Understanding Undies Part 2: Your Favourite Pants

At last, Part 2 of the Understanding Undies series: What to do when your favourite undies start falling apart at the seams.

In Part 1 we looked at making pants from patterns available on the net. This time we look at pants you already own.

Everyone has favourite pants, usually a couple of pairs, for different situations. Undies for seduction, undies for work, undies for when we're feeling a bit bloated and when it's that time of the month when all we want is comfort and coverage!

In this post, