Thursday, July 21, 2011

CraftShare: Make Undies Yourself Tutorial



Since I started sewing I've always wanted to make underwear.  It seemed so simple, but I'll admit, I was scared.  This is one item of clothing you want to fit right.  So I kept procrastinating - until now.  What was I waiting for?!?!!  Making undies is easy, cheap and, dare I say, fun?  FOE (Fold Over Elastic) is what makes it turn out great.

Here's How -

You'll Need:
- An old pair of undies that fit well & you don't mind cutting.
- 1-1 1/2yds of Fold Over Elastic (FOE) - I get mine from Diaper Sewing Supplies
- 1/4 yd of cotton knit fabric/old t-shirt* (something with stretch like jersey or interlock)
- Paper & pencil for tracing

For more details on using Fold Over Elastic, find my FOE 101 post HERE.

*Note: If you're afraid of goofing on your nice fabric (like I was), cut up a plain old t-shirt for your first try.  I used an old undershirt of my husband's and it turning out surprisingly cute & comfortable:


Step 1 - Cut the sides of the old undies open and lay them flat (and please don't judge me on these very old Tommy Hilfiger panties):


Step 2 - This is the most important part!  Over the tracing paper, carefully lay the fabric flat.  The elastic edging will be stretched, but the fabric itself shouldn't be stretched - this is how to make sure the shape stays exactly as needed.  Use a ruler or small weights to hold it in place while tracing.  Then, while laid flat, but not stretched, measure the elastic seam of the front, back and side (leg hole) and note for when we cut the FOE.


Step 3 - Cut out your pattern piece and mark a line where the seam of the back & front are sewn together and mark the placement of the lining fabric.


Step 4 - Now cut out a lining piece using the pattern and either by folding (or cutting the pattern in half at the seam line you've drawn), cut out the front and back piece but add an extra 1/2 inch on both pieces at  the sides and at the line where the pieces will join (for the seam allowances).  Transfer placement markings for the lining, so you end up with 3 pieces like this:


Step 5 - With right sides facing, sew or serge together the front & back.  If straight sewing, I recommend doing a second line of stitches just next to the first for added strength.


Step 6 - Pin the lining to the wrong side of the undies lining up on markings (this should cover the seam):


Step 7 - Now cut out the FOE for the front, back and both legs using your measurements.  Sew on the FOE to the front and back with a wide triple zig-zag stitch (5.0 wide by 2.0 long).  The trick here is to slightly stretch the FOE while sewing.  It's easiest to pin the top and bottom ends of the FOE in place and then stretch the FOE as you sew to make sure there's the perfect amount of give and still fit just right.  DO NOT stretch your fabric - this will affect the fit.


Repeat Step 6 with the leg hole areas:


Step 8 - With right sides facing, stitch or serge together the front & back at the sides.  Again, if stitching, do two rows for added strength:


Trim off the excess fabric on the sides and your new perfect fit undies are all ready to wear!


These fit great and look really cute on, but as I'd prefer not to post pics of myself in underwear for the entire internet to see, these are the best shots you're going to get.  But I did make a cute matching tank top to go with them that I am will to show:


You can get really creative with your fabrics & FOE colors to make some cute custom looks for cheap, because it uses so little material.  I bought this thermal elephant print fabric for $2/yd a while back and was amazed to find out it was designer fabric by Primp that sells shirts out of the same fabric for $48+.  High fashion look at a bargain price.  Score!  And since it's so fast, you can make a week's worth of cute pants in next to no time.  Next on my list is to make some cute kid-sized underwear.


Ready to make some of your own?  And for more fun projects using FOE click HERE.


Sharing this creation with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!
Tickled Pink at 504 MainTip Junkie handmade projects

37 comments:

  1. Totally cuite! I've been thinking of making my own underwear lately instead of buying them. Thanks for the great tutorial, I'll give it a try after I've finished my bag!
    Cat @ minoakabebe.blogspot.com

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  2. this one is adorable ! thanks for the tut !

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  3. Love this idea!!! Can't wait to get back home and try this out.

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  4. Wow! Those look like underwear fit for a Republican!

