Fat travel unders

I’m still thinking about travel wardrobes after my recent post ‘Fat Travel Planning’, which got an unusual amount of comments! Because there was so many great insights in the comment section, I thought that actually, some wardrobe sections deserved their own blog, so I’m cracking off with undies (not just because the Dulcie Boxer Briefs were released yesterday, but kind of because I’ve got undies on the mind)!

I never wanted to sew my own undies

Before I made my own undies I’d see folks get really into undies and bra making on instagram, and I’d be super impressed by their work. Bright colours, lace, matching findings, bra straps in amazing colours.. it all looks great… But, it also looks nothing like what was in my underwear drawer or what I was reaching for.

I never wanted to sew my own underwear but as I got sized out of my go-to natural fibre undies brand, I had to sew if I wanted something to wear. Now that I’ve experienced the comfort of me-mades and the delight of choosing my own fabric, I definitely wouldn’t go back.

Fabrics for undies

I love natural fibres- they keep me feeling fresh, and un-sweaty. Most of my undies are already natural fibres like cotton, bamboo, and merino. As folks pointed out in the comments of my recent ‘Fat Travel Planning’ post, bamboo dried super slowly, so even though it’s a delight to wear it’s not good for a ‘wash in the evening and wear again the next day’ situation.

If you can handle stretch mesh fabric it’d be a quick-drying option for undies and bralettes, but you’d want to use a merino for the gusset on your undies. I can’t handle stretch mesh, it makes me super sweaty and hastens my overheating!

Stretch mesh undies would dry very quickly for travel!

Unsurprisingly, my choice for basically all undergarments while traveling would be merino (like this one with spandex for comfort and stretch)! Merino undies, bralettes and some singlets too.. merino everything! It’s anti-bacterial (so it doesn’t hold smells), and it also wicks sweat away from the body! Basically, it’s a wonder-fibre!

I always get lots of questions about whether merino is too itchy as underwear. It’s not the same as wearing slinky bamboo, but as a sensitive individual I can say that I don’t mind it at all and it’s well worth it for the qualities that merino brings to the table!

Unders I’d pack

pink cotton
Above, a cotton combo Banksia Bralette and Kapunda Undies

The Duclie Boxer Briefs (just released yesterday and 15% off until 28th May) would have been the chub-rub shorts of my dreams for basically all of my trips, and would have stopped a lot of painful chaffing.

I love my Kapuna Undies, and I’d make some in a merino which would dry super fast.

I’d have some Banksia Bralettes , and some merino singlets too. I could do Banksia Tanks (with built-in Banksia), but I’d like to be able to remove the singlet if I heat up.

Dulcie Boxer Briefs-45
Merino spandex Duclie Boxer Briefs

In my travel bag

Dulcie Boxer Briefs

The Dulcie Boxer Briefs are new from Leila and me and they’re basically my ideal boxer short, which happens to be the perfect chub rub short! They’re also 15% off during launch week, no discount necessary!

Kits containing everything you need for the Dulcie and also the custom M&B elastic on its own is available from Nellie Joans in NZ.

The elastic we had custom made for us here in NZ, from the same manufacturer that NZ-brand Thunderpants uses for their men’s boxer briefs. My ex has undies that I bought him in early 2017 (or late 2016) from there and although the fabric is close to death, the elastic is still going strong! Basically, I knew it was made to last, so I’m thrilled to be able to use it on my undies!

Dulcie Boxer Briefs-55

Envisaged as both undies and also chub-rub shorts, the Dulcie are basically a 2-in-1. There’s a large gusset which eliminates the inner-thigh seam (to cut down on chafing), and I’ve had no issues with the legs creeping up and they’ve also been wedgie free! They’re basically the shorts I wish I had on all those holidays where I was chafed or wearing sweat-enducing polyester shorts to stop chafing.

Dulcie Boxer Briefs-10

Both Leila and I love natural fibres and we hated that all the chub rub shorts on the market were a synthetic blend which did stop chub rub but which also made us extra sweaty and swampy. Most of my undies have been from a bamboo or modal mixed with spandex, apart from the black ones, below, which are made from merino with 5% spandex. There’s less stretch in the merino so the rise is slightly less high and tends to want to slip down a bit, but the qualities of the merino (anti-bacterial, wicking, etc) are worth it.

Dulcie Boxer Briefs-45

There’s 2 square labels in the ChCh Sews shop which are basically the perfect size for adding to the back of the elastic to hide the join. I’m also thinking about adding a hang label (maybe a greyhound one) to the bottom hem on the front of one of the legs. Totally unnecessary additions but I’m really quite tickled by how these have the look of RTW but with the comfort of self-sewn.

Are there matching Banksia Bralettes in my future with the new M&B elastic around the bottom? There absolutely are.

My perfected bralette

I’ve made a lot of different versions of the Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette and I think I’ve finally been able to settle on my favourite configuration!

The Banksia Bralette [pronounced like Banksy-a] comes in two different cup sizes, and options for narrow shoulders too. The Banksia has a unique inner sling system which works to separate large breasts and stop them from pushing together to make a sweaty uni-boob. You can customise the amount of support by lining the bralette in different fabrics.

Banksia Bralette Size Details: My perfect Banksia that I’ve settled on (and which is pictured above) is a Size E, D cup, narrow shoulder with approx 3” removed from the centre front. To make matching sets, I apply the FOE in the Kapunda style (not folded over).

My measurements: My current measurements are 43″ high bust, 48″ full bust, 43″ waist (smallest part, close to my underbust), 54″ low hip and I’m 57″ at my roundest point (around my belly). I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.

pink cotton
Above, I’m wearing a Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette and Kapunda Undies. The fold-over elastic is 20mm shiraz foe from my store, Chch sews with two cotton/lycra blends from NZ fabric shop Backstreet Bargains, Lipstick Pink and Ballet Pink.

It’s taken several years of sewing, but I’ve finally decided that I have singers lungs, which makes it seem like me sewing cup size is bigger than it actually is. This meant that my boobs weren’t exerting enough downwards pressure, and the bralette was sitting very high in the centre front.

I might make some like this where I actually fold the elastic under, because leaving the elastic flat means the straps take up more room, which means you’re more likely to see them peeking out of the neckline of my tops (which is not always what I’m after).

pink cotton 3

Fabric and support levels: I omitted the slings and lined the front and back of this bralette with a merino/poly blend which doesn’t have great stretch. Because it doesn’t stretch much, it actually provides a decent amount of support (more than if I’d just put a double layer of cotton/lycra).

Future versions? Bamboo bralette! More matching sets. Mesh or powermesh on the outside of the bralette! Full merino bralette? It’s fair to say that I have plans.

Perfecting my undies

Is there a better time to be talking about perfecting your me-made undergarments than me-made-may? I think not! This turned into a pretty long post!

I’ve been making my own undies, something I never thought I would do, since we tested the Waratah Undies & Period Undies for Muna and Broad in November 2019! In August 2020, we released the Banksia Bralette and then November 2020 saw the release of our high-waisted Kapunda Undies.

Now, I wear entirely me-made undergarments except on days that I wear a ‘proper bra’!

Kapunda Undies, Kapundies

My underwear draw is looking very healthy and stocked with Muna and Broad Kapunda Undies. These high-waisted undies sit perfectly on me, and don’t move around during the day- they’re basically the underwear that I’ve wanted for years but could never buy.

Kapunda Undies//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js