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Amerson: Technical Details + Pattern


I never thought the day would come, when I release a pattern, but it has. I remember emailing back and forth with Rochelle over a year ago and sharing with her my goal to eventually make and sell patterns. I also remembering emailing with Amy, Dixie, and Kristiann about my questions regarding making a packaged pattern. You see, I have plenty of experience with patterns but my experience is in the “industry.” The home sewing world is completely different and it took me a long time to figure out how you, the home (but very skilled) sewist, works with patterns. Include a measurement chart? I hadn’t used a home patterns in years; I forgot what was included in them. But today, I can finally say that I have a pattern for you, Amerson.

About eight months ago, I shifted my sewing focus to lingerie. Prior to lingerie, most of my projects were dresses, skirts, or other fancy, over the top garments. But lingerie presented a new challenge both in sewing and patterning that interested me. Plus, lingerie is super feminine. Since I got into this category of sewing, I have made many bras and undies and over Christmas, Valerie, Brandy, Becky, and I collaborated with a photo shoot. One of the undies features was a star printed pair of ruched undies. This is Amerson.

Yes, I plan to release the remainder of the patterns from the shoot but for my first pattern, I chose the simplest garment. I wanted to focus and to perfect the process of creating a PDF pattern and not overwhelm myself with the actual pattern. So hang around a little while and you’ll get the other patterns. I promise.

Because this is my first pattern and because it is such a simple pair of undies, I’m offering the pattern for free. Yes, I’m generous but there’s another reason Amerson is free of charge. I’m a huge believer in constructive criticism. It’s a great way to grow and to get stronger, faster, and more efficient. With Amerson, I want you to critique me. Tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what I missed, and what I accomplished best. I may have created the pattern correctly and I may created the pattern incorrectly. You tell me.

If you’re not interested in making a pair of Amerson undies but want to see the construction details, click here for a technical sketch.

Also, Melissa of Fehr TradeΒ published several posts about her undie makings and even offered a few patterns for free last week, which means you have two undie patterns at your disposal just in times for Love Day (Valentine’s Day) this Thursday.

Lastly, thank you to Anto for creating the beautiful illustrations of Amerson.


  1. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    Off the top of my as I skim over it I’m going to have to say I think you might trip a few home sewers especially self taught with the abbreviations CB/CF. It seems intuitive to a pattern drafter but might be considered by some as industry jargon. You best bet is to post this for critique at Patternreview. You might get a little bit too much feedback but at least you’ll get an idea of how to taper your product to the audience your aiming for.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Good suggestions. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    stina berggren

    The pattern looks SO beautiful! I can’t wait to give it a try. I’ll be patiently waiting for your future patterns and projects!

  3. Reply


    Congrats! I’m super excited for you! So how does the industry method differ from the home sewing method as far as patterns go?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      The industry uses programs such as Gerber or Lectra where a lot of the processes are automatically done – creating a graded/nested pattern, adjusting the pattern for stretch fabrics, laying out the pieces for the best yield. All of that is done like saving a document in Microsoft word. It only takes a few clicks. In the home industry, I had to do all of that manually, using Illustrator, and creating/checking my own method.

  4. Reply


    Awesome! I really loved that photo shoot. Well done. I’ll definitely be downloading and making this.

  5. Reply


    How exciting! I can’t wait to sew myself a pair of these!

  6. Reply

    Antoinette Perez

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to sew these up, and especially can’t wait for more patterns from you and your talented brain! Thank you!

  7. Reply

    Bekuh Browning

    This is such a big deal!!! Congrats pretty girl. Amerson is a real beauty.

  8. Reply

    Sewing Princess

    Congratulations Maddie! that’s a great pattern. CF and CB are totally understandable for me…but I might be a geek home seamstress ;o)

  9. Reply


    Congratulations! I remember “talking” with you about opening a pattern store when we first met. So happy that it’s happening for you! I’m looking forward to sewing these up!

  10. Reply

    Heather Lou

    Congrats Madalynne! I won’t have a chance to make these for a spell (still unpacking GRRRR) but they look adorable!

