sewing underwear: the (free) pattern

Posted November 6th, 2011 by indigorchid

Underwear. Knickers. Pants. Undies. Whatever you call them, I have a free pattern for sewing your own underwear that I want to share with you! I’ve included several sizes; XS, S, M, and L – so I hope that is helpful!

I’ve been making underwear from t-shirts for years. My first undies-sewing attempt taught me that I should follow the grain of the fabric. The second time I discovered that twin needles are awesome. Most recently I’ve been playing around with different kinds of elastics to finish the underwear, and I’ll be showing that soon!

The “t-shirt underwear” pattern I’ve made is in the bikini brief style, but it can easily be tweaked to fit you perfectly. It’s graded in four sizes; extra small, small, medium, and large. I think the sizes should be pretty standard, but do let me know your feedback!

So if you want to make your own underwear, click the image above or the link below to download the pattern! The pdf includes the choice of 1 page in the 11″ X 17″ format, or 3 pages that you line up and tape together (it is formatted to work for both US Letter and European A4 – just make sure there is no resizing when you print).

Download the t-shirt underwear pattern!

I’ll be doing a couple of posts on sewing the underwear, the basics of how to sew them together, and then some options of how to finish them with different types of elastics. So be sure to come back for that!

*     *     *

Did you miss a post in this underwear-making adventure?

• Sewing underwear: the basics
• Sewing underwear: the extras

If you make a pair (or five?) from this pattern, please share! Comment, link back, and show off! Note! The pattern has as of february 2014 been updated to fix an error in the length of the back piece’s crotch length.

35 thoughts on “sewing underwear: the (free) pattern

  1. Ellie

    I printed out your pattern – I love your idea for using old t-shirts as fabric – with my daughter, most of her old t-shirts are as good as new to me. My grandmother’s maiden name was Notvik – apparently my great-great grandfather was a boat builder in southern Norway. Thanks for the pattern!

    Reply
  2. indigorchid Post author

    Oh, how funny! (I love being able to see traces of origin in names… “vik” means “bay”, she must have come from a place with a bay!)

    And I agree – t-shirts seems like such a waste to get rid of, and even when they are too well worn to pass on to Salvation Army or someone else, there still fabric there to be used!
    I hope you enjoy the pattern!

    Reply
  3. Jan

    What a great idea…underwear from t-shirts! My daughter just threw 3 old t-shirts in the garbage a week or so ago. I’m glad I rescued them. I have the pattern printed and I’m ready to give it a try. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Jan

    Just finished 3 undies for my daughter. Love them. Love making them. I received an elastic order today from Sew Sassy. Can’t wait to make more!

    Reply
  5. karlamcurry

    Ooh, this is fabulous! I’m just beginning to sew and was looking around for some underwear patterns. There’s a lot out there, but not very many with specific sizes like yours. At first I tried cutting up an old pair to make my own pattern but the fabric is stretched out and I’m afraid the pieces wouldn’t line up. This is much better. Can’t wait to try ‘em, thanks!

    Reply
  6. vicki conder

    just downloaded your pattern last week, found some thrift store .50 shirts and i will never buy underwear again! found a company here in the U.S that makes organic cotton knit and another that makes U.S. made thread and elastic. Im all set for my family now! thank you so very much for the instructions…. you rock!

    Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Hi Vicki! Well thank you, I’m so glad you’re excited to get into underwear-sewing! It really is gratifying when they are so quick to make! Have fun!

      Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Hi Ava! The pattern includes a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides – you can also check out the posts I’ve written on sewing underwear right here for some more tips on putting them together!

      Reply
  7. Lu

    I’m studying your pattern, but am confused as to why the “Front” piece looks larger than the “Back”. Is this reversed? Shouldn’t the back be larger to accomodate the butt?

    Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Oh, they came out great! I agree with the fo-elastic, they don’t always end up totally flat. I’m so pleased you like the pattern and the instructions, thank you! And why yes – I *do* have other patterns in the pipeline! More to come! ;)

      Reply
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  9. Andrew

    Hullo, new to this and want to make some underwear so delighted to find your pattern! Heres the thing…I’m a bloke and the pants are for me…any sugestions how to adapt the pattern?

    Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Hi there Andrew! Sewing underwear is so fun – glad you’re getting into it! When it comes to the pattern, womens and mens garments, fit, and therefore patterns, really are different beasts, and therefore I wouldn’t advise you to alter this pattern to use for you. Rather, a better approach i believe, will be to trace or copy an exsisting men’s pair of underwear to create a template. Hope that helps you, and good luck Andrew!

      Reply
  10. Evelyn Nguyen

    Thank you so much!!! I’ll make good use out of it. really enjoyed the simplicity of your underwear.

    Reply
  11. deena

    I’m confused about printing the pattern. It looks a bit small if I print without doing any resizing, but if I print at 100%, the preview looks like some of it will be cut off. Some printable patterns have a 3 inch box to check scale. That would be helpful.

    Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Hi Deena! The pattern is set up to work with both the A4 and the US Letter size, so that probably explains the cut off areas. I’d reccomend just centering the page, not resizing, to see if the box with the content is within the printable area. If not, send me an email and I’ll see what I can do!

      Thank you for your suggestion of the 3″ test box – if I update this pattern I’ll be sure to add one, but I’ll keep it in mind for future new patterns!

      Reply
  12. menandore

    The seam lengths on the back of the crotch don’t seem to match up for size M between the crotch pieces and the back piece. Am I doing it wrong? Should I be stretching the pieces to make it match up?

    Reply
    1. indigorchid Post author

      Hi! You’re not doing it wrong – the lengths are actually a little off (so the pattern is incorrect right now!). The crotch lining piece is the right size, but the back piece is too wide at the crotch seam. You can trim the back piece evenly to fit, and I will adjust the pattern and upload the new correct version by the end of the week. Hope this helps!

      Reply
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  14. indigorchid Post author

    Oh good! I feel kind of silly putting an underwear pattern out there, but I finally figured that if I’m into that, maybe other people are too? Please share if you make some!

    Reply

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