January 24th, 2012


When Rae asked me to talk a bit about sewing with knits, I thought it was odd, because I’m rather crap at sewing with knits. But then I looked back in my archives for pictures of things I’ve sewn and hey! it’s not that bad. My first experience with sewing with knits was pretty horrible.  Now it looks like I remember that failure more than any of the successful knit projects I’ve made, which is ridiculous. With that realization, I cut out a huge pile of knit fabric for this awesome undies pattern:

piles of fabric for undies

I didn’t finish them all, because my daughter is a little between sizes so I have to adjust the fit, but oof! the boy undies are pretty damn cute. The pattern is very clear and nicely laid out with plenty of pictures. I noticed she’s not selling it at the moment and I’m not sure why, because it’s a very popular pattern. It’s popular for a reason: you only need a little bit of fabric, old t-shirts are perfect, and if you screw up who’s going to see them anyway?


I wouldn’t say this is a beginner, beginner project, but if you’ve sewn with knits a few times then these shouldn’t be a problem. They come together quickly, but the waistband and leg holes take a bit of time. And people will look at you funny when (or rather if) you tell them you’re making your children’s underwear.

lightening bolt undies!

But come on, lighting bolt undies?! What little boy wouldn’t be excited about that?

Want to see all the kniterviews? Look here! and mine is here.

Posted in sewing clothes.

35 Responses to undies

  1. freckled hen says:

    Those are some great undies! I’ve been making my underwear for my youngest, too. It’s oddly satisfying to use up all those old t-shirts my husband hates to part with.

  2. venus says:

    Oh my freakin, gosh! Killer undies… I’d love to make some for my girls…

  3. Leigh says:

    I have that pattern, too, but I haven’t gotten motivated enough to make any yet! How terrible. Maybe your cute pics will be enough to get me started!

  4. […] You can visit Meg over at her blog, Elsie Marley. And hey look, today Meg posted about the undies she just made. With KNITS! So head over… […]

  5. Jessica says:

    The lightning bolt is very strategic… And super adorable. Kabam! PeePee!!

  6. trula says:

    Perfect undies. And yes, of course you are experienced with sewing knits.

  7. Holly Keller says:

    I would love a pair of lightning bolt undies myself. But not with a fly. More girl-short style. Love what you made though. Cool, as usual.

  8. Rebekah says:

    If anyone is interested, you can still get the pattern at youcanmakethis.com: http://youcanmakethis.com/products/author/MTAzOTM0MTA5MQ==/childrens-undies.htm

  9. radiya says:

    i have the same pattern and am confused as what fabric to use for the edges.

    • meg says:

      she says something with spandex in it, I think. All cotton knit doesn’t have good enough recovery to work for the bands. You can find t-shirts with some–just check the tags. I did use ribbed knit for one pair, but they haven’t been worn yet. I’ll tell you how it works out.

  10. sarah says:

    These are pretty much the best thing i’ve ever seen. I don’t know how to sew! Do you make things for others and sell them?


  11. kate says:

    definitely going to try this for my little guy. he says he likes to wear them backwards so he has more room. for what?

  12. Dee says:

    I have made these undies. I used re-purposed bike shorts for the leg & waist bands. It seemed so crazy to make children’s undies when you can buy them for next to nothing (and with all their favorite characters on them). But it is really a fun project, especially if you have a lot of knit scraps you can mix & match. And the kids do love them. The knits I had were much higher quality and softer than ready mades. I bought the pattern from thatdarnkat.etsy.com

  13. kristin says:

    haha, i had the same reaction when rae asked me! ;) loved your kniterview, though, and these adorable little undies are quickly becoming a must-make! freakin’ cute.

  14. Heather P says:

    This post is perfectly timed. I was just lamenting how expensive organic children’s underwear is! Now I can just use their old jammies and shirts!

  15. Nina says:

    OK, the lightning bolt underpants have brought one of my favourite poems to mind. It’s by Spike Milligan:

    A man was under
    A bolt of thunder
    As he sheltered ‘neath a tree.
    What terrible luck
    The lightning struck
    And burnt his riddle-me-ree.

    It’s pretty much the only poem I know by heart and therefore, on the rare occasion when I’m pressed to recite a poem (eg my grandmother’s 80th birthday), that’s what the people get.

  16. Stephinie says:

    Oh my Goodness! These are too freaking cute. I LOVE them.

  17. Ms. Carla says:

    I love these! I have so many t-shirt scraps, I knew there was a good reason I didn’t throw them out!

  18. Christina says:

    I have the same sewing machine. When I try sewing with knits, my seams get all bunchy. Is there a particular tension/width/length you use? I love this machine and would love it even more if I could get knits to work for me!

  19. tara says:

    dude, those underwear are awesome.

  20. Sophie says:

    Brilliant undies! I remember reading in Joanna Chase’s 1940ies ‘Sew and Save’ (which is hilarious), that one must stop to sew underwear for boys older than 10 to avoid teasing, – but then they did not have lightening bolts in war-time Britain.

  21. Aleyta says:

    Cute cute cute!!!!!

  22. sam lamb says:

    oh dang, i love these! love, love, love them.

    (maybe milo will share my love and feel the urge to ditch his diapers. maybe.)

  23. ahahaha! I love how honest you are! And I’m so glad you made underwear, because my son is about to start potty training and I thought… I need to sew him some underwear! lol Those are pretty awesome underwear if you ask me!

  24. Katherine says:

    Those undies are so amazing! Wow! I love them!!! (I guess that might be weird thing to say about underpants…but I do.) Now to learn how to do that before we start on the potty training here.

  25. My brain says, “I can make those!” But my sewing machine says, “No you can’t!”
    Do I need special equipment to sew knits? Because I can’t even put a knit patch on knit fabric.