I’m taking a break from documenting making 18th century underwear. Today is giveaway day – I’m sharing a FREE sewing pattern I made for hip pads that double as water bottles holders!
Is this an eccentric combination?
Maybe. But I’m making my Joker Antoinette costume for Comic-Con Germany at the end of June. Which means wearing a bunch of layers all day in a country where air conditioning is scaaarce. My plan is to freeze water bottles the night before. Then they will keep me cool for at least part of the day, and as they melt I can drink the water.
If you want to read more about how I came up with these, as well as the other pads I’ll be wearing, check out my fourth post on making 18th cen. undies.
Here’s what I look like with these hip pads, plus two bum pads.
I feel like an 18th cen. Kardashian. Maybe I can become an Instagram star with this padding? XD
But hey, I wrote FREE in all caps in the title. That is what we’re here for. Let’s get on with that free sewing pattern!!
Here’s the pattern:
I’ve done my absolute best to make the pattern accurate, but if you notice a mistake, please tell me in the comments so I can look into it!
You can print this at home. It prints on 8 pieces of paper – either US Letter or A4 size.
Check your print settings – turn off scaling so that is prints at 100%. There is a 4″ x 4″ box in on the Outer Side piece. Measure it to make sure it really is 4″. If it’s not, you need to change your print settings because your pattern will not be the right size!
Once printed, tape or glue the papers together. Each edge where pages join is marked with a letter or number in a triangle. Match the numbered triangles first and the lettered triangles second. It should look like this:
I’ve done my best to be clear, but if you have questions, please ask in the comments!
This pattern makes a pair of water bottle-toting hip pads (one for each hip). The pattern comes in one size and has 5/8″ seam allowances. Since the pads are hung from a ribbon, you can cut the ribbon any size you need to fit your waist.
You will need about a yard of medium-weight fabric, such as quilting cotton. In addition, you will need two 16 oz water bottles, stuffing, 18.5 inches of 3/8″ elastic, and 5/8″ ribbon. The ribbon should be as long as your waist measurement plus 1/2 yard.
I recommend wearing these hip pads over a boned corset. The corset helps spread out the weight of two full water bottles hanging around your waist. If you plan on wearing this without a corset, I would recommend making a wide waistband – or even better, a fitted yoke – to help distribute the weight and stitching the hip pads to it.
1) Start by cutting out your pattern pieces from medium-weight fabric. I made mine from a sheet I bought second-hand. Cut two of each piece except for the “Elastic Cutting Guide”. Use this piece to cut two pieces of 3/8″ elastic.
2) Transfer all pattern marks to your fabric – diamonds, pleats and buttonholes. Transfer the square-shaped seamlines at the bottom of the Water Bottle Pocket piece to your fabric as well. Cut out the notches in the Base piece.
3) Start with your Base piece and your Outer Side piece. Pin the Outer Side piece to the Base piece along the sides, matching the diamonds at the top. The bottom corners of the Outer Side piece should be 5/8″ below the notch marks in the Base piece. See picture below:
4) Next, pin the bottom edge of the Outer Side around the bottom curve of Base piece. Tip: Remember, it is most important that your fabric to lay flat along the stitching line (5/8″ from the edge). Unless your fabric is elastic enough for the edge to stretch with the curve, cut 1/2″ notches along the bottom edge of the Outer Side piece at regular intervals before you pin it. This will help you pin the fabric smoothly to the curved bottom of the base piece.
5) Starting at the diamond mark, sew down one side, around the bottom, and back up the other side to the diamond mark. Your stitches should come close but do not have to quite meet at the diamond mark.
6) Turn right side out and press the seam.
7) Above the diamond mark, the sides of the Outer Side piece are still open. Fold one of these sides under 5/8″. Over lap it over the other side by 5/8″. Top stitch near the folded edge to sew these sides together.
8) The top should still be open – that’s where the water bottle pocket will be inserted.
9) So, let’s move on to the water bottle pocket. Fold it in half lengthwise along the fold line. sew 5/8″ from the edge along the side and bottom. Leave the top open. (You’ll notice that near the bottom edge of the pattern piece there were three black triangles and one black diamond marked. The triangles are actually halves of diamond markings. Now that the seams are sewn, the triangles should join up to make, in total, four diamonds. This might be useful knowledge for step 10. It might also just be confusing – in that case, ignore it.)
10) Your pocket currently has a seam on one side and a fold across from it. Open it up and fold it so that the seam matches up to the fold line across from it. The bottom edge will form the triangular shape as pictured below. (Another way to think of this is to match up the diamond markings from step 9…. match the diamond at the side of the left corner to the diamond at the bottom edge of the left corner. Do the same at the right corner.)
11) Sew along the seam line markings – these should be two little seams like this:
12) Press seams.
13) Leave the Water Bottle Pocket inside out. Put a water bottle in it.
14) Stick Water Bottle Pocket with bottle into the Base, lining up the top edges.
15) Now stuff your hip pad on all sides of the Water Bottle Pocket. Stuff below the pocket. Stuff the inner side (the side that will be next to your body) so that there’s about an inch of padding between your body and the bottle. Stuff the outer side. The pads should be comfortably full, like a pillow. Not stuffed to bursting.
16) Stick a few straight pins around the opening to anchor the pocket to the outside. Pull the water bottle out carefully – you want the pocket to stay in place.
17) Remove your pins; turn the top edge of both the pocket and outside down 5/8″ and press. The edges should be turned down toward each other.
18) It should be apparent now that the top of the outer piece is wider then the top of the pocket. That is why I’ve marked pleats on the top edge of the Outer Side. Pin in the pleats – they don’t have to be perfect.
19) Pin the top edges of the pocket and the outer part of the hip pad together. If they aren’t the same size, adjust the pleats.
20) Topstitch near the edge to join pocket and outer part of hip pad.
21) Procrastinate some because the next step is making buttonholes and I hate them. Nah, I’m kidding – don’t do it! You’re almost done!
22) Make six 1/2″ buttonholes spaced evenly apart – as marked on pattern with the “I” shapes. Tip: Make one buttonhole, then test to make sure your elastic fits through before you make all six.
23) Thread your elastic through the holes. Note how I’ve threaded it – on the side of the hip pad closest to the body, the elastic is on the inside. On the side farthest from the body, the elastic is outside. This will be important in steps 25 and 27.
24) Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2″ and sew together.
25) Thread your waist ribbon through the two button holes closest to your body.
26) You’ve done it! Time to insert the bottles – but don’t do it like I did it here:
27) I tried these on and discovered that the elastic wanted to pull of when it was looped over the fabric. Instead, grab the loop of elastic closest to your body – the one that is threaded to the inside.
28) Twist it once and loop it over the bottle top – just like putting a hair tie on a ponytail.
29) Really get it under the lip – that will keep it secure.
If you make this pattern, I’d love to see your photos! Send me photos directly at email@example.com or share a link to them in the comments.