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  5. oh I'll definitely be trying this

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  6. ...love this idea....
    will try to do it some day...:)

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  7. Ahaha! These are awesome! I love the elephant print!

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  8. What a great idea. I would love for you to stop by http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/ on Monday to link up your tutorial and any other projects you would like to share.

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  9. over here from TT&J. i love this. now that i can sew, i will never get store bought undies again :)

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  10. Love, love, love this tute! I saw your link-up at Stay at Home Nation and had to come by to check it out. Awesome!

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  11. Just looking around at your tutorials and found this. I shall keep it in the "things to do in the future" part of my brain. :) Love the matching T.

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  12. I saw you at Truly Lovely's blog hop. I'm a new follower, and I have favorited this post. What an awesome idea! I didn't think it was easy to make underwear.

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  13. Cute idea.. and I love that fabric! I don't think I'd post a picture of me in my drawers, either, but making a matching tank was a good idea. ;)

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  14. I've been sewing since I was 5 and feel stupid asking this question. What does FOE stand for?

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  15. Whoa- seriously impressive! That would be a really fun gift ideas for bridesmaids or other girly parties.

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  16. Great work and a brilliant tute! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  17. I love making undies but I have never heard of FOE. Maybe it is an American product that we can't get Down Under. I would love a description or supplier of FOE. Many thanks, Megan (www.meggipeg.com)

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  18. Megan - My fave source (see link in the post), FOE Your Diaper, ships worldwide, so your FOE dreams can come true:)

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  19. HAHA this is kinda funny, I LOVE how easy you made this and I am sooo esxcited to make me some undies!!!

    Come link up at my woot woot wednesday Party!

    www.tootsiewootsieboutique.blogspot.com

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  20. what a great idea with teen age girls they are always looking for something to add to their wardrob

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  21. This is great! I have always wanted to make my own swim suit bottoms, and this tutorial would work for them too! I don't know why they don't make them fit more like underware! Thanks for the undies tutorial. I am potty training my 2 1/2 year old and I might entice her by letting her pick out her undie fabric!! Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Thanks for linking up! I'll be featuring your idea on my blog on Saturday!

    http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com

    Thanks!
    Sumo:)

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  23. TOTALLY AWESOME!!..
    yeah i agree i would like to make my own underwear:)...
    2 i LOVE elephants:)!..great job:)

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  24. Hi there! I wanted to let you know you are featured in my Stay At Home Nation Spotlight this week! Thank you so much & I can't wait to see what you link up this week!
    XoXo
    ~Iffy~
    www.StayAtHomeNation.blogspot.com

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  25. Gorgeous! Love the matching tee too. I must get my hands on some FOE. Not sure where to buy it in Australia.

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  26. Great tutorial! I may brave the elements and stitch some up! Thank you!

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  27. Thank you! I have some old t-shirts I have been considering using for just this project! I'm tired of the awful prints available... and I like cotton. Thank you, you saved me a lot of experimenting ;-)

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    1. I'm glad to hear it. I agree on the prints and and thank you for triggering my memory that I've been meaning to make some more of these!

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  28. I know this is nearly 3 years old, but I just found it. Please can you explain what FOE is, all the way through the tutorial you say FOE, but you never said what it is. I followed the link to the shop you buy it from and there is no explanation there either.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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    1. Jen, this post was from a week-long series I did a few years ago that had a separate basic info and numerous project posts (like this one), but I've since added it's full name and some additional links & a newer buying source. FOE is Fold Over Elastic, elastic that you can fold and use much like double fold bias tape. The FOE 101 post can be found here: http://www.sewcando.com/2011/07/craftshare-fold-over-elastic-foe.html and loads of other projects using it can be found here: http://www.sewcando.com/search?q=fold+over+elastic

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  29. I'm wondering about how soft these are. My child has to have very soft clothes. She is also 8 so I thought it would be fun to make these with her favorite animals on it.

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    1. As soft as the fabrics you use - I'd recommend 100% cotton interlock or jersey. The Fold Over Elastic is very soft - it's what's used for making cloth diapers for babies so it's very comfortable.

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  30. Quedo fantastico...... Te felicito.... :)

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