  11. Reply

    Anna Depew

    Amazing! The pattern is so beautiful and your graphics so stunning I can hardly stand it! Good for you Maddie and congrats on your first home sewing pattern πŸ™‚

  12. Reply

    anne w

    Congrats! Initial feedback from a non-Imperial measurement person, you may need to include Metric measurements. I know the American market is huge, and uses Imperial, but the rest of the world works in Metric for the most part.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Good callout to include metric measurements. I made a note of that revision and will definitely include it on my patterns going forward. Thank you.

  13. Reply


    Congrats Maddie!! Such a beautiful product. I can’t wait to try these out! Just gotta find some suitable elastics….

  14. Reply


    I would definitely understand CF/CB, but not what you mean by “CF and CB seam for yield”. And merrow is not a word I have ever heard in a sewing context, unless of course you mean an Irish mermaid. πŸ˜‰

    Also, the pattern looks like it is very low rise. In the past I’ve had huge problems with low rise panty patterns because I’m somewhat tall (5’9″). So, you may want to consider adding a lengthen/shorten line for those of us non-average heighted gals.

    I hope this is helpful!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      An even better callout. Thank you. I thought about adding a shorten/lengthen line but decided against it because I thought there was no reason to lengthen a pair of undies. It may not be necessary to make a pair of undies longer like you would a pair of trousers/pants but it is necessary to lengthen the rise for people who have a longer rise. This is especially true for patterns that already have a low rise.

      A glossary of terms will definitely be added to the next pattern. Yield refers to yardage. I could have made the undies one pattern piece but because it has a large shirring ratio, it would make the pattern piece very WIDE and it wouldn’t fit on a 45″ or 60″ wide piece of fabric.

      • Reply

        Sandra Stroud

        Aah I wondered why you had the cf/cb seam in there. I usually avoid buying undies that have that seamline, but that is usually when they are in a stretch fabric and are a er, *tight* fit!
        I love that yours are in a woven. These would be great under a loose floaty dress for our hot hot summer that we are having.
        And congrats on your first release. I can’t wait to try the pattern. Just have to get through an endless plie of alterations first!

  15. Reply


    I’m so excited for you! I love that you’re sharing your lingerie love and experience with the rest of us! πŸ™‚

  16. Reply


    Now, they are very pretty knickers and the first time I have EVER been tempted to make underwear. Thank you so much for your generosity.

  17. Reply


    I absolutely loved the lingerie shoot you guys did and these starry bottoms are so super sweet πŸ™‚ Congratulations on this milestone Madalynne! x

  18. Reply


    ummm…..where can I get that fabric!? I’m really excited to try my hand at making undies. Thanks so much for designing it!

  19. Reply


    The pattern is beautiful, and I would love to make a pair! I have 50 inch hips, and while I don’t have a problem with grading up a pattern, some people might… Maybe a slightly larger size range would make these more accessible? I feel like most women have hips that are above 40 inches.

  20. Reply

    Rochelle New

    Maddie they look AMAZING!!!! The illustrations, the overall look and feel of the pattern, everything! Well done, Lady! Can’t wait to try a pair for myself πŸ™‚

  21. Reply

    lisa g

    these are super adorable! yay for getting your first pattern out!

  22. Reply


    Congratulations!!! SUCH a pretty panty pattern, can’t wait to give them a whirl! I’ve long been an admirer of your blog and serious technical know-how, so I very much look forward to making this and your future patterns. Well done!

  23. Reply

    ARELLIS Pena

    Love the pattern and it’s already printed. I will try to grade them up, but it would be nice if there was XXL since the sizing seems to run pretty small. My hips measure 50 inches. Oh, and lovely presentation!

  24. Reply


    How cute! And I like that it’s woven fabric, because that seems like such a great scrapbuster. I won’t be able to get to it until the wedding dress is done, but I’ll definitely give this one a whirl when I can.

  25. Reply


    So nice of you to share this pattern with everyone! Can’t wait to try it!

