I made my first undergarment when I was about 14. When I decided to take up sewing lingerie as an adult, I realized that I would need to invest a lot of effort into finding my materials and honing specialized techniques in order to produce items that are up to my standards of quality.
Since then, I’ve realized that the hobby of designing and creating lingerie has quite a little community online. I’ve decided to publish a series of posts about what I use and how I use it in order to share the knowledge and resources that I’ve gathered.
This, the first post, will be about the most iconic sewing notion: thread.
Sewing lingerie often involves sewing very thin fabrics into very precise shapes. The margin of error is often much smaller than when sewing other types of garments. Due to this, thread choice is particularly critical for lingerie makers.
Use fine threads
Using high quality thread is always recommended, but here ‘fine’ refers to the thickness of the thread. Any time you’re sewing delicate fabrics, you will want to keep the bulk of the seams to a minimum. Using fine thread allows you to have a smaller stitch length (which is crucial for thin fabrics and lace) while keeping your project dainty.
Of the fine threads I’ve tried, my favorite is the Gütermann Mara 150. Unfortunately this thread can be hard to find. The best resource for this is the Oshman Brothers shop in NYC. This shop is an amazing little hole-in-the-wall that probably deserves its own post. If you’re unable to visit the Oshman Brothers store, they do sell the Mara 150 thread through their website.
Another good option is Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP Fine thread. This line has a smaller shade range than the Mara 150, but is less expensive and is more widely available. It can be found at JoAnn.com, though availability in JoAnn Fabrics’s brick and mortar stores varies.
An additional bonus to fine thread is the ease of matching it to fabric colors. It is less noticeable than standard thread, so minor shade differences are often hard to see. You can buy fewer colors and save money.
Use synthetic thread
I’m usually a huge fan of natural fibers, but not when I’m picking thread for lingerie projects. Cotton thread tends to vary slightly in thickness, which typically isn’t a problem. However, when dealing with delicate fabrics and laces, these variations can result in puckering and stitches that look sloppy.
Synthetic thread is also typically stronger, which will allow you to use fine thread without risking the durability of the seams.