I recently rescued a whole stack of my husband’s old t-shirts from certain death in the trashcan. There were a few small holes in all of them, but the vast majority of the fabric in each was still usable. After I got over my initial shock and dismay that he would throw away potentially useful crafting materials, I got right to work upcycling the t-shirts into fancy new panties.
To make your own snazzy upcycled underpants, you will need the following materials:
* Cardboard for pattern-making (Cereal boxes or old cardboard boxes work great. If you don’t have cardboard, you can also use tracing or pattern-making paper.)
* Scissors//X-Acto knife for cutting out pattern
* Fabric scissors
* Seam ripper
* An old, well-fitting pair of underpants for pattern-making (You must be willing to sacrifice this pair for the sake of the project, though you can always try to sew them back together when you’re done.)
* An old t-shirt
* Stick pins
* 1/4″ Braided elastic
* Sewing machine and/or serger
1. With your seam ripper, take apart the old pair of underpants, and pin the pieces to the cardboard. (If using tracing paper, use fabric weights to spread out the pieces.) Make sure the underpants you choose for your pattern are still stretchy enough to maintain shape, so the pattern is as accurate as possible—now is not the time to really excavate your underwear drawer!
2. Trace the fabric pieces onto the cardboard.
3. Cut around the traced edges to make your pattern.
4. Spread out the t-shirt, ironing if necessary to remove any wrinkles.
5. Arrange the patterns on the shirt, making sure to center any designs you’d like to keep.
6. Trace the patterns onto the t-shirt.
7. Using fabric scissors, cut out each piece.
8. Using your serger (with the knife disabled) or a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch, attach elastic to the top of the front and back pieces of fabric.
9. Sew the liner into the front piece and finish the edges of the leg holes with the serger, securing the liner in place. If using a sewing machine, stitch elastic around the leg holes with a zigzag stitch to secure the liner.
10. Attach the front and the back pieces by stitching the back of the liner on the front piece to the bottom of the back piece. If you’re not using a serger, zigzag stitch the bottom of the front piece and the bottom of the back piece together, but don’t sew the liner into the seam (leave the back of the liner loose, so it will cover the back seam). To finish, stitch the sides together using the serger or a zigzag stitch. The side seams should be on the inside of the finished underpants.
Enjoy your upcycled underpants!