Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Undies from T-shirts: a how-to

Happy Sewing Tuesday! I am SUPER excited about today's post - hopefully you will be too.

You know that pair of undies that makes you want to dance around the house when you put them on, because they are that awesome? I know you do. Everyone has them. Except people who don't wear undies... This post will probably be less exciting for you.

Back to what I was saying, before I thought about how sad it is that some people might not have favorite undies. Favorite pair of awesome undies. Best feeling ever when you put them on. Are we back to feeling awesome about our undies? Good. Now it is time for more sad. You know that feeling when you realize your favorite undies now have a hole, and you should probably stop wearing them? Yeah, me too. Happened with my favorite undies.

Rather than be sooooo sad because I can't find this exact cut of undies in stores, I did the logical thing and made new, even more awesome undies! Ready to find out how to do it? Of course you are.

Note: My favorite undies were cotton, and similar to my lighter-weight t-shirts. If your favorite pair of undies are stretchy lace, you might want to check the Happy Seamstress out.

To make new undies, you will need:
An old pair of undies, past its prime
Old t-shirt(s) that are past their prime but still have good fabric
Seam ripper (optional)
Straight and/or safety pins
Sewing machine and/or hand needle and thread

How to:
1. Take your old undies and look at the construction. What makes them your favorite? For me, I loved the seam down the front, the elastic in the waistband, and the way the leg holes were cut. Make sure you know what you want before you start cutting.
2. Cut your undies to make a template. I snipped the waist elastic out of my old undies, then separated the front from the back. You can use a seam ripper if you want things to be really precise; I chose scissors because it was faster and I didn't plan on putting the undies back together again. I set aside the back of the undies, and cut the front down the center. Cut out a little liner piece.
3. Lay your template pieces on the t-shirt(s). Pin the template down in several spots so the pieces won't shift while cutting. Cut around the template pieces, leaving seam allowance.
A couple hints:
-If you are making undies that have two symmetrical pieces to make the front, place two layers of t-shirt together, pin the template on top of both, and cut both pieces at the same time.
-If you are going to run the old elastic through the band and want it to be covered, you can line up the top of the undies with the bottom seam of the t-shirt and run the elastic through the resulting tube.
-If your t-shirt does not have a tube seam at the bottom and you want one, leave enough fabric at the top of the undies to fold over and make one.
4. Begin pinning and sewing, following this order:
a. front center *
b. all the places the front and back meet - sides, crotch
c. pin in the liner-thing at the crotch
d. roll the leg opening hems, catching the liner. sew.
e. thread the elastic into the tube. sew your tube closed - I used a hand needle for this part.
*Do NOT sew the tube closed before you insert the elastic. To avoid this problem, stop sewing as soon as you reach the stitching for the tube.
5. Add any wanted embellishments, like a painted rocket ship in order to make your undies into lucky rocket ship undies.
 6. Slip undies on, and feel like dancing all around your house.

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