19 August 2009

166. HBD and Wednesday Workshop: Sew Your Own Skivvies Tutorial (Refashion 28: Panties from T-Shirt)

1. Happy Birthday
I read a Chanel biography a few weeks back and noticed her birthday was fast approaching. Today's the day. Happy Birthday, Mlle. Chanel.

2. Sew Your Own Skivvies Tutorial
I've been mulling over sewing my own underwear for a long time now but didn't want to buy a bunch of patterns that I would have to modify for best fit. So I deconstructed a pair of my all-time favorite, on-their-last-leg panties and copied them. The original panties were regular 100% cotton jersey so I used a t-shirt in excellent condition to refashion into my new panties.

Of course, I took photos in case it might help anyone heading down a similar path, and I posted a Sew Your Own Skivvies Tutorial on Flickr:

To view and sew along from right here, click play above, then click on the fullscreen icon. When the fullscreen slide show comes up, you can press pause at the first slide, then click Show info in the upper right, and all my notes will came up in this translucent window.

3. Wednesday Workshop
My "day job" title is corporate trainer and business consultant, and it's always in me to share and teach what I learn when it's appropriate. This week I'm kicking off a blog series called "Wednesday Workshop". I'd like to post something every Wednesday -- might be an idea, a peek into a fast-and-furious DIY project (might not necessarily be related to sewing), a link to someone else's cool idea or project, or maybe a full-blown tutorial. It will probably be related to sustainability in some form or fashion... sustainability is on my mind all the time... thanks for letting me share. :)


  1. Wow, great tutorial! I love that you put the T-shirt logo on your bum!

  2. T-shirt to skivvies is a great idea. I think I'll give your tutorial a try.

  3. wow - very impressive - great idea! Love to see what you come up with on " share the sewing knowledge Wednesday..."

    It's Thursday here of course, being a day ahead of you guys, and I believe that another great designer has her birthday around this time. Happy birthday to her and Mme Chanel!

    Ps are you thinking of adding some bags to your shop?

  4. Brilliant. Also brilliant is the fact that your skivvies are pretty non-wonky. The only pair I've ever made are wonkiness to the extreme. I had just started crafting again after a ~7 year hiatus, and in lieu of job hunting I decided to alter PJ pants to underwear ... "I may not be able to find a job, but I can make my own underwear!!!" My friends have never let me forget that statement.

  5. @Anonymous - Thanks! I expect some Google Adsense dollars or something for the free publicity. ;)

    @Kristy - Oooh, let me know if you do. Can't wait to see if yours turn out well!

    @Mary Nanna - I'm not sure how much sewing knowledge I'll impart on Wednesdays... just want to keep it sort of fast and loose, even more about ideas than techniques. I got an inquiry via Twitter about hipsters and boy shorts, so I might jump that direction for next week... And thank you for the right-on-time-for NZ b-day wishes. :)

    @Jessica - I think mine looked borderline wonky until I did that broken zigzag stitch over the casings. Then they didn't look too unlike the original. I encourage you to get back to those PJ pants and have another go at it! If you can quilt like you do, you can sew undergarments!

  6. I had to do a retake. For a moment I thought you were recyling his undies! Great reuse of a t-shirt.

  7. Happy Birthday!
    I'll be looking forward to wednesdays!

  8. Great idea for what to do with that oh-so comfortable T-shirt that has been worn to pieces!

  9. This is recycling at it's best!

  10. Antoinette, I just love your blog! I just found it recently and this whole recycling clothes is a new idea to me. You make it look so fun and creative.

    I was already thinking about making my 13 year old daughter some undies out of T-shirts, and today you have a tudorial. I have to laugh when I think what her reaction will be when she see what's I've done with her old t-shirts. :-) Thanks! Linda

  11. Happy birthday to Mme. Chanel AND YOU!! I hope PR was everything you wanted it to be.

  12. These skivvies rock. And so does the tut.

    I [heart] you so much for doing this. We're riding the same wave length again.

  13. @Gail - Were my original undies so big and gobby they looked like his undies??? Oh dear. LOL

    @Sarah@Neoteric.Traditional - Thank you! :) And I'm looking forward to Wednesday Workshops, too.

    @SewMarm - Lots of t-shirts get uneven wear, so I'd be sure to use areas of the shirt that have a lot of life left in them!

    @Rattie4Fun - We were on the same wavelength! Please let me know how they turn out!

    @Steph - Thanks so much! PR was fun. Did you see it?

    @poplin - Thanks, girlfriend. The undies are pretty easy. Going to try out some variations this weekend and post the results next Wed. :) Glad you are back!

  14. I love this!! Old t-shirt fabric is soooo soft!!

    I posted a link to your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  15. Thanks for the tute! I've not tried undies, but I have made a swimsuit before. In the kwik sew instructions, the leg elastic was sewn directly to the fab edge, then folded over and topstitched. By using this method, you are able to increase the gathers "under the cheeks", and have a flatter gather across the front of the leg. It's a really easy method - Divide the elastic into thirds - one third goes right under the cheek and the 2/3 is spread around hip and across front. Attach elastic to fab with that short zig, then fold over and top stitch. Easy peasy!

  16. @casserole - Thanks! Hope this helps other people stop spending untold amounts of money on stuff they can easily make themselves. I don't say that about everything, but if you have beginner sewing skills, you can certainly copy your own pair of undies!

    @karen i said - That is such a great suggestion. Since I sewed the casing first, and mine was too tight, I had a tough time getting most of the gathering to the rear end. I will try that method you shared.

    And I didn't mention this, but I do think of this undies practice as working up the courage to sew my own swimsuit next year! :)

  17. Interesting combination - corporate trainer and business consultant. I too am a business consultant for IT in a telecommunications company. Can I ask why you have both roles?

    Thanks...feel free to drop me a reply at kittycollector at gmail dot com


  18. that is too much! I love the simplicity... although I won't be making my own skivvies any time soon. :)

  19. How cute!! I've been wanting to make some undies out of old t-shirts. This is a great tutorial! Thanks!!

  20. Great tutorial so simple to make.. thanks!!


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