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Make Your Own Underwear: Tips for Attaching Crotch Lining

how to make your own underwear

We have serious things to chat about today, and by serious, I mean crotch linings. I’m sure, almost positive, that after reading the word crotch several times and looking at all the prettiness of crotch linings, you’ll be dying to make a pair of panties. DYING…

Crotch linings are the unglamorous side of sewing panties, or knickers, or whatever kind of underthings you call them. I’ve wanted to skip this step so many times. Almost always, crotch linings are made of cotton jersey, not anything poly, because it breathes. Cotton jersey can be difficult to handle though. It can stretch out of shape and shift out of place. I use a couple ways to make it easier to sew, which I’m sharing today, so nobody goes crotch lining less. There are so many ways to attach a crotch lining – this is just one way – and I’m not claiming that I am the first to use the following method.

Note: I have used the word crotch 7 times so far.

Below is how I attach, and the pictures that follow are in order of construction steps. Note that I am using a black textured lycra from Jomar underlined with nude stretch mesh from Bra Makers Supply for the panty, and a white cotton jersey for the crotch lining from Fleishman Fabrics.

  1. Cut out front and back panty and trace crotch lining onto a rectangular or square piece of cotton jersey.
  2. Sew front and back panty together at crotch seam.
  3. Serge front and back edges of crotch lining. If you had cut the crotch lining and then serged, most likely, it will stretch out of shape. At least that’s always been the case with me. To prevent, I trace, then serge so that if any stretching happens, I can recut to the original pattern shape.
  4. After, I cut the left and right sides of the crotch lining, removing the seam allowances (usually 1/4″). When attaching elastic at the leg opening, it can get bulky where the crotch lining is. Many times, I have a hard time making it over the “hump” where the crotch lining begins and thus get skipped stitches. By removing the seam allowances, I reduce one ply/layer of fabric. Seriously, this step is the difference between getting skipped stitches and not.
  5. Last, I use temporary spray adhesive to attach crotch lining to panty. I push the crotch seam allowance forward and then place the crotch lining so that it extends 1/4″ (width of the seam) behind the seam. This not only conceals the seam allowances, but reduces bulk. The common method for attaching a crotch lining is to sew it into the crotch seam, but my problem with that way is that all those seam allowances are pushed forward, and when I attach the elastic at the legs, again, I have a hard time getting over the hump.
  6. Attach elastic at leg opening + waist, and finish panty according to that style/design.

Does this make sense? How do you attach crotch linings? Maybe you have an even better way!

Note: I have used the word crotch 21 times. 

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  1. Reply


    Sorry to sound negative, but I just had to comment about the basting spray. Personally, I wouldn’t want to use temporary basting spray on underwear, especially on the crotch area. The word “temporary” is kind of misleading – while it is temporarily STICKY, it stays in your fabric. My tests show it doesn’t actually wash out (maybe it washes out after many washings – on the sample after one washing, the basting spray didn’t seem to wash out at all and was still sticky). If you read the manufacturers product descriptions carefully, nowhere do they claim the product “washes out”. They just say “the bond will release when washed.” Anyway, for those of us concerned about making sure underwear crotch linings are as breathable as possible for health reasons, I’d suggest using starch and washable glue stick instead if you need to make your fabric easier to handle.

    • Reply


      Good recommendations! So sorry you were rudely slammed/challenged.

      • Reply


        I did not in any way mean to be rude. I just wanted to draw attention to the potential problem of the basting spray reducing the breathe-ability of the crotch lining. I always used to think basting spray washed out until I tested it, so I’m sure there are plenty of other people who assume it washes out. For women who can tolerate having the outer layer of the crotch area made from polyester, I guess using basting spray wouldn’t matter much, but for those of us who need both layers to be cotton, it might make a difference.

        • Reply


          You were not rude at all but the commenter Natasha didn’t like your very thoughtful & constructive recommendations. I’m rather surprised her comment has not been removed by Maddie.

          • Leila

            I’m pretty sure Natasha’s comment was just a joke in response to the number of uses of the word “crotch” in the post, not a response to my comment. I thought you were saying my comment was rude, so I guess it’s easy to misconstrue someone’s intentions from a brief comment.

          • Natasha Estrada

            No my comment was not as response to Leila’s comment AT ALL and was posted before Leila even commented. It was the first comment posted. Maddie and I are friends in real life so she understands my humor. Hence why it wasn’t removed.

            I prefer the Sulky Adhesive spray to the brand used in this article. It does wash out better and is less toxic to breathe.

  2. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    But you didn’t use the phrase “crotch rot” please start again.

  3. Reply


    For the most breathable crotch fabric a cotton LINING is not the best because the polyester or nylon fabric is still there, restricting air penetration. When cotton-crotch panties went the way of the dodo bird some years back I had to remove many an outer layer or replace the whole panel to avoid a chronic vaginal infection. I’ve even replaced the crotch panel in pantyhose!

  4. Reply

    Linda Crawford

    Many years ago, I took a Stretch and Sew panty class. Every time the instructor said “crotch” , she blushed! I really like your ideas to reduce bulk in “that” area.

    • Reply


      too funny!

  5. Reply


    Great tips, thank you. My few attempts to sewing undies had the same problems in the bulky sections. I can’t wait to try this method : )

  6. Reply


    I grade the three layers in the seam and I use thin cotton jersey- haven’t noticed a problem with bulk. Love the idea of removing seam allowance, will try that!

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