In this tutorial I want to introduce you to my method of drafting a basic panty pattern. A basic pattern is usually used as a foundation for future pattern manipulation. However you can use this pattern directly to make a panty. This is the first article of a series that will deal with pattern construction, pattern manipulation and sewing of panties. So many exciting things to come!

Let’s get started!


For drafting on paper:

  • Transparent Drafting Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler (50 cm length is ideal)
  • Square
  • Dividers (optional)

Taking Measurements

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 1

You only need to take four measurements for this pattern! Correct measurements are really important for a fitting pattern, so do this step very carefully. If possible, ask someone else to measure you.

Measure the waist girth first. The waist sits at the narrowest part between the bust and hips, usually around 2 cm over the belly button. After measuring the waist line, tie an elastic tape around your waist, cause your waistline will function as a reference line for the other measurements. Then measure the hip girth. The hip girth is not measured over the hip bones but over the strongest part of the hips, that is over the bottom. Now do the vertical measurements: ‚Waist to hip‘ is measured at the side, the measuring tape follows the curve of the hip. The ‚crotch depth‘ is measured in the front with a straight measuring tape.’Crotch depth‘ should be longer than ‚waist to hip‘.

  • Waist girth
  • Hip girth
  • Waist to hip
  • Crotch depth
  • Gusset length = 14 cm (The gusset length stays the same trough all sizes, so you don’t need to measure it)

Drafting the Pattern

In this example I draft for a size 38(EU), 12(UK) or 10(US). I use the following measurements:

  • Waist girth = 72 cm
  • Hip girth = 97 cm
  • Waist to hip = 22 cm
  • Crotch depth = 27 cm
  • Gusset length = 14 cm 

Step 1: Guidelines

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 2
  1.  AD = ((waist girth)/4) * 0.9 (The 0.9 is for the stretch of the fabric, use 0.85 for very stretchy fabric and 0.95 for slightly stretchy fabric)
  2. AB = waist to hip
  3. BE = ((hip girth)/4) * 0,9 (Use the same stretch percentage as in AD)
  4. AC = Crotch depth
  5. CF = 4 cm (This measurement stays the same trough all sizes)
  6. Mark G halfway between D and E and draw a  8 mm long line perpendicular to the line DE

Step 2: Drawing the front panty

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 3
  1.  AL = 25 mm
  2. Draw the curve from L to D
  3. Draw the curve from D to E
  4. Draw a circle around D with radius r = 0.6 * (waist to hip)
  5. Mark H at the intersection point

Step 3: Drawing the front panty

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 4
  1.  Connect H and F with a line
  2. Draw a circle around H with radius r = (2/3) * (length of line HF)
  3. From the intersection point draw a line of 25 mm perpendicular to HF and mark J

Step 4: Finishing the front panty

  1.  Draw the curve from H over J to F
  2. Remove all unnecessary guidelines

The front panty is finished! 🙂

Step 5: Drawing the back

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 7
  1.  LK = 10 mm
  2. Draw the curve from K to D
  3. AO = (crotch depth) + ((1/4) * gusset length)
  4. Draw the curve from O to P (Measurements are in the sketch. They stay the same trough all sizes.)

Step 6: Drawing the back

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 8
  1.  Draw a circle (radius r = 20 mm) around H an mark at the intersection point
  2. Connect M to P
  3. Draw a circle around M (radius r = 20 mm) and mark N at the intersection point with MP
  4. Mark Q halfway between N and P and draw a 15 mm long line perpendicular to NP

Step 7: Finishing the back panty

  1.  Draw a curve from H to P following your guidelines
  2. Remove all unnecessary guidelines

Step 8: Drawing the gusset

How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 11
  1.  CO = gusset length (14 cm)
  2. Connect F and P with a smooth curve

Step 9: Finishing the pattern

  1. Mirror the pattern pieces at the center line
  2. Move down the waistline for a midi or mini style
  3. Add seam allowance
How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 12
How to draft a basic panty pattern - Schnittkonstruktion 13

You finished your pattern and you’re ready to sew your panty! I’m sure there are some tutorials out there in the internet, that teach how to sew a panty: 🙂 I’ll also show you my way of sewing a panty in one of my next articles.

