I often joke that I will have "made it" in life when we have a dishwasher, a yard, and air conditioning. For the record, we are pretty far away from all of these things. Although I am no where close to "making it" based on my own criteria, I think it's pretty clear that I'm at least on my way to becoming a crazy lady. Why, you ask? I think since I started sewing diapers, and and then later underwear, I have really advanced along my path to crazy. It's debatable whether on not I've already arrived.
Now that I've got that off my chest, let's talk about sewing underwear shall we? Last year, when we were potty training our son, I made 4 pairs of underwear using the Little Fishies Undies Pattern.
I really like this pattern, but I think he prefers wearing boxer briefs. I have been toying with the idea of making some, but I was too lazy to make the pattern, and too cheap to buy one. Lucky for me, someone else made one for me in just the right size. And her pattern is free. Awesome, right?
I made two batches of two pairs, and both the brown striped pairs and the navy blue pairs were made with soft thrifted t-shirts. This pattern is awesome and I really recommend it, although I made several changes to the pattern and instructions. First, when I cut out my leg pieces, I lined the bottom of the pattern up with the finished hem of the t-shirt I was using for fabric. This saved me from finishing the bottom edge.
I didn't bother with sewing a fly, or even a fake fly, and this was a bit faster. On the first set I made, when I sewed the two middle pieces together, I didn't have enough stretch in the seam. After my son wore them for a few minutes, he complained that they were too tight. I had to unpick the seam, and sewed the old seam back together with a triple zig-zag stitch (without taking apart any of the other seams).
The second time around, I bypassed this problem by taping the back middle and front middle pieces together, and only cutting out one middle piece.
The last change I made, was to put in an enclosed elastic waist band. The pattern has the elastic sewn directly to the undies. I wanted a cleaner look and a more comfortable band, so I cut out a strip of ribbing the same length as my elastic (for size 3/4 I used 19" of elastic with 1" overlapping). On the brown pair, I actually used the body of an old stained onesie, and it was the perfect width. This saved me the trouble of even sewing my ribbing into a tube. My elastic was 1" wide, so I cut my ribbing to be 2 3/4" wide. After making my tube of ribbing, I ironed it in half (width wise) and put the elastic inside. Then I just sewed it to the top of the undies.