quarter of elastic.
- To encase the elastic, place the clear elastic on the wrong side, flush with the raw edge matching pin for pin between the pattern and the elastic. EASY!
- Pin the side seams and cut edges of the elastic
- Now, some of you might stop here and sew away. I've had too many seam ripping disasters, so I pin a little more. I slightly stretch between a set of pins, grab the flat smooth spot in the middle where the elastic and raw fabric are aligned with my teeth then grab with my hands and place a pin. I repeat until I feel it's smooth enough to not fight the sewing machine.
Here's the thong showing the sharp points and the leg elastics fully sewn in before I added the waistband elastic. That point where the side pieces meet at center front is a bit tricky. So I ended up folding them to whichever side allowed for a nice straight center front seam and no bumps, then stitching them down.