Plusieurs bobettes

Or multiple knickers. Whilst I love the word “knickers”, my friend Hélène suggested the word “bobette” and I like that even more! So let me introduce my two new bobette patterns, the free Acacia from Megan Nielsen and the Mary Knickers from Measure Twice, Cut Once. I bought the Mary pattern for two reasons; the first being that Susan has had a year from hell and I thought buying a couple of her patterns would show some love, and also because Hélène had mentioned that boy leg bobettes were her favourite, and I fell in love with the style when I wore my boyleg swimsuit, and I haven’t seen any other boyleg knickers.

I got home from Singapore and printed out the patterns quick smart and then when shopping in my scrap bin, and came up with this little pile of fabric and elastics.


I decided to use my coreopsis dyed cotton for the test version of each pair. They are a bit rough and ready. That triangle on the Acacia is a bit of visible mending because when I did the dyeing over an open fire a spark scorched the fabric. I thought it was a flower and it was only when I scraped it off that I realised that it was a hole. Ah well, least said, soonest mended and all that!


In terms of fit: the Acacia were a bit loose in the legs. I measured the elastic as per the chart, but I have scrawny old thighs so this is a common problem for me. I took 3cm off each length of leg elastic and they now fit perfectly.

The Mary knickers needed a little more attention. I felt that they were a bit low in the centre back and added 1.3cm. The legs didn’t give me as much coverage at the back as I like so I added a centimetre from the side to about where the lining hits. I have shaded my additions so that you can see how much I added and where. IMG_1187

By the way, after the first pair I decided to put a notch where the liner needed to go as it’s much easier than trying to fit it evenly whilst sewing. All I did was put the liner on the pattern and mark the spot where it finished.

Later update: One thing to be careful of is the instruction for the elastic; it says to measure the opening and reduce that by one-third. I finished up with a piece of elastic 48cm long – not in my wildest dreams! In the end I eyeballed the ease for the first one and that gave me the measurement for subsequent pairs. There is no elastic round the legs, just a turn up and stitch.

Once I was happy with the alterations I traced off the patterns onto vilene and got to work. Two pairs of boyleg Marys, one with some marriage equality elastic and the other is some Jockey brand elastic turned inside out because I didn’t want the logo on the outside. I think this elastic came from my mother’s stash.



Then two more pairs of Acacia. I used fold over elastic on one pair and picot edged elastic on the other. I did not enjoy the application of either.


I found a pair of self-drafted bobettes that I had cut out and not finished, so I did something a little different with the elastic. I coverstitched it to the outside, using woolly nylon in the looper, and used plush backed lingerie elastic round the waist. I have decided that this is my favourite finish.


This pair also qualifies for Jungle January and will be my only make for that challenge.

I’m not quite finished making my bobettes, and of course I have to make the matching bras for all these…


33 thoughts on “Plusieurs bobettes

      1. Ah, then that’s a problem! I suggest you try the Acacia and fiddle until you get them comfortable. At least you won’t have to buy a pattern and you can use scraps, so the investment is small.

  1. I really enjoyed your thought process here Sue and your results are great. I’ve never attempted to sew undies. The process of stitching on the elastic edges scares the heck out of me. I keep wondering how on earth you get the right amount of ease! I guess as you did here, that a practise pair is the way to go first. I don’t own a coverstitch machine either….though I would like 2018 to be the year that I finally buy one.

    1. If you have a correct elastic length you simply divide it into quarters, do the same with the knickers and then match. You just reminded me to update my post as I think there might be an error in the instructions for the Mary knickers. Don’t be scared!

  2. I tried the SUAT bunzies undies pattern and quite like the moderate coverage version (comes in full, moderate, and light booty coverage). It’s all finished with fabric bands, so good for using up scraps! I made three in a row. I should try that bootleg pattern. Looks like good coverage!

