The thong back is one of those curious things that does and doesn’t have acceptance all at the same time. Thongs are probably more popular in underwear than briefs, especially for the young adult market. Thong backed bikini bottoms are the norm in South America and many would have you believe Florida as well. But what happens when you put a thong back on a one piece? Immediately it has that ‘tacky’ or ‘slutty’ image. Yet the same thing in lingerie is the height of class and sex appeal.
In my opinion, acceptance is not a public issue, but a personal confidence issue. Many have the confidence to wear something risque for their partner at home behind closed doors, yet wouldn’t dare show themselves in public. A thong hides nothing, yet there is no question it can make an average bottom look a lot worse. You really do need a firm, fit derriere to get away with a thong … either that or absolutely no care about what others think.
As cheeky shorts get higher, Brazilians get narrower and bikini thongs develop squarer side seams, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the thong back one piece returns from it’s ill-fated timing of the early 90′s. It will take some very conservative top half styling to ease the public into the concept, but it could work for the 25-32 year old high-fashion conscious group.
The sketch above represents the typical 90′s styled halter thong pattern. This pattern is based on the size 10B/C halter neck pattern we created previously. If you haven’t already created the halter neck you will need to make that first then complete these last few steps for the thong back version. Before you start each step, look carefully at the illustration for that step as it will help guide you through the instructions. At the end of each step your draft should match the illustration. If it doesn’t go back to the start of that step and work your way through again.
If you take a look at the size chart you will see the difference in gusset length between the one piece and thong for this size is 4.5cm. If you’ve had a look at some of the other patterns you’ll have noticed there is a number of ways to handle this difference. A one piece with a thong back still requires 4.5cm to be removed, but it’s really very simple. First we will lengthen the front block by 4cm in order to move the seam back to a more comfortable position. Draw a rectangular guide 4cm long and 1cm wide and place it along the center front line. The 1cm wide represents half the width of the thong strap. Because I’m using 9mm elastic, my thong width is 20mm (allowing for 1mm wrap each side). You could make it narrower by overlapping the elastic but that’s up to you.
Place a similar rectangular guide above the crotch seam at the center back … this represents the same position as you added to the front. Now draw another rectangular guide 1cm wide and 4.5cm long above the previous guide … this represents the gusset difference.
A thong back also requires a higher leg line. Draw two horizontal guides, the first 4cm above the bottom of the side seam and a second 4cm further above again. These represent the predictable safe leg line positions. You could go higher still if you’re that way inclined, but further pattern modifications would be required.
Draft in the front leg line starting at the crotch seam. Draw initially vertically upward then curve out to meet the original crotch width and lastly slowly curve out to meet the side seam at right angles. The red line represents the lowest leg line, the orange the highest. As mentioned before, these are not strict boundaries, just predictable ones.
Draft in the back leg line starting at the crotch seam. Draw initially vertically upward then slowly curve out to meet the side seam at right angles. Again, the red line represents the lowest leg line, the orange the highest.
Retrace the panels if necessary. Be sure to clearly label your patterns with a title, panel name, size, cutting instructions, author’s name, date and revision number. Finaly, add seam allowance to the pattern based on how you intend to assemble it. I’ve shown this pattern with 10mm allowance for overlocked seams (8mm to blade, 2mm off cut) and 10mm for fold over elastics.