Sewing Your Own Underwear: Is It Worth It?! | William Gee UK
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Sewing Your Own Underwear: Is It Worth It?!

I love figuring out how to make things that I thought I’d always have to buy. I’ve been sewing for a while, but I had put things like swimwear and underwear out of my head, thinking it would be too technical.

It’s not true! Sewing your own underwear can be great fun, and is a great use of jersey fabric scraps.

Use fabric scraps or buy remnants

It doesn’t need to cost huge amounts either – you can use leftovers from making t-shirts, or buy small amounts of meterage and fabric remnants. I made this Nikko Top by True Bias recently, and made some underwear from the scraps.

You’ll just need some decent elastic, which William Gee has plenty of!

Choose a free sewing pattern

There are also lots of free and affordable sewing patterns out there for underwear. Here are some of my tried and tested favourites:

1. Peachy Undies by Cool Stitches

Peachy undies by Cool Stitches

These are high-waisted briefs with a high leg. I find them really comfortable, and were one of the easiest to construct. It’s available to sizes 34 to 50. The Peachy Undies are a free pattern, but you can also choose to support Cool Stitches with a donation.

You’ll need some elastic – I used William Gee’s 0.5mm elastic with some fabric scraps. They have so many gorgeous colours of elastic!

2. Stevie Knickers by Paper Theory

Paper Theory’s Stevie Knickers pattern

Paper Theory is an awesome pattern company (creator of the timeless Zadie jumpsuit!). They’ve also created this free underwear pattern. They’re medium rise, with slightly more fabric on the back to provide fuller coverage.

I think they’re a great beginner pattern, and you could also have fun accessorising with different elastics as you get more confident.

William Gee have lovely lace elastic which would look perfect with this pattern!


3. Boxer Shorts by Peppermint Magazine

Peppermint’s patterns are all free! You just need to subscribe to their newsletter. They have loads of wonderful patterns that are a mixture of creative and classic designs.

You can choose to donate, which you should if you can – the magazine is wonderful and really champions accessibility.

Peppermint’s Boxer Shorts pattern

I haven’t tried these boxer shorts yet, but I definitely will. I think they’ll be great for PJs as well as comfy underwear.

You could use a wider elastic for these.

You don’t need an overlocker

It definitely helps and speeds things up to use an overlocker or serger for your underwear, but you can easily manage it on a regular sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch. Most patterns will give you advice on which zig zag setting to choose.

Tips for sewing underwear

Have a practice getting your tension right with the zig zag stitch. Especially around the waist and legbands, you’ll be going through multiple layers of fabric and elastic. If you can see your bobbin thread on top, turn your tension to a lower number. You can use a different coloured bobbin thread to help with this.

Use a ballpoint needle. These are designed to push between knit fibres, rather than pierce the fabric. I promise it’ll really help with sewing stretch fabrics and over elastic! It’ll also help your tension.


Have fun!

I think it’s definitely worth having a go at sewing your own underwear. It’s inexpensive, and you can use scraps to play around with getting a good fit for you. Make use of resources like Youtube and Instagram to get fitting tips.


Lorna x

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