Clothing + Fashion

Published on May 16th, 2008 | by Leslie Richard

36

DIY: Easy Eco Lingerie!

diy eco lingerieIf you’ve ever cruised the Internet & local boutiques for eco friendly lingerie you know right away that these tiny little intimates cost an entire day’s work (and then some). But the thought of turning back to slave made big box skivvies just does not feel sexy! To fuel my *ehem* addiction to having new earth lovin’ panties I had to learn how to upcycle my own. Here is how to make yourself some luscious green lingerie for less $ then a gallon of gasoline, using one old scarf for fabric.

You Will Need:

  • One large thrifted or kidnapped scarf
  • Wide ribbon
  • Stretch lace/Elastic (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Thread (that either matches your ribbon or is a fun contrasting color)
  • Sewing machine or Olympic hand sewing skills

Step One: Choosing- Find, beg, thrift, or steal a scarf that has a pattern you want to flaunt and is made of a comfortable fabric. Avoid overly crunchy polyester fabrics that feel like your 1984 taffeta holiday dress, and lean more towards soft cottons and silk. I found my scarf  for $1 at a local thrift shop that supports ending domestic violence. The organic satin ribbon was already waiting in my craft box.

DIY PantiesStep Two: Cutting- In order to get the sizing perfect without having fret over a pattern that may not fit, I use a pair of panties & bra (or) bikini I already have to outline the shape I need. Bikini’s are great for sizing since they usually have side ties and can be taken apart and laid flat for measuring. Remember when cutting that you will be sewing a seam line, so cut a tad wider then the exact outline of your previous lingerie. Note: You can make your new lingerie set have more coverage by cutting the triangle shapes wider, or less coverage by thinning them out even smaller.

DIY BraStep Three: Sewing- This is the part that always gets me excited! For the panties you will want to either use stretch lace when you sew the seam line on the right and left inner thigh, or a loose stitch with some stretch. I opted for no lace, since none of my local craft stores carried any. (Another great place to find some used lace is on old not wearable thrift lingerie, none of which I had on hand.) Once you have your seams in place you can now measure & sew on the ribbon, at the top front and top back of the panties. I simply used a fun wavy but very tight stitch across the front. Make sure the length of your ribbon is enough to tie the sides generously, that way this lingerie set will not only look hot but will fit even as your weight may fluctuate (now that is super eco!) The bra top seams can now be sewn (no need for stretch lace unless you want it to match your bottoms), just sew around all the edges till you reach the straps. Then fold the straps exactly in half and stitch one seam straight down the middle. Next sew each bra cup to the ribbon, making sure they are not too close or far apart when sewn on. Each person is built unique, so make sure you pin the bra cups to the ribbon and try it on first, and then sew.

Finished DIY Upcycled LingerieStep Four: Finishing – Because I am a lazy -n- thrifty seamstress I don’t always take the time to add in a cotton liner in the panties. If you do, simply sew in a swatch of organic cotton (or some other breathable natural fiber) and voila!

Now it’s time to show off your sexy eco skills, while still having money to pay your bills!



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About the Author

I live and breathe everything eco , from organic gardening, organic food, to green crafting, minimalist decorating and nature made art. On an average day you can find me planting seeds, loving on my kitty, working on my eco fashion store The Oko Box (www.theokobox.com), and blogging about something green. I love promoting eco lifestyles and participating in changing the future, for a greener earth. xoxo



  • SuperNick

    Hot!! I’d love to see those on a real model… *wink* *wink*

  • SuperNick

    Hot!! I’d love to see those on a real model… *wink* *wink*

  • SuperNick

    Hot!! I’d love to see those on a real model… *wink* *wink*

  • Kelly Rand

    Super cute Leslie! Love the finished product. Looks like your kitten does too!

  • ChicagoGal

    Now I know what I can do with all of my mom’s old scarves! Cool!

  • ChicagoGal

    Now I know what I can do with all of my mom’s old scarves! Cool!

  • ChicagoGal

    Now I know what I can do with all of my mom’s old scarves! Cool!

