Whether you are starting out with a young family or you just do not like the cost or the styles of store-bought underwear, there need not be a reason to make your own underwear other than personal choice. Let me show you how to make your own underwear at home for your entire family, and save you some money.How Easy is it to Make Your Own Underwear.
Being a stretch fabric, some find this quite daunting as a beginner, but it need not be. Also, the myth of needing an Overlocker/serger to complete them is another reason some do not attempt them. Although using an Overlocker/serger will always give any garment a far more professional and tidier overall finish, but not compulsory. Most patterns will cover both in the instructions to guide you through to completion.
What Do You need to Make Your First Pair of Underwear?
If you don’t already have Ballpoint needles, then you will need to purchase some to prevent your needles cutting holes in the fabric and enabling them to fall apart a lot sooner than you would like and defeats the purpose of going to all that trouble to make them in the first place. So… Ballpoint needles are a MUST! Both for your sewing matching and Overlocker/serger if you are going to be using one to put your underwear together.
Although a stretch cotton fabric is recommended, this too is optional, but you will need 100% for your crotch lining, if not for the entire garment. Otherwise, any stretch or two-way stretch fabric can be used to make them. You can be creative with your underwear, by adding lace if you so choose.
When choosing your elastic, you can either use the same size elastic for both the legs and the waist or alternatively you could use a wider elastic for the waist, which is what I prefer. This is a personal choice as I find it far more comfortable, and does not tend to roll as I find narrower elastics do on me for some reason.
Obviously, you will require a matching or contrast thread to put your underwear together.
Where Can You Source a Sewing Pattern From
When it comes to sewing patterns, there a few choices available for you. You can either pop down to your local store and buy one from their catalogue, which can be a little pricey, or buy a recommended PDF Sewing Pattern online, print it and cut it out yourself, which will be a lot cheaper, or you could go for the FREE underwear pattern option of taking a pattern off of an old favourite pair that you already own and love, if you have the know how to do so.
If you are anything like me, it is all about saving money and I went for the PDF Sewing Pattern option, as I did not have any underwear in my draw that I was 100% happy with. Then I was recommended these patterns from friends, then I the felt I had a far better chance of having something successful that I would be happy to wear on a daily basis.
Putting it ALL Together
Now that you have all the required items to complete your underwear, it is time to cut it out and sew it up…
You will need measurements, to chose the right sized pattern for your requirements. Here you will find my Body Measurement Chart to show where to measure according to the instructions on your pattern.
Cutting Out Your Pattern
Once you have everything together, you are ready to cut out your pattern pieces.
Start by pinning the pattern pieces on the fabric according to your pattern instructions, and cut. You should have a Back, Front and Crotch pieces.
Sewing it Up
Following your pattern instructions, sew the Front to the Back, including the crotch, with Right Sides Together (RST).
Baste the crotch along the inside leg, to hold in place before attaching the elastic.
Pin RST at the side seams and stitch.
Measure out your elastic for both legs and waistband, plus an overlap of approx 1.5cm. Join the ends of the elastic together to form a loop ready for pinning. Pin the elastic in half and place a pin to mark the placement of elastic, then in half again, so you have a pin at each quarter mark. then do the same on the undies, around the leg line. Matching up the pins, attach elastic to the leg opening.
Starting at the side seam, using a triple zigzag, while stretching elastic evenly between the pins, stitch the elastic to the leg opening allowing an overlapping the stitching at the start/finish.
Repeat on the other leg opening.
Fold over elastic and topstitch by using either, a zigzag stitch, triple zigzag stitch or with a twin needle for your preferred finish.
To attach waistband elastic, starting at the side seam, repeat the elastic application as per the leg opening to complete your underwear.
If you have been successful in the sizing of your pattern, you will find that these will be the most comfortable pair of underwear that you own, and will want to make more!
If things did not quite go according to plan, do not despair… try again! You can see where they do not quite fit right, so, make another pair. You will get it right, as this is how we all learn, and I am here to encourage you.
Please share your attempts with the rest of us in the comments below. I wish you all the success in your quest, and if there is anything I can do to help you further, PLEASE contact me below and I will assist.
Director: Learn to Sew at Home with Jo ‘n’ Sew