Old underwear seems to have—at least for me—a kind of magnetic pull. I would glare at my stretched-out, ugly old Walmart undies every time I put them away in a drawer, but I’d still put them on again each morning without fail.
When I first started sewing, my focus was on learning the basics, and then sewing for my kids. I made my eldest son many pairs of boxers for months and months before I even considered the possibility of making myself some bras and underwear. There’s a term I see used in many of my Facebook sewing groups: the selfish sew. As in, to sew for yourself.
Unpacking the intrinsic wrongness of this phrase is a blog for another day. Suffice it to say that it is not selfish to sew for yourself. We all wear clothes, and we all deserve to feel good in the clothes we wear—underwear and bras included.
I decided one day, out of the blue, that I was sick of buying ugly underwear, sick of the fact that the (marginally) cute undies at Walmart wouldn’t fit my big butt, leaving me to wear the beige and white granny panties that made me feel about as sexy as…my granny.
So I made a pair of Lucky undies. Then a pair of panel panties. And I tried my hand at a few Lucky bras. Those first efforts aren’t pictured here because there is a small learning curve. But like all things in sewing (and in life), practice makes a real difference. And there is nothing so comfortable as a tried-and-tested pair of undies that are sized just for you and which use fabrics and patterns that really speak to you.
The Lucky undies and the panel panties are both awesome in their own individual ways: I find the Lucky to be a quick sew that is sometimes easier than doing a load of wash; while the panel panties are a totally amazing scrap buster that often challenge me to be as creative as I can be (hence my cat-and-mouse undies pictured here).
The Lucky bra was my biggest challenge, if only because I kept pushing it aside in favor of sewing more familiar patterns for my kids and my husband. I had to make a real effort to be selfish and sew myself a couple of cool bras to realize that it isn’t selfish to want to look and feel good underneath your clothes, and neither is it selfish to finally free yourself of your tired and ugly old bras and undies.
You don’t owe those old underclothes a thing. Throw them away. Burn em, and go make yourself something cute and special and totally yours. Remember how cool you felt as a kid in your Wonder Woman underoos? That’s how these will make you feel. Like a Superhero. Like the coolest, raddest chick on the block.
A note from Steph – A special thanks for Sara for this amazing post! Now go make yourself something amazing and don’t feel the slightest bit selfish when you do! And then check out Sara’s shop Atomic Designs
6 thoughts on “The Selfish Sew: Or How I Learned to Love Myself and Throw Away My Old Undies”
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I have started selfish sewing. It feels good. Now my girls are teens, they don’t like store bought underwear. They just don’t fit them right. I am going to do the SOC Sew along for the Rad Bra. Can’t wait. My girls and I will be wearing some cool under clothes.
Good for you! Have fun with it!
My next sew will be undies for me!!
Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! Start sewing for yourself right now! 🙂
glad you like my cat & mouse design. that’s the great thing about scrap busting–you get to be super creative! my shop is only on facebook, unfortunately. 🙂 but if you ever become an FB user, i will be there along with a zillion other great shops & groups (including the rad pattern group!).