But at first I want to focus more on pattern making and the next articles will deal with digital pattern making. On the basis of this panty pattern I’ll show you how to draft and manipulate patterns in Valentina and Corel Draw. Exciting, isn’t it !?

If you have any troubles drafting the pattern, just ask in the comments, I’ll try to answer as soon as I read it! 🙂

45 Gedanken zu „How to draft a basic panty pattern“

  1. Pingback: How to draft patterns with Valentina – Timelace Studio

  2. Thank you so much for this! I’ve used so many methods to draft a panty, but this is the first I’ve found that doesn’t require cloning or modifying a pant or skirt block. You are a goddess!

  3. Very nice!
    This was the first Valentina tutorial I’ve seen that one can follow along. I had known about it for a couple of years now but until your video I was unsuccessful. Please keep up the great work! I would love to see you do one on a corset. I see a lot of potential with Valentina like shoes, purses, shirts, jeans and more.

    I was playing with the Measurement db and found although the Add custom is quick the „Add known“ is quite intuitive as the functions are built in and will save time in the long run. So far I add only whats needed for the pattern and would have several measurement files per person(i.e. only add leg dimensions for pants) to keep from having to scroll through the list of options.

    Great job and Thanks for sharing!

  4. I drafted a panties pattern from your instructions without a computer or that program and they turned out great! They fit nice and smooth.I simply followed instructions as if from a book. I’m like a 48 inch hip, 36 waist.

    Please post a tutorial for sewing them, as I’d like to experiment with construction techniques.

    Thanks for this!

    I used this page for sewing them:

    1. Thank you for your feedback! 🙂 I’m glad to hear, that it worked for you!
      I already filmed a new video tutorial on construction techniques, especially applying different sorts of elastics. It „just“ needs editing. ^^ I hope it will go live in august.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. This is gold! I was looking for a swimwear drafting construction on internet for days and finally found your tutorial. My swimsuit is great!

  6. Pingback: Panty Pattern Manipulation 1 – Timelace Studio

  7. You are a living muse, thank you! I never would have figured out the Valentina without you to guide me! Now I have it downloaded, and have ordered 3 drafting pattern books, Awesome..

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  10. Thank you for this pattern! Your site is very instructional!
    I contacted my own pair but I found the seat to be a bit big. How would I go about adjusting them?
    Thank you again so much!

  11. Hi
    Thanks for the tutorial! Quick question, if you were sewing with a stretch fabric or sewing this pattern for swimwear would you forgo a seam allowance so the pattern needs to stretch a little to fit?

    1. I believe this is why you multiply by 0.9 in step 1, #1 and #3. You can choose different numbers if you’re working with an exceptionally stretchy fabric. Leaving out the seam allowances would have a similar effect, but could distort some of the seams (esp. the crotch gusset seams).

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  13. I was a little surprised to see your 1st images of the completed pantY. But also noted the concave shaping on your panty’s back leg edge.
    Am designing panty for friend with hips 77″. She’d be miserable if hip panty-line cut above her hips as your pix suggests. Any suggestions for much more ample hip-back-leg allowance.
    Your pattern so very well thought out both geometrically and mathematically. Am much impressed with your designing skill.

  14. i’m soooooooooooooooo gratfull for this as an apprentice this helped me alot in my practices i love it so well written and explained i also share the love for luxurious lingerie thank you so much you’re the best

  15. Thank you so much, I am an aspiring fashion designer residing in a country where there is no access to a real fashion design school. Your instructions have been very helpful and forced me to revisit mathematical problems I thought would have been useless in the real world, but I finally also understand how to use them. Thank goodness for the internet and blogs like yours.

