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How To Grade Undies

Undies, as you can tell, have been on my mind lately. I completed my first pair of Ohhh Lulu High Waisted Undies about two weeks ago and because I loved the flow of the project – pattern alterations were easy and the entire project could be completed in a day – I have decided to give this category of sewing a little more of what I’ve got. After reading all of your recommendations on lingerie sewing and pattern making books, I have made a list of potential books to buy. I’m also researching tips and tricks online as they are a little more current and modern (some of the books I found on Amazon were 10+ years old).


One fact I found during my hunt was the amount undies grade. It’s a fact you don’t necessarily NEED to know but it’s a good one to keep in your memory. What caught me about the way undies grades is the body width, which is 1″. That’s more than I would have initially guessed. Because undies are alpha sized – XS, S, M, L, XL – I would have assumed that the body width of undies grade 1/2″ (if a pair of undies were to be sized numerically – 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 – I would have guessed 1/4″ body width grade). But I can reason FOR this grade. T-shirts are more loose fitting than undies, which are like a second skin. Because of this, I can see why undies have a larger grade.


If you’re a critical thinker like I am, what’s even more interesting about this grade is the body length grade. The rise on a pair of pants – let’s say a pair of sleep pant that is also alpha-sized – grades 3/4″ for front rise and 3/4″ for back rise. But on an undie, front and back body length, which is essentially the rise, grade a TOTAL of 3/4.”


All are interesting facts… but I take it to be true.


  1. Reply

    Marisa Noelle

    This is definitely something I’ve never considered…ha! You should totally open up your own shop where you give sewing lessons, classes and such. There’s so much I don’t know, but wish I did when it comes to this kind thing!

  2. Reply


    Great post. Very informative and only strengthens my desire to dive into lingerie design and sewing.

  3. Reply


    This is interesting. It seems like underwear fits so differently depending on style and brand. I’d love to try making it some day.

  4. Reply

    Jennifer Gunn

    How much would you grade children undies?

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