sewing underwear: the (free) pattern

Note November 21st 2021: I have taken down the link to the free pattern I used to offer. The reason is simple – I can’t stand behind a product that is so size non-inclusive, and choosing sewing as my hobby I will not be dedicating time to edit the pattern. There are lots of both free and paid for underwear patterns available on the internets that are similar in style. Happy sewing!

Underwear. Knickers. Pants. Undies. Whatever you call them, I have a free pattern for sewing your 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!

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

If you make a pair (or five?) from this pattern, please share! Comment, link back, and show off!


57 thoughts on “sewing underwear: the (free) pattern”

  1. Just came to this via On the Cutting Floor. What a great idea to use tee shirts! Something to do with the backs of the tees that go into the quilts!

    1. Absolutely! I have discovered though, that some t-shirts aren’t the most stretchy – in which case I would size up and rely on the elastic to keep everything in place.

  2. Waaaaaay late to the party, but for those of us with high waists and tummies that aren’t suited to bikinis any more, how do you suggest going about altering the pattern to fit? I’ve also saved all the pretty lace off worn out underwear, so that I might recycle those onto new ones as well…

    1. Hi! So sorry for not responding – this comment got lost in having my blog split between two platforms. Anyways, for altering an underwear pattern to become more highrise, extend the side seam upwards. Try to maintain about the same curve/direction, but some trial and error to find a fit that works for your body is to be expected. :)

  3. Not sure if this pattern is small enough but maybe I can adjust it for our little granddaughter—she is potty trained but is so tiny we can’t find underpants for our “big girl now”. She only wears 18 mos. at age 1 1/2. Thanks!

    1. You could certainly alter it! I would try to keep the shape the same, but draw it proportionally smaller inside the current smaller size – if that makes any sense. Think of Russian babushka dolls! Good luck!

  4. Thank you for the pattern. I may just have to use it. Although, for the time being, I am going to be supersizing the pattern for a Christmas gag gift.

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

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