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Vintage Inspired Lace Inset Tutorial

These vintage inspired french knickers are so simple and lovely that you’ll never need to buy another ridiculously expensive pair from the internet ever again! Well…maybe you’ll still feel the urge to splurge on vintage dainties (who can really resist vintage underpinnings, am I right?), but at the very least try our tutorial first. These steps can easily be followed with either version of Nutmeg – knickers or the tap pants – with a result that looks so 1920’s it kills me!

You will need:

  • Nutmeg pattern and necessary supplies (fashion fabric, thread, etc)
  • a yard of 3″ wide lace
  • fabric marker or chalk
  • a ruler

Step 1: Cut out fabric and sew knickers according to pattern directions stopping before you sew a narrow hem.

Step 2: With your chalk make a small dot about 1″ high on each side seam, then mark another dot on the hem of each knicker front about 7″ away from the side seam. Mark another dot on the hem of each knicker back about 5″ away from the side seam. Using a ruler, draw a line connecting the dots on the side seam, front knicker and back knicker. The lines should form a wide triangle with the highest point at the side seam.

Step 3: Cut out the triangle on each leg.

Step 4: Proceed by sewing a narrow hem per pattern directions.

Step 5: Pin lace to shorts in place of the wide triangle that we cut away. Again, the highest point of lace should be at the side seam, with the lace gradually tapering off along the hem.

Step 6: Carefully edgestitch the lace in place. Press hem.

Step 7: Cut away any excess lace on the ends and above the hem.

Step 8: Press lace while pulling taut.

Yay! You’re done! Share your completed project with us in the Colette Patterns flickr pool or the Forum, we’d love to see. :)

Rachel Rector



February 7, 2011 #

So beautiful! I am definitely going to have to add the Nutmeg pattern to my stash this spring and raid my vintage lace box… ;)

♥ Casey

Elizabeth (aka LadyKatza)

February 7, 2011 #

Ok, this is all just too awesome. I’m adding some spice to my life once I have my bonus in hand!


February 7, 2011 #

Oh man, I am so loving these little lingerie tutorials. I’m getting married this summer and I want to sew up some dainties for the honeymoon with whatever leftover silk I have from the dress. These are perfect!

Rachel [The Style Social]

February 7, 2011 #

This is so beautiful- and really quite grown up and tasteful. Thanks for sharing.


February 7, 2011 #

Very interesting. Thanks. I myself would baste the lace before stitching it by machine.

The Cupcake Goddess

February 7, 2011 #

They are seriously gorgeous! I saw these on the photoshoot you guys did and was really hoping for a tutorial! Right into my fav bookmarks you go. Need some, want some, have to have. I’m sure they couldn’t be more comfortable in silk either.



February 7, 2011 #

BTW, What do you all out Portland way think of “Portlandia”? I think it’s a scream.

Full Disclosure: I have a very good friend who’s lived there for a long time so I understand that it is a gentle satire. To me, it’s more about pretentious Bohos everywhere in the States.

Rachel Red Lips

February 7, 2011 #

I love the show!

Carlotta Stermaria

February 7, 2011 #

I must admit that when first dicovering your interest for sewing lingerie on your blog, and then learning that you were to work at the Colette patterns studio, Rachel, I was very selfishly thrilled, as it meant that someone with the same interest as myself and more projects than me under her belt might me sharing tips and techniques pretty soon… Thank you for that!

Rachel Red Lips

February 7, 2011 #

How sweet and awesome!! Thanks for the comment…can’t wait to check out your blog!


February 7, 2011 #

Very beautiful, thanks for sharing!


February 7, 2011 #

I just made some shorts this style, but I love the lace inset, I’ll have to make another pair now! Gorgeous!


February 7, 2011 #

so pretty, I really need to make some for myself!

amy k.

February 7, 2011 #

oh, I love this sooooooo much.


February 8, 2011 #

These are so pretty, and such a nice way to reuse those little bits of lace I can never decide what to do with!


February 6, 2012 #

Lovely! and so romantic! I love the look and feel of 1930s era tap panties, or french knickers, or step-ins. Whatever you call them, they’re beautiful, and delightful to wear.


September 19, 2012 #

Beautiful! What kind of fabric was used for these?