I know that underwear is generally fairly cheap to buy, so it’s not like you’re saving yourself megabucks by sewing your own.
But the reason why underwear is generally so cheap to buy? It’s generally because:
- It uses cheap, poor quality fabric that’s harsh on the environment to produce.
- It’s practically thrown together with uneven seams, skipped stitches, and all kinds of shortcuts (don’t believe me? REALLY look at your underwear and count all the places where a decent sewer would have done a better job).
- It’s manufactured by laborers under poor working conditions, paid unfair wages. They might even be children.
For these reasons, it’s well worth the effort to at least experiment with sewing your own underwear. Even if you don’t replace all of your underwear with DIY versions, even if you simply make one pair and call it a day, it’s a valuable experience to see the work and the materials that go into it.
You’ll never look at that store-bought cheap underwear the same way again.
Below, you’ll find my favorite free underwear tutorials and patterns. Find something you like, give it a whirl, and see if it doesn’t make you want to stock your whole dresser with nothing but homemade underwear!
1. Boxer shorts. Boxers are super easy to sew because they don’t even have to be made from stretch fabric. They’re perfect for beginners!
2. Boyshorts underwear pattern. Boyshorts are my favorite type of underwear, so I was stoked to happen upon this free downloadable pdf pattern for them!
3. Bikini top. This bikini top has a small enough silhouette that it can be used as a bra, as well.
4. Bikini panties. If you like the look of bikini-style panties, then you’ll love this easy tutorial for making them.
7. Bra from men’s underwear. This is… pretty weird. But to be fair, because the sizing on men’s clothing is so logical, all you have to do is find a pair of men’s underwear whose size matches your own under-bust measurement, and the rest is simple!
8. Cage bra. Skip the high-priced boutiques and DIY this hot trend.
9. Caged bustier top. Convert a regular bra pattern into a more sophisticated caged bustier top.
10. Underwear lining. This post is an explanation of all things related to underwear linings–why you want them or don’t want them, the various types, and how to sew each of them into your favorite underwear pattern.
11. Dance Shorts. Dance shorts are a lot like boyshorts, but with more coverage. I love them!
12. Day of the Week embellishments. Use any of the basic, non-lace panties patterns and embellish them with these Day of the Week templates. Now you’ll no longer be unsure about which pair of underwear to put on!
13. Fold-over elastic-edged panties. If you like the fit of elastic-waisted panties but you want a narrower hem, let this tutorial show you how easy it is to replace regular elastic with FOE.
14. Garter belt. I don’t know how to DIY stockings–yet. I DO know how to DIY a garter belt, thanks to this tute.
15. Heart reverse applique. You can embellish many of the panties patterns here with this cute heart reverse applique.
16. Lace cutout. This lace cutout works along the same lines as the heart reverse applique–add either or both to your existing panties pattern.
17. Lace panties. Because elastic lace can be found in super-wide dimensions, it’s also possible to make an entire pair of panties from it.
18. Lace bra. And if you’re going to wear lace panties, you might as well make yourself a lace bra to match!
19. Hipster undies. These are easy and not too pretentious.
20. Kid boxer briefs. My favorite thing about sewing for children is how little fabric it uses. You’ll hardly notice that you’re sewing before you’re finished making these tiny boxer briefs!
21. Kid panties from a onesie. This tutorial is a brilliant way to upcycle your kid’s old onesies into new underwear–if you’re careful, you might even be able to get a little tank top out of the same onesie!
22. Lace thong. If you’ve got elastic lace, then you’ve got everything that you need to make this thong.
23. Lace bralette. This pattern allows you to skip making adjustable chest and shoulder bands by sizing the bralette exactly.
24. Lace-edge panties. If you don’t want your panties made entirely from lace, it’s easy to simply trim them with lace.
25. Period panties. Period panties are a big deal right now, so you know someone figured out how to DIY them!
26. Add a pad to underwear. If you don’t want to sew full-on period panties, you can also try adding a permanent cloth pad to many of these underwear patterns.
27. Nursing sleep bra. Maternity clothes are ridiculously high priced. Do yourself a favor and sew yourselves several pairs of these bras before you’re too exhausted with your newborn to be trusted with a sewing machine.
28. Ruched hiphugger panties. These aren’t your average, everyday T-shirt panties. Super cute details make them extra special without being too precious.
29. Serged panties. I love the look of these panties, adapted from a free swimsuit bottoms pattern. They don’t require elastic, so they’re even thriftier than the average pair of underwear. And the serged edges look really cool!
30. Side ties. This embellishment will work on any of the boyshort-type underwear patterns.
31. Tap pants. These are super cute worn under a dress or skirt, or as part of a lingerie set. This tutorial teaches you how to construct your own pattern to make tap pants that will fit you perfectly.
32. Thong pattern. If you’d prefer not to create your own pattern, here’s a free downloadable pattern for sewing a thong.
33. T-shirt underwear. Here’s another free pattern for making a pair of bikini briefs specifically from T-shirt fabric.
34. Use an existing pair of panties as a pattern. If you have a pair of panties that you’re willing to sacrifice, this tutorial shows you how to break them down and use them for pattern pieces so that you can construct endless identical pairs from your own fabric.
35. Underwear skill set. Any technique that you need to know to successfully sew a bra or panties is likely here. These tutorials cover everything from properly measuring elastic to adding trim to sewing a hook and eye closure on a bra. You’ll be an expert by the time you’ve browsed through these tutes!
36. Wool underwear. It sounds non-intuitive, but wool’s moisture-wicking properties can help keep you feeling cool and comfy even when it’s swampy outside.
P.S. Want even MORE underwear tutorials? Check out my older round-up of underwear tutorials that call for mostly upcycled materials!