Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork Now

Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated. Please visit our current Articles, Patterns, and Classes for the most up-to-date content and products.

12 Lovely Lingerie Details

We’ve had so much fun putting pretty touches on our lingerie patterns and sharing the tutorials lately that we thought we’d do a roundup with these and a few more ideas! We drew inspiration from the lovely lingerie of past decades and changed them a bit for a more modern sensibility. If you decide to make some lingerie of your own, consider using some of these ideas to spice up your sewing.

1. Lace trims

Lovely lace trim in contrasting or similar colors is easy to add to the hem of the underwear. Many widths and colors of lace are available. If you can’t find the color you want, you can always dye it. Using vintage trims make your garment very special. Be sure not to use a heavy trim, which will pull on the underwear, distorting them due to being cut on the bias. Lightweight lace trim is the best way to go!

2. Ribbon straps

The Nutmeg bralette looks adorable with many kinds of ribbons for straps. Velvet ribbon adds a touch of luxury whereas striped grosgrain is fun and bright. The ribbon you choose changes the tone of your garment. Be sure to use good quality ribbons because they will last much longer than inexpensive ribbon.

3. A fabric covered button

We love the look of a fabric covered button centered on the bra or tap pants, especially when it matches the lace trim. Most self cover button packages come with instructions printed on them and are easy to assemble. You have the pick of whatever fabric you want for your button. A small button works the best as an accent to the underwear.

4. Lace applique

Lace applique is an amazing detail! It looks extremely difficult to make but is actually very simple. It can be applied just about anywhere on any garment, and would look fantastic on any of the lingerie patterns. Use this excellent lace applique tutorial to add it to your garment.

5. Contrasting elastic

Lingerie elastic is different from regular elastic in that it can be sewn through and not lose its stretch. It’s also thinner and softer since it must press right against the skin. For this underwear we used a picot edge elastic in black for a high contrast. See if your fabric store carries different types of lingerie elastic. The most common colors are white, black and champagne. If you’re able to find alternative colors, go for it! Sew Sassy also carries lingerie elastic in several varieties. Elastic is a nice little detail to highlight.

6. Reversed charmeuse

Silk charmeuse is a two sided fabric with one side quite shiny in contrast to the matte side. Both sides can be used as the right side. If you’re using this luxurious fabric, you can easily add some interest by contrasting the two sides in your garment. Though quite simple to achieve, the effect is stunning!

7. Applied ribbon

For those who love ribbons, apply ribbons down the front of the legs. We recommend this for the Nutmeg knickers pattern, which lends itself to fun details such as this. Because the fabric is cut on the bias, carefully pin the ribbon. Allow for a little bit of stretch in the leg when you pin the ribbon. We suggest basting it in place before sewing it with the machine, or better yet, hand sew it. If using a satin ribbon, pin only the edges as piercing the ribbon will leave a mark.

8. Lace inset

Rachel put together a great tutorial on adding a lace inset to the side of a hem. This looks so beautiful and easy to assemble with her instructions!

9. Ribbon rosettes

Rosettes are very sweet and a gentle detail to add. They can be store bought in many different colors and sizes, or handmade with thin ribbon. Rosettes take very little time to add since you only need one; just a simple few stitches to tack on the flower and it’s done!

10. Fagoting

Fagoting looks beautiful on garments. It would be a lovely addition along the hem of any of the underwear patterns such as a matching camisole and knickers. Sarai’s fagoting tutorial shows you how to make this amazing detail.

11. Machine scallops

Gertie has a great tutorial on making a scallop hem. Who knew it could be so easy? We made a scallop hem on charmeuse with matching thread. Contrasting thread or perhaps a deeper shade that matches your fashion fabric would be a fun idea to try.

12. Bows

A very quick and easy addition to your garment is a little bow. Simply cut a few inches of ribbon, leaving a little extra length. Stitch the middle of the ribbon to the garment. Tie the bow and trim the ends. Look for ribbons ¼” and smaller for your bow as a thicker ribbon will cause too much bulk.

We hope these ideas are inspiring to you and help you come up with some of your own! Share your creations in our forum and in our flickr group. We are excited to see what you come up with!

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin is the Colette Patterns design assistant. You can follow Caitlin at her blog, the story girl.



February 10, 2011 #

Lovely! So many beautiful ideas, I’m so inspired!


February 10, 2011 #

I’ve been wanting to use Sarai’s fagoting tutorial on something, but haven’t yet. Using at the hem like you mentioned is a great idea! Thanks for the roundup of posts, it makes for a handy bookmark.


February 10, 2011 #

Too many lovely lingerie posts, now I feel the urge to sew lingerie!


February 10, 2011 #

Thanks so much for this! I am utterly addicted to making lingerie but I am SO not an embellisher so you’ve given me some awesome ideas here (I especially love using both sides of charmeuse like that)!

The Cupcake Goddess

February 10, 2011 #

They really did turn out lovely! I’m very interested in trying my hand at the nutmeg, since its a pattern I have and was a tester for. I love the idea of wearing these tap pants and french bloomers under clothing as they seem to have much discreetness and look quite comfortable.



February 11, 2011 #

That’s true! One of the great things about tap pants is that they sometimes take the place of a slip under a clingy skirt.


February 10, 2011 #

These are all so beautiful and inspiring. Where do you like to purchase your lingerie fabrics and supplies? Thank you, the blog has been spectacular of late.


February 11, 2011 #

Thanks so much Katie (from all of us).

We buy a lot of our supplies locally, but Sew Sassy has a lot of lingerie supplies!

MB at Yarn U iPhone App

February 10, 2011 #

Machine scallops are great…be sure to use a heavier-weight thread than what you’re using to stitch the seams so you get great stitch definition. Stabilizer is a must too. I’d also suggest using a wash away stabilizer like Sullivan’s for slippery fabric.

Carlotta Stermaria

February 10, 2011 #

Thank you for this post (and the pretty pictures), Caitlin! Learning how to sew lingerie is one of my goals for 2011 (I’m currently finishing my first pair of Madeleine), and scalloped-edged knickers are definitely on my list, now. Maybe with a contrasting thread…


February 10, 2011 #

i love the scallop hem!! i want to try this on my dresses….hope my viking machine has this……fingers crossed.

{need to get out of the “straight” stitch mode!}



February 10, 2011 #

Wow! So beautiful : )

Thanks so much for posting this. They definitely don’t make lingerie like this anymore.

xx Michelle

PS I just started my own blog so check it out : )

Lingerie Luva

February 23, 2011 #

That Lace Aplique is amazing. Thanks for the class

Lingerie Diva

July 28, 2011 #

Those buttons and trimming with special materials really add some touch of elegance to lingerie. You are very creative person.


February 10, 2012 #

Fantastic post- so many inspirations!!!


February 27, 2012 #

You are so creative. Your tap panties are so beautiful and romantic. When I lived in England they called them “French knickers,” probably still do. I love all the ribbon and lace detailing, and was blown away by the delicate scallop edging, and the sweet lace appliques. I am inspired to incorporate some of these things into my own lingerie. I love the more traditional styles. Thank you so much for the the inspiration and for sharing your knowledge and skill.


March 28, 2012 #

Great beautiful work! I have been sewing for years. My favorite is lingerie. I am glad I found this site.

Trudy Gray

October 5, 2012 #

This was so refreshing and simple to follow.. Great ideas…