Making Kids Underwear
I don't know about you, but when I first started sewing (just over 10 years ago), my projects were almost exclusively dresses; sewing and then wearing me-made dresses gave me a lot of satisfaction. The rationale was that nice dresses are generally more expensive to buy, and harder to find (for a petite build) so making them myself helped me "justify" my new hobby (as good value for money - how little did I know?! Haha), not that any justification was ever required anyway!
As time went on, though, I started to realise that I didn't actually live in dresses everyday, and as lovely as some of these dresses may be, I simply did not have all the fancy occasions to attend which would do my outfit justice. Slowly, my sewing projects shifted towards what I would actually wear, rather than what I wish I could wear. Making clothes that get repeated wear is definitely a smarter choice than making beautiful clothes that sit in a corner of the wardrobe.
It was this realisation which led me to sewing underwear. What other item in your wardrobe gets guaranteed wear every single day? What's more, this still fulfils my desire to make sewing good value for money, because it is the perfect scrap busting project!
I'm going to talk about underwear for kids today, because my almost (though still not interested) ready for potty training daughter needs all the encouragement that she can get to get her started. I've tried out a few (mostly free) patterns along the way, and wanted to share with you what I've made. I'll discuss a few additional patterns as well so you have even more options to choose from.
- Speedy pants - Made by Jack's Mum (MBJM) << Link 👈
You can get this pattern for free by subscribing to the MBJM subscriber letter, or by buying a ladies or men's underwear pattern. I made the briefs version, but there is also a boxer version available, which is fantastic for a free pattern! The sizing range is huge, too, running all the way from 6 months to 12 years.
I made this cheetah pair using the tiniest of scraps leftover from the leggings project. It lived up to its name, and was indeed a speedy sew, especially if you have an overlocker.
The overall fit (even though I blended sizes) was not perfect -- the bands are a bit tight, but the bum area is a bit loose. The thing is, underwear is such a personal thing: we all have different body shapes, and not to mention different preferences. Freya has a proper toddler pot belly and pretty impressive thighs, and mummy has never been a big fan of leg bands on underwear. This doesn't stop the pattern from being a great freebie though; in fact, I'm pretty sure I will try this again perhaps after the toddler belly goes away in a few years' time. This must also be a no-brainer pattern for little boys, especially considering the boxer option.
2. Nifty Knickers - Thread Faction on Sew 4 Bub << Link 👈
These look more like your shop bought underwear, and probably for that reason, I really liked the look of these. I couldn't get this completely free, but at AUD $0.99 (under 60p), I was happy to invest.
I'm so glad I did! I made these in Size 3T, using my scrap from this Peter Rabbit Dress, and some pale blue fold over scalloped elastic. These are straight out of the envelop, so to speak, and fit Freya pretty well!
The only thing was that the waistline was slightly too high (toddler pot belly, remember?), so I cut the next pair 1 cm lower at the waist (front and back), using the scrap from this dungarees project. I'm sure you are getting the idea now about how scrap busting making underwear can be 🙂
I'm really pleased with how these turned out! They are so sweet, and the fit was almost perfect. The only thing that I will do for the next version is to make the waist elastic a little shorter. And yes, there will be many next versions!
3. Kids underpants from Small Dreamfactory << Link 👈
I really wanted to try these because 1) they are free, 2) they are a bit different - more "boy shorts" style but are actually designed specifically for girls; and 2) the legs are hemmed, rather than using elastic or bands. I mentioned that I have a preference of elastic over bands on underwear; in fact, if I had the choice, turned over and hemmed legs are what I would go for every time.
But doing this on Freya's knickers is a different story. Hemming in the round with a pretty tight turning cycle was challenging; the resulting leg holes are also not as stretchy as the elasticated versions above. I did like the shape, but to be honest they didn't fit great on Freya.
The sizing is a bit weird here. Some sizes are included in one file, but other sizes are in separate files. This makes things a little tricky if you need to blend sizes. The waist elastic sizing is very very different (they look tiny) to the other patterns, too, so I'd double check and measure your child if you were going to use this pattern.
So out of these 3 patterns, the clear winner for me is the Nifty Knickers Pattern. I'm really pleased to have paid the 60p for my research, as I know that I'll be getting lots of use out of this pattern. And before I move on, I wanted to share a little tip with you -- using stretch thread or wooly nylon in your bobbin or lower thread/looper when finishing the edges (or applying fold over elastic) would make the seams softer against the skin.
Right, as promised, it's time to share 2 more patterns with you. Even though I haven't tried them yet, they've stood out for one reason or another, and are firmly on my to try list.
4. Treasurie Girl's Bikini Pants << Link 👈
Strictly speaking, this is not an underwear pattern. But it is free, and can be so easily adapted - skip the swimwear lining, add a gusset, and you are done!
The sizing is great, too, including 2-14 years old. What a generous freebie!
6. Jalie Julia << Link 👈
I'm seriously tempted to buy this pattern. OK, it's not free, but you do always get great bang for your buck with Jalie patterns. For CAD$ 12.95 (around £7.50), this pattern gives you a comfy bralette (for lounging or as a sports bra), knickers with high or low waist with a cross-over illusion detail, and a swing camisole. If this is not enough for you, it includes 28 sizes all the way from a 2-year old to 2XL in ladies.
Matching undies anyone?
Matching undies anyone?
This leads me nicely to a little early reveal for the topic of the next blog post that is still in the works - ladies underwear! There are even more free patterns out there, so I'd better get sewing!
Thanks for reading! Until next time,
Take care and stay safe,
Alice from Queen of Darts