  3. Thank you for all these details about two patterns I want to use no later than today! They will be my first makes of 2018. And a warm thank you also for using our funny word bobettes in French (this word is a most popular quebecism!). This post made my heart sing all the way! Love all your bobettes!! xx

    1. I’m so happy I made you happy! The word bobettes seems to be catching on – have you noticed? I hope you can make some bobettes which fit you really well.

  4. Very cute knickers. Can you tell me with each of these patterns – is the crotch/gusset lining finished on both sides or only on one? I like it to be finished on both sides and I have wondered how to achieve this.

    1. The gusset lining on the Acacia is fully enclosed, and the burrito method is used to achieve this. The Mary knickers don’t have the ends enclosed, only the sides.

  5. Love your bobettes! The title made me smile… I am French Canadian, bobette remains me of when I was a kid. I downloaded the pattern for the Acacia 2 days ago and it is waiting on my cutting table… I been following your blog for some time. I really enjoy reading about your makes and your travels 🙂 You seem to be sewing must of your clothes, are you participating in the rtw fast by Goodbye Valentino?

  6. Bobettes! Yes, bobettes from now on…out with knickers, on with bobettes. I love the term too! Now, on to your bobettes – you have been busy…I guess trial runs to get fit and finish established should be fast and furious. I agree. the coverstitch edge looks best. As for leg elastic – like you I have the scrawny legs, always too big. And I often find pants too low at the back and too low at the front…must be old age practicality, I suspect. Boylegs look gorgeous and comfy… the lack of elastic in the legs would be so nice to wear – sort of a modern version of the old french knicker! Both nice bobettes and I ratehr like your rustic patched ones…

    P.S. Re. your comment on my blog about plans for MAGAM…now, why did I suspect you were a on to the next shiny thing type of sewer???? Do what works for you Sue!

  7. A fine collection of ……. bobettes (yes, I like that word too). Great information given, as usual, and I will be trying the elastic application with the coverstitcher and woolly thread. Thanks!

  8. I totally get why you didn’t enjoy applying the elastics. I dislike that part too. I’ve read that as a rule of thumb, you should reduce the elastic length by 10%. 30 sounds way too much! I really like the shape of the Mary knickers!

  9. That‘s some nice bobettes, like the darling name! I have once made a course of knickers sewing and since then, I like sewing on the elastic. The waistband elastic is measured -10% and sewn on by quatering. The leg opening elastic is sewn on with stretch measured roughly at the table extension while sewing, less in the front and at the crotch and with a little more stretch at the back. I love self sewn bobettes because of their fit. I use the Smoothie panties pattern ( all the time because it is so cozy. Don‘t be fooled by the old fashioned technical drawing, it is an excellent pattern with full bum coverage and it looks good when dressed!
    I am looking forward seeing your future bras!

  10. Such an interesting post Sue. I fancy having a go at bobettes too. Not sure where I will find the elastic. Is it fold over elastic?. I certainly have lots of scraps waiting for a new life.

  11. Lovely bobettes and another who likes that name. Great tip for the elastic with the coverstitch, this will come in handy at some point.

  12. Look at all those remnants waiting to be turned into ‘bobettes’ (that’s so much nicer than undies!) I too find it satisfying to make something out of nothing – bonus bobettes!
    My biggest problem is getting the elastic right – it can change everything. Great idea to use the coverstitch, it must give a nice flat finish.

    1. I agree re the elastic. Megan Nielsen at least attempts to give the right measurements and then it’s just a case of adjusting until they are right. I find that I need different lengths for different elastic types, so am often a bit confounded!

  13. Hi Sue , another bobette convert although I don’t mind undies. I have now lost count of the number I have made and it took me ages to get it right ! I like applying the elastic now but used to hate it. Love all your pretty pairs alothough that sounds weird to write !!!

  14. Amazing. I’ve been looking to make my own lingerie due to the pricing of store-bought “Victoria Secret” but with my skill and your tutorials….. I’m excited to get started. I will never purchase another pair of Bobette from the store. Thank you so much.😍😍😍

Leave a Reply