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How to choose your fabrics to make your own lingerie or swimsuit?

How to choose your fabrics to make your own lingerie or swimsuit?

You are ready for the adventure of sewing bras, briefs and other pieces of lingerie…

But, very soon, you have a lot of questions… like: What kind of fabric should I use to make my model?

To help you with this research, we propose you a quick guide of fabrics. Let’s go!

Are you ready ? Let's go !

  1. Stretch fabrics
  2. Non-stretch fabrics
  3. Linings

1. Stretch fabrics

Most of the sewing pattern that you can find on our website are designed to be made in stretchable fabrics, containing Spandex fibers.

Those fibers are here to take the exact shape of your body, but also to regain its original form to avoid that the fabric ease after some time.

Spandex is a name that you can find in different forms, like Elasthane (French name) or Lycra ® (registered trademark).

Cotton-Spandex Jersey :

Ideal fabric for a start! Those jersey are stretchable, soft and comfortable because of the touch of cotton and the elasticity of Spandex fibers.

Furthermore those kind of fabrics don’t slide under the presser foot of the sewing machine. There are so many choices: plain color, printed, and even phosphorescent !

The weight of the fabric is an important point, that is why we recommend you to use jersey between 170 and 200 gr/m2. Beyond this weight, the fabric might be too heavy for lingerie.

Viscose-Spandex Jersey :

Flowing fabric and often quite heavy (between 180 and 210 gr/m2). Those jerseys are often cheaper than those in Cotton-Spandex but they crease easily and their staying power, when wearing, is not that good.

Cotton Jersey VS viscose Jersey : If you have the choice between this two quality of fabric, choose the Cotton-spandex Jersey, that will have a better staying power, and will be more comfortable in time than the Viscose-Spandex!

Microfiber / Lycra ® :

Very stretchable and soft fabrics, mainly composed with Polyamide and Spandex.

The trademark Lycra ® is so well known that it is used as a denomination.

Those fabrics are stretchable in both ways of fabric (height and width), and are mostly used for swimsuits.

If you wish to use it for lingerie, you might have a result bigger than if you used jersey fabric; just because those fabrics are so much stretchable. To be sure, do not hesitate to sew a first “test” model with a similar fabric, before doing it in the right fabric 😉

Laces :

Laces exist in different forms :

- Bands or galoons : exist from small to medium width (from 1 cm to 25 cm), this kind of lace is trim with since or double scalloped edges.

- Wide width : that are wide width lace, knitted like a fabric without any scalloped edge. They are knitted like usual fabrics.

It is important to use a soft lace for comfort, and to be sure that it is stretchable; in others words: it must contains spandex fibers.

Before you start making your new piece of lace lingerie, we strongly advise you to take a quick tour here.

Most of laces are stretchable only in one direction. We place the most stretch side in the width of panty, or bra. If you use a wide-width lace, you might have a result smaller than if you do it in jersey.

To be sure, do not hesitate to sew a first “test” model with a similar fabric, before doing it in the right fabric 😉

Stretch mesh :

Mesh are recognizable by their “net knitting” aspect, more or less opened. They are usually composed with polyamide-spandex or polyester-spandex.

They are flexible and comfortable, and we can find them in many colors. As they are very stretchable, you will have to use a very stretchable sewing stitch to get a nice result.

Be careful with 100% polyester fabrics, they might be not stretchable enough.

Powernet mesh :

Those are stretch mesh but more thick, dense and opaque, that gives them a strongest support.

They are very pleasant to wear for bras wings! We can also find it with words like “sheath mesh”.


2. Non-stretch fabrics (woven fabrics)

Some of our patterns have been made to be sewn into non-stretch fabrics, that we call “warp and weft” fabrics. You can use light fabrics like those of shirts, top. Plain fabric or printed one , there are many choices… that gives you the opportunity to personalize easily your underwear.

Poplin / Cotton veil :

Light canvas with dense weaving. Those fabrics are flexible, which don’t have any “brittle” aspect when wearing. You can find those fabrics easily in stores, and they are often in the cheapest ones.

Twill (like jean's) :

You can recognize twills by their weaving, because of the **fine and oblique stripes.**Most of jean's fabrics are done this way.

The benefit of twill is that it gives a light ease compare to poplin. The weight of twill is usually heavier, so keep in mind not to exceed the maximum weight of 210grs/m2.

Satin :

Weaving technique of satin gives it its shiny aspect and its smooth touch!

To make lingerie in satin, it is better to use a fabric with some spandex to get some stretch. Satin cotton-spandex, in polyester-spandex, or even in cotton-polyester-spandex for instance.

Crepe :

Delicate, light, sometimes transparent. Those fabrics can be composed with cotton, silk or polyester. They are quite difficult to handle, so you will have to be very meticulous when you’ll cut or sew those fabrics. Overstitching is essential to prevent fraying.


3. Linings

Jersey 100% cotton for crotch into panties :

To line the crotch of your panty, we recommend you to use a jersey in 100% cotton. As this is the most intimate part of the panty, it’s better to have a fabric 100% natural, and avoid synthetic fabrics such as spandex.

Non-stretch tulle : Non stretchable tulles are used into bras to line bottom cup and reinforce the maintain. Those tulles are very thin, comfortable against skin, and flexible to fit the shape of your body. You can find them with the name bra tulle

NB: Be careful, they are very different from the tulle that you can find to make tutus. Indeed, those tulles are rigid and rough, very unpleasant to the touch.

Swimwuit lining :

If you look into your swimsuit, you will see a lining with a fluffy texture. Those linings are composed with polyamide and are stretchable in height and width.

We can’t always find them in store, but they are available on internet. Usually, you will find them in white, black or skin tone. Don't hesitate to search into our good addresses, to find an online store.

Foam :

Ideal to line cups and give them a better support! Foam (or Padding) can be found online. It is composed with a padding of 3 to 5 mm thick, covered with a soft fabric on each side. Bras with padded cups are very pleasant to sew and to wear.


To help you into your research of fabrics, we have selected some online stores that offer what you will need. (Yes! even if you don’t have any store next to your house, you can find what you need!) To know what kind of supplies you will need to make your lingerie, it is here.

If you have any questions or if you want to share some tips, don’t hesitate to contact us by email :

contact@fitiyoo.com