Vintage High-Waist Panties "The Smoothie"

Vintage High-Waist Panties "The Smoothie"

Posted by Kay on 12th Sep 2023

Level of difficulty: beginner


Pattern The Smoothie by Excellence in Sewing

Fabric Lightweight cotton knit – “Ladybug” by Robert Kaufmann

Elastic Pair 1  Red double-row plush picot and red fold over Pair 2  Black double-row plush picot

Once you get going, sewing with this pattern is quick and easy and produces a pair of super-comfy undies customized for you. I made the two pairs shown in this demo in an afternoon!


  • For this pattern you’ll need a serger or a basic sewing machine that sews zig zag. If you are using a basic sewing machine use the narrowest width zig zag stitch your machine offers for the crotch and side seams to give the panties a bit of stretch.
  • Use good quality thread that has stretch (e.g., medium-weight polyester or silk covered cotton work well with lightweight cotton knits) 
  • Select a light to medium weight sewing needle for your machine (e.g., size 11 ballpoint) that is designed to work with knits
  • All seams are sewn at 3/8 of an inch
  • Trace or cut out the pattern size that most closely measures your waist and hip. This pattern covers the full range of sizes. Select the size that most closely matches your waist. You should be able to create 3 pairs from one yard
  • Consider the first pair your "test pair" and adjust the sizing as needed once you see the result
  • Pre-wash the cotton knit fabric and elastic in hot water on delicate cycle with mild detergent to remove sizing and to pre-shrink the fabric and then hang to dry. Once you create it, hand wash the finished garment in lukewarm water with a mild detergent and hang dry to extend its life.


Pin the pattern pieces on the fabric folding either edge of the fabric so I could place the front and back pieces on the fold, as shown in this picture. I cut the crotch sections under the front panel section. Then I cut out the pieces. Our Robert Kaufmann cotton knits are 60 inches wide, so you should be able to get at least 3 pairs of panties from a yard of fabric if you are sewing up to 2XL size.

I removed the pattern and attached the front part of the crotch to the front section by pinning the right-side of the front crotch piece to the right side of the front panel, and the right-side of the other front crotch piece to the wrong side of the front panel, (making three layers).

You can stitch the fabric with either a serger or a regular sewing machine. On a regular machine use a zig-zag stitch with the narrowest width your machine allows for extra stretch. 

Here's how I sewed through all three layers on my regular sewing machine. You would do the same stitching with the serger. I like to use pins to hold the fabric pieces in place as I sew.

Stitch the crotch seams. Then turn the assembly right side out.


As mentioned earlier you need to use a regular sewing machine with a straight stitch at standard length.Pin the right side of the picot elastic to the right side of the fabric. To introduce stretch tug slightly on the elastic as you sew it. Sew a narrow seam so that the picot will show. I used picot elastic for this demo.

Once you are done attaching the elastic to the legs, press and top stitch the right side of the panties tugging slightly as you sew to expose the picot and allow for a slight stretch. 

Sew together the front and back of the panties. You can attach one or both sides of the front and back. In this photo I attached one side, sewed the elastic to the waistband, and then sewed the front and back of the other side together. If using picot for the waist, use the same process you did to attach the legs.

I used a different approach for the panties with a fold over waist. I sewed the front and back of the panties together with my serger and then attached the elastic. I pinned and sew the wrong side of the fold over elastic to the wrong side of the fabric, using a straight stitch and tugging slightly on the elastic while sewing to introduce stretch. 

Fold the elastic over and sew a straight top stitch over the elastic on the right side of the panties, tugging slightly to introduce stretch.

Success!! Here are finished product(s) - so cute, unique, comfortable and fun and quick to sew once you get the hang of how to do it. The second pair took less than two hours to complete.