You don’t need fancy machines and accessories to make beautiful lingerie at home. Most modern domestic machines will have a variety of stitches for you to use, and a quality machine will be able to handle the lightest and most delicate fabrics.
Here’s a breakdown of the machines, stitches and accessories I have for sewing lingerie at home.
Bernina Activa 130 in Canada
Bernina Activa 140 in the UK
This is my Activa 140 in the UK. She's my lovely Swiss Miss and handles delicate and stretch fabrics with ease. I picked her up off Gumtree and she's been a fantastic purchase. I bought my Activa 130 back in Canada straight from the dealer in 2000. These machines are a worthy investment. Note: the Activa 130 just has a few less embroidery stitches.
Brother Innovis-30 in the UK
All three machines have the stitches that are commonly used in lingerie.
Here’s a breakdown of what stitches you’ll need for lingerie design.
2.5 for seams
2 – 3.5 for top stitching
4 – 5 for basting
Industrial Equivalent: Bartack Machine
I use this as a bartack and a way to finish off raw elastic ends because it's really just a tiny zig zag stitch.
Zig Zag/Cross Stitch
Industrial Equivalent: Zig Zag Machine
Various widths for different needs such as stitching on elastic.
3 Step Zig Zag
Industrial Equivalent: 3-Step Zig Zag Machine
Also used for stitching on elastic.
Janome Coverpro 100 CPX
Industrial Equivalent: Coverhem
This machine just opens up your designs to more finishing options on the hems of camisoles and nightgowns, as well as leg openings on knickers. It has various configurations with either 3 needles, 2 wide, two narrow, or a single needle for a chainstitch.
I leave mine set up as a wide twin needle for leg openings of knickers.
Toyota SL3335 4-Thread Overlocker
Domestic 2, 3, 4-Thread Overlocker/Serger
Industrial Equivalent: 3 & 4-thread overlock
Having an overlocker is a necessity for things like side seams on knickers and you’ll find lots of other uses for it as well. When I picked apart a pricy Belgian bra, I was shocked to find that the cut raw edges of all of their embroidery had been overlocked. Might give that a go here too!
Polyester (Gutermann 120 Mara)
In my ‘favourite things’ post – I shared with you what I love about the Gutermann Mara thread. When you’re using an overlocker and coverhem – you will also need to invest in nylon/bulk/wooly nylon threads. These threads have stretch in them, and they are the bottom thread of the seam and are fed through the machine’s loopers.
Accessories you’ll want to invest in:
Zipper Foot & Invisible Zipper Foot
Most sewing machines likely come with a zipper foot. For my Bernina, I invested in an invisible zipper foot that makes life substantially easier for sewing in an invisible zip.
This little foot is fantastic for adding a strip of bias binding on places like top cups! Love this creature! With this foot I have to cut small strips on the bias, about 25mm wide, and then fold over and press into the strip to stitch in place.
I’ve played quite a bit with this foot, but haven’t used it yet in any of my garments. I think it would add some fantastic pleats to a camisole or skirted knicker. I tried to sew a sample for you today as well - but I just couldn't get it to work. **cries**
Rolled Hem Foot
Making silky camisoles, nightgowns or French knickers? You’ll want one of these to do the hems to make your life much easier! These come in different sizes, and I chose the smallest one as it seemed more appropriate for lingerei.
What machines or accessories do you need to make your favourite designs?!
Educating women on the benefits of proper fitting bras is important to Kim. Designing lingerie that complements the fuller figure, and is comfortable, on-trend and beautifully constructed is her mission.
We are in charge of our bodies, and we make the decisions that are right for us, with no judgement. Kimtimates supports those who make their own choices about their own bodies. #yourbodyyourchoice #mybodymychoice