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to try. It sounds like a great way to use fabric remnants as well(think crazy patchwork sets). If you need a little more support for the bra, they sell cups at the fabric store you can sew in…probably not eco-friendly, but hey, we’re working in that :)

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to try. It sounds like a great way to use fabric remnants as well(think crazy patchwork sets). If you need a little more support for the bra, they sell cups at the fabric store you can sew in…probably not eco-friendly, but hey, we’re working in that :)

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to try. It sounds like a great way to use fabric remnants as well(think crazy patchwork sets). If you need a little more support for the bra, they sell cups at the fabric store you can sew in…probably not eco-friendly, but hey, we’re working in that :)

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    That’s a good tip Autumn! Thinking of eco friendly support cup possibilities, what about using old shoulder pads cut out of thrift clothing? Would those be supportive enough, or maybe they would only give the padded look? hmmm.

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    That’s a good tip Autumn! Thinking of eco friendly support cup possibilities, what about using old shoulder pads cut out of thrift clothing? Would those be supportive enough, or maybe they would only give the padded look? hmmm.

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    That’s a good tip Autumn! Thinking of eco friendly support cup possibilities, what about using old shoulder pads cut out of thrift clothing? Would those be supportive enough, or maybe they would only give the padded look? hmmm.

  • Tana

    Why not use cups cut out of thrift store bras?

  • Tana

    Why not use cups cut out of thrift store bras?

  • Tana

    Why not use cups cut out of thrift store bras?

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    hey Tana! that is the perfect solution, thanks!

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    hey Tana! that is the perfect solution, thanks!

  • http://www.theokobox.com Leslie Richard

    hey Tana! that is the perfect solution, thanks!

  • http://proficiscamur.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    This looks awesome! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  • http://proficiscamur.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    This looks awesome! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  • http://proficiscamur.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    This looks awesome! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  • Nikki

    Thanks heaps for the Great little idea! Can’t wait to try it.. :-)

  • Nikki

    Thanks heaps for the Great little idea! Can’t wait to try it.. :-)

  • Nikki

    Thanks heaps for the Great little idea! Can’t wait to try it.. :-)

  • Nikki

    Thanks heaps for the Great little idea! Can’t wait to try it.. :-)

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  • Em

    If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge and you have an decent fitting, but otherwise lame bra, try reupholstering it!

    I used a bikini for a cut pattern and it worked, but I’d add an extra inch all around. I had to get creative (not in the fun way :P) because I’d left too little wiggle room.

    I changed the fit too by cutting off the shoulder straps and making it a halter(ish) style.

    Check lingerie shop sites and blogs for inspiration! Looking at the price tags will be more than enough inspiration.

  • Em

    If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge and you have an decent fitting, but otherwise lame bra, try reupholstering it!

    I used a bikini for a cut pattern and it worked, but I’d add an extra inch all around. I had to get creative (not in the fun way :P) because I’d left too little wiggle room.

    I changed the fit too by cutting off the shoulder straps and making it a halter(ish) style.

    Check lingerie shop sites and blogs for inspiration! Looking at the price tags will be more than enough inspiration.

  • Em

    If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge and you have an decent fitting, but otherwise lame bra, try reupholstering it!

    I used a bikini for a cut pattern and it worked, but I’d add an extra inch all around. I had to get creative (not in the fun way :P) because I’d left too little wiggle room.

    I changed the fit too by cutting off the shoulder straps and making it a halter(ish) style.

    Check lingerie shop sites and blogs for inspiration! Looking at the price tags will be more than enough inspiration.

  • Em

    If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge and you have an decent fitting, but otherwise lame bra, try reupholstering it!

    I used a bikini for a cut pattern and it worked, but I’d add an extra inch all around. I had to get creative (not in the fun way :P) because I’d left too little wiggle room.

    I changed the fit too by cutting off the shoulder straps and making it a halter(ish) style.

    Check lingerie shop sites and blogs for inspiration! Looking at the price tags will be more than enough inspiration.

  • val

    looks easy to make- i’m looking for a slip patteren

  • Allie M

    What about busty women? I bikini won’t hold the girls up in a D cup or higher. Anyone know of sites with plus-sized bras? (Really, when they weigh 10+ lbs each, bikini is more of an incovenience!)

  • Anne

    Thanks – I’d like to start making my own undies with sustainable fabric.

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