  26. Reply


    Hi Maddie, from what I can tell so far the pattern and instructions look pretty good! I might even attempt to make these for myself while I never considered making underwear before… Something you might want to consider is to use a different style of dashed lines for each of the different sizes. For more complicated pattern pieces it can sometimes be difficult to see which line belongs to which size when the different sizes cross and an extra way to distinguish between the sizes really makes tracing the pattern a lot easier. Both patternpieces are now called front, while one of them is probably the back piece? And a typo: making misses the i in “the cool pattern makng and sewing blog”.

  27. Reply


    Congratulations Maddie on the first release! I’m so excited to give this pattern a try. I am already thinking of different fabric/elastic color combinations πŸ™‚

  28. Reply

    Latrice Smith

    Hi Maddie, congratulations. The design looks great.
    Sadly my hips are a little bigger then what you offer. πŸ™

  29. Reply


    Congrats! These are adorable and so “you.” A request: I have 42-inch hips, and would love to see some tips for grading up a size for us ladies with booty. Maybe some time down the road…;)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I addressed this concern in a follow up post. Good news is that I think you can still make a pair of Amerson undies πŸ™‚

  30. Reply

    Valerie Petralia

    Wow – how adorable, I feel like I could even make those. Nicely designed pattern and instructions. Congrats Maddie!

  31. Reply


    Congratulations, Maddie! This is very exciting news..

  32. Reply

    Janey Bates

    Here is my finished pair. I was able to make them in about an hour from printing the pattern to trying to wake my daughter up to try them out! I used a lightweight fabric (thrift store find!) and some lace elastic, because I only had beige 1/4 inch elastic which was not gonna work! My two suggestions are to use different styles of lines/dots for each size grade to make it easier to cut the correct one and to mark one as Front and one as Back for those that may be newer to sewing. At the moment both are marked on the printed patterns as “front”. I’m excited to see what you come out with next! Thanks!!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Wow! How great is this! And fast. I received emails this morning with your call outs. I am horribly embarrassed about front being printed on both patterns. I was making some last minute adjustments over the weekend and when I was copying over the titles of the front pattern to the back, I forgot to update it. I’m going to take everyone’s comments into consideration and update the pattern tonight.

  33. Reply

    Kat Campbell

    Thank you for giving us this gift! The PDF itself is beautiful! I think the instructions are good, though as some others have suggested, a glossary might be useful.

    My only other comment is that I have 44″ hips, but I can probably grade this to fit. I recognise that there are only so many sizes that will logically fit onto one PDF, but if possible it would be good to have a second PDF for (something like) 42″-50″ hips?

  34. Reply


    Super cute and beautiful pictures! Thanks for the free pattern! Marlise

  35. Reply


    this is adorable! i’ll have to try them out as soon as i get the chance! oh, and for us europeans, measurements in cm are helpful. saves me from doing the maths. yes, i am that lazy πŸ˜‰

  36. Reply


    Hello Maddie,

    Thanks for sharing your first pattern. Congratulations on getting it out there!

    I would also like to see the size and elastic charts in metric. It would also be great if you could repeat the test square on the first page, so that it is easier to find it to test printing a page before printing the whole document. This is less important for a small pattern…I wouldn’t want to print a huge pattern and then realise that I got the scaling wrong.

  37. Reply


    Oops, forgot to mention “plys” might be another word for your glossary, as I have never seen it on a sewing pattern before.

  38. Reply

    Daughter Fish

    Congrats, Maddie! These are so cute! I will post them this week:)

  39. Reply

    Camelia Crinoline

    Congratulations on your first pattern release. I can’t wait to make a pair (or three).

  40. Reply

    Kat Sultanie

    Congratulations on your first pattern! That is very exciting. I have never tried to make underwear. I do love all the gorgeous stuff people make in the blog world though. Maybe I should give it a go.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      it’s super easy. I promise you can do it.