  16. I can’t wait to try this method ! I’m a fellow who wears nylon full briefs (aka granny panties) and find they seldom have enough room ? (fabric?) in the front to accommodate a mature gent. I would like to know if you have any tips for making this area in front (above the front gusset seam) roomier?
    Thanks for the great pattern tutorial. I wait with great anticipation for your reply.

  17. Thank you, Luisa, for this wonderful tutorial! This is the first one I find that is really helpful in making panties the correct way. It will be my first time trying and I just had a couple of questions that I hope will be useful to others as well: 1. apart from the circles which are drawn with a compass, how do you draw your curves? I imagine you use curved rulers, correct? If I were to draw this by hand, I don’t think I’d get the curves right. If you use rulers, what kinds and how do you use them? 2. How much of seam allowance do you add? Thank you so much for your time!

    1. Thank you for your comment Paula 🙂
      To 1: I usually draft my patterns digitally, but if I draw by hand I actually often just draw the curves by hand or I use a flexible ruler.
      To 2: I tend to add little seam allowance because I think it makes sewing exactly easier. I usually add 1cm for normal clothes and the half of my sewing foot width, about 0.7cm, for lingerie so I can use my sewing foot edge for guidance.

    2. Hello Luisa !!! thank you so much for all this information, i am so glad that i have found your blog, i am from Uruguay and i work making uniforms but i need to make thing easier.
      Do you know something about a program call patronaje key? i think is not for free
      Thank you so much again for shearing your wonderful work

    3. Hi Luisa, I started drafting a pattern for the first time based on your tutorial; however, the crotch area came out too long on BC. My waist to hip measurement was 18.5 cm and crotch depth as 25.5 cm, thus BC ended up being 7 cm. This resulted on the circle with center H intersecting BE to the left of FH. On your drawing, this intersection appears to the right of FH. And sure enough, on my drawing, BC looks much longer than it does on your drawing. I decided to check your drawing for scale. According to your measurements, your BC should be 5 cm, but measuring it down to scale, it is more like 3.3 cm, so your crotch depth should be 25.3 cm instead of 27 cm. So, what I thought is that BC should be a fraction of the difference between AC and AB. Could this be a discrepancy on your tutorial? If you check your drawing, you will find your measurements don’t fit it. Would you kindly clarify? Many thanks for your help!

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    5. My problem is standard gussets don’t fit me. How do you draft gusset to measurements instead of a predetermined size.
      Standard gusset patterns seem to be drafted for round oval, whereas I am a flat oval. I have to reduce gusset length by 5/8″ – 7/8″ and increase gusset width by 5/8″.
      What measurements would I have to take and how would I apply them to drafting a gusset that fits?

    6. Love the clear way you instruct. I used a compass with measurements. Panties are very comfortable. My granddaughter has sensory issues to I made a few pair for her and she likes them. Hurrah!

      I am just wondering is the radius (such as around H, M, D always based on the measurement you have in this pattern. I believe it would be but am not sure.

      Thanks again for your very special talents and help.

    7. Hello Luisa,

      Thank you so very much for doing this video. I truly appreciate your hard work. I’m curious to know if you created additional panty patterns in Valentina. Now that we drafted the panty pattern, how would I modify that pattern to make a thong, high waist, etc. What is the seam allowance typically for underwear?

      Many thanks in advance. You are a gem!

    8. At first, I did not understand the radius and curve placement, I was confused and I am glad I gave it a second try….. Just drafted my official basic panty pattern. Thanks for sharing your methods!

    9. How do you flip a pattern piece, and how do you move down the waistline?
      The tutorial was very handy but how to do those two things

    10. Hi, thanks for the panty tutorial, very educative. I’m from Nigeria and I must commend your good work.
      Please, can you send in the various sizes for panties with their waist,hip,crotch and hip to waist measurements? I will forever be grateful for this. Thank you

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