Friday, December 20

underwear everywhere

As strange as it is to publicize, it turns out that saggy underwear is one of my greatest pet peeves.  Not just on my own person, but also on a certain potty-trainer who happens to live with me.
I don't have truckloads of experience working with knits and jersey material, but I have sewn with it enough at least to know that different fabrics have varying degrees of stretch and stretch recovery.  You know this of course, but sometimes I'm slow to figure these things out!  I realized that all those cheap little undies I bought for Wren a few months ago were sewn from knits that didn't bounce back, so to speak, or recover to fit snuggly enough to keep those dern things up around her waist!

Apparently this was enough of a frustration to me that I decided to take an old stained shirt of mine with wonderful stretchiness in all directions, and drafted a quick pattern using a pair of Wren's Hanes.  My prototype had good stretch recovery and a casing with some elastic at the waist.  They function, and they stay put, but the leg holes turned out a bit wonky and the elastic waist leaves a bit of red marking on Wren.
I added a few extra layers of material at the crotch for greater 'absorption'.
Feeling a bit frustrated with these imperfections, I took to the internet for further suggestions and clarity, and came across the undies-pattern-of-my-dreams from Kitschycookids.  The sewing directions were clear.  The underpants turned out beautifully.  They fit perfectly.  They don't require any casing or elastic or belly-marking.  They're adorable and made of any jersey and knit materials (read here: old t-shirts) you may have lying around the house (read here: doesn't cost a thing to make).  And now I'm shamelessly advertising this pattern as a sort of public service announcement for anyone else who also hates saggy underpants.

If you don't decide to invest in the aforementioned pattern, I will throw out a few undie-sewing tips:
1.  Use a knit with 2-way stretch or even better yet, find a knit with at least 4% spandex.  They will fit like a dream, I promise!
2.  If using a regular sewing machine/zigzag stitch I highly recommend using a jersey needle.  I don't know the specifics of why they're awesome and incredible, but I can tell you from experience that there is a marked difference between using a jersey needle and a standard needle whilst sewing up knits.
3.  For awesome and unique patterns and colors, I love to peruse the thrift shop t-shirt aisles.  One adult size shirt can usually make at least 2 pairs of the cutest, snuggest undies you've ever seen.  Better yet, I bring Wren along with me and let her pick out some colors that she likes.  That's how we ended up with those perfect little red stars.  She also wanted a huge cookie monster t-shirt, "but not for undies, just for holding in my hands".

As you can tell, I'm stoked about this pattern and the chance to venture beyond the pinky-pinkish-pink underwear color scheme for toddler girls.  My excitement is such that I have officially become "that aunt" who will be gifting a bunch of underwear to my niece come Christmas.  It's cliche, I know, but you've seen how cute they are.  It just can't be helped.


  1. Any thoughts on selling these in your etsy shop? Not kidding, I would buy about 12 pair. We are also potty training around here, and these are wonderful!

  2. glad you found your dream undies pattern joy! i'm trying the thatdarnkat pattern from etsy--i think i can finally stop using pull ups. hope you guys had a great new year celebration!