  41. Reply

    Anne Sharkey

    Love these and beautiful drawing and styling

  42. Reply

    Amy of Sew Well

    I’ve been so excited for your first pattern release for so long! I can’t wait to download it and try it out. My first pair of handmade undies were from Cloth Habit, and I’ve also cut out fabric for So Zo’s pattern. But, now I can’t wait to make yours! Bravo and keep up the great work!

  43. Reply


    Dude, CUTE!!! Just downloaded the pattern, could be my first foray into the world of undergarments, I certainly have enough small pieces of fabric to make an army of these! One thing that I’m not sure if anyone mentioned but it’s something that I discovered though one particularly nasty email is that people really really really like all of the dotted lines for sizes to be different. I accidentally had made size 8 and 18 with the same line on the first version of my first pattern and people sort of freaked. Just something to consider, looks seriously classy though!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      yes! it is a big callout and I made a note for all pattern going forward

  44. Reply


    this is so exciting. love your undies and can’t wait to try them.

  45. Reply


    This is amazing thank you! I have SO many scraps that I could make something out of. YAY!

  46. Reply


    Yay!! Undies!!! See how I left off your least favorite word ;o)

  47. Reply


    Congrats, Maddie! Looks beautiful and well laid out! I love the illustration (and whaddya know, I’m a typography geek and I’m digging the fonts). I’ll second what Jen said. People asked me for distinct lines in sizes. I might change that for an update to my Ladyshorts and future patterns. But I know you just put a crapload of work into this so cheers to you, beautiful. I just adore that fabric!

  48. Reply


    Yay Maddie, this is great! Very impressed and proud for you. There is a dearth of cute lingerie patterns out there, I think, so this fills a void in the options for us home sewists. Congrats and good luck!

  49. Reply


    Yay! congrats to you Maddie. I’ll definitely have a go at making these. Just love the graphic design in the layout too. I too am a typography nerd and appreciate your efforts. Way to go you!!

  50. Reply


    Thank you so much for sharing this pattern – it looks so awesome and I can’t wait to sew it up!

  51. Reply

    Kate Hager

    this is such a beautiful pattern! congrats to you!

  52. Reply

    Grace Jones

    Thank you for the free pattern! the style is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to give it a try.
    I love the layout and clarity of the instructions. The technical drawings are wonderful. The pattern is nested the right way so that I can grade up for my size with little effort. Also, the sample photo is so cute, it makes me want to raid my stash for similarly rad prints. The quality of this pattern pdf is absolutely something I would pay for and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
    I also fall into the group of ladies who are not represented by the sizes offered. I think of myself as an XL when I buy alpha sizes (US size 12 RTW) so I’m a bit surprised that the XL is so much smaller than what I measure (35″ waist, 45″ hip). Since the pattern is nested well it isn’t a major issue, but it could be a problem when you offer more complicated patterns for a sale. Also, as a curvier girl I have way more bust than the “standard” B cup offered for commercial big 4 patterns. If you intend to focus on lingerie patterns I do hope you will consider those of us who are a D cup or larger. I second the request for a lengthen/shorten line. I’m 5’10” and I hate wearing undies that are too short.
    Good luck!

    • Reply


      I second all of this! as a 42″ waist and even bigger hip, i will have to do some tweaking to the undies to make them the right size for me. I will be giving it a go because i simply cant resist- they look lovely πŸ™‚

  53. Reply

    Rosemary Carsberg

    These are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your pattern. I have just released my first knitting pattern, but i don’t think i am about to make this into a business. Best of luck.

  54. Reply

    Truly Myrtle

    yay! I can’t wait to make some. I’m hanging out for those pretty lace french knickers from your photo shoot – I hope they’re next πŸ™‚

  55. Reply


    This is a really cute pattern! For the future, could you please include metric measurements? it would be a lot more useful then for countries that no longer use imperial Thanks in advance!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Yes, this one a silly mistake on my part. Going forward, I will include metric measurements.

  56. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    Congrats on releasing your first pattern!! I know this will be the first of many to come, for you πŸ™‚ Thank you for making this a freebie; I look forward to having the opportunity to try it out! ^__^

  57. Reply


    Congrats on your pattern release! I can sympathise with not thinking the work would ever end πŸ™‚ Wishing you lots of success.

  58. Reply

    Sky Turtle

    Love the illustrations and the look of the pattern, good job!

  59. Reply


    These are so cute and I totally want to make them – but shoot, I am confused already. I have the pattern pieces and am not sure how they go together. The straight edges are the waist and the side seams…? Cut two of each piece? Sorry, these are probably really stupid questions but I am still rather new at this. Beginner’s perspective πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Please don’t feel that your questions are stupid. My blog is a place where the stupid and the smart questions can be asked without judgement πŸ™‚

      Yes, two pieces must be cut for the front and the back (they will be attached/sewn together at the CF/CB). Both the waist and the side seams are straight edges but the waist is at the top and the side seams are at the side of the pattern. Does that make sense?

      • Reply


        Yes – thanks!

  60. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    Oh my good gracious. I am completely late to this party, but I CANNOT WAIT to make these. I see myself dancing around my new apartment in these and a concert tee. This is such a marvelous gift! Thank you for sharing this with all of us!!

  61. Reply

    Megan meggipeg

    Thank you for this adorable pattern. I have made some and blogged about them here http://www.meggipeg.com/2013/02/what-lies-beneath-amerson-undies-by.html. Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  62. Reply


    Hi Maddie, making my first pair right now!! Thank you for the free pattern, I know I read the elastic lenghts somewhere but can’t find them now, help please xx

  63. Reply


    love this!!! its simply marvelous! well done and thanks for the free pattern!!!!

  64. Reply

    Helen Made

    Great pattern, thanks so much!

  65. Reply


    Thanks for posting this – will definately try it out! πŸ™‚

  66. Reply

    Cassandra Kranz

    I am so excited to try this one out! Just discovered your blog today and I am already totally in love. I’ve been fascinated with lingerie for a long time and now I’m going to try this out!

    wish me luck!

  67. Reply


    This is amazing! Thank you so much for publishing it, I’m going to try this out! The PDF alone is pretty!

  68. Reply

    Michelle Bacon

    Most of these comments were 5 months ago so I hope you can help me now, but please could you label the side, waist, cf/cb on the pattern? Another beginner’s perspective

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks for the suggestion, Michelle. Creating this pattern was a huge learning curve for me and I will take everyone’s callouts I to consideration for my next pattern.

  69. Reply


    Hi, Thank you for the free pattern. Your blog is very cute to πŸ™‚ Can someone help me with the knickers though? I am having a really hard time. First I sewed up the wrong seam for CF and CB, I also sewed up the sides wrong. I un-picked everything, sewing along the curved line for CF and CB and now the shape is looking much better, if not a bit big. My lengths of elastic are much shorter than the openings for the waist or leg holes. I have never attached elastic before. Do I need to use a gathering stitch so the fabric and elastic are the same length, or do I stretch the elastic as I sew? Clearer instruction on the PDF would be very helpful. Thanks, Amy

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Amy, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles with the pattern, but I’m glad you’re foraging on. Please share photos when you’re finished. As for attaching the elastic – stretch the elastic to fit the length/circumference of the seam. Use a zigzag stitch to attach (not a straight stitch),

  70. Reply


    very pretty pattern, thank you!!!!

  71. Reply

    Ally Design Rewind Fashions

    I just found your blog and this absolutely adorable pattern. Can’t wait to make it and read back on more of your posts. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  72. Reply


    The Amersons you’ve made are so cute! Very pretty pattern design too.
    I’ve stumbled across a bit of a dilemma making these; are the curved seams supposed to be the CF & CB? I’m not sure how they’re supposed to join together properly. This is my first time making lingerie so excuse me if this question seems a bit silly!

  73. Reply


    This is so cute! But it’s so hard to read! Just bc you asked for feedback, please increase the contrast in the text and use a font that’s easier to read. The dashed lines in the pattern itself are also hard to follow-just use a solid line. Anyway, I love how pretty the pattern is and the undies, but the pattern itself is not super functional.

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