Upcycled Underwear

You guys, I have a problem. I keep my underwear until it basically falls apart and cannot be mended any more. They are threadbare, holey, and the elastic is not attached around most of the waist any longer. It’s a little embarrassing.

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Why? Well, for one I am super thrifty. I hate to buy anything new if what I have is still usable. For instance, my husband bought me a new ebook reader for my birthday, because he hated that I was reading around a crack in my old ebook screen for years. It still worked and I couldn’t bear to get rid of something that was still 90% functional!

Secondly, my very favorite underwear style and brand has undergone a change in quality over the last several years. They have increased in price, and they fall apart very quickly. It’s incredibly frustrating! I have literally been wearing the same brand and style for a decade, and they just aren’t the same anymore. I tried other less expensive brands and I just couldn’t find anything that I could stand to wear. In essence I threw away quite a bit of money. Don’t worry, the are in my scrap pile for re-use, but I still need new underwear!

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So, I cleaned out my closet! I have a ton of tank tops and camis that are holey or stained or that I just never wear. Boom! Instant underwear fabric!

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I mean, a lot. Look at this stack with Ezra, the kitten, for size! One of the nicer tank tops is this two layer, off-white, stretchy lace cami. It never fit quite right, so I never wore it. Not even once! But I thought it would make some pretty fancy underwear.


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I used the pattern for the Seamwork Dakota high-waisted swim bottoms. The nice thing about this pattern is that there are decorative panels that allow you to use small bits of fabric, that may otherwise be too small for scrap.

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I did alter this pattern a wee bit. The high-waisted was a little too high for me. I took about 3 inches off the top of the front and back.

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And here they are!

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I also used a little scrap fabric to make the Stitch Upon a Time bunzies. I’m on my way to new underwear!


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6 thoughts on “Upcycled Underwear

  1. idaaidasewing says:

    I had such a lough reading about your ebook, I’m just like that, I had my Ipad 2 for 8 years probably functional 70% but would have still be using it if it was not stolen about a year ago, I still wonder who would steal such an old tablet. Anyway, the underwear you made turned out pretty good, especially the Dakota are really fancy!

  2. Lynn says:

    I am really bad about expecting things to last forever and getting seriously annoyed with something I’ve had for “only” 20 years breaks or wears out. After all, I have a sewing machine that’s almost 100 years old and it still works; why can’t everything else. ;-)

    My problem with underwear though is not so much it wearing out too soon as that it doesn’t fit right in the first place. My one attempt at making it myself didn’t turn out well but I’ll eventually get frustrated enough with what’s available to try again.

    • SomedaySewing says:

      As my grandfather used to say, and it’s true, “they dont make ’em like they used to.”

      Also, I get the not fitting on the first try. My first pair of bunzies, did not fit right either. I think the elastic was not tight enough and they would just fall down. If you have a pair of store bought undies that really fit well I would try to make a pattern off of them. I’m going to try that next with some boyshorts that are no longer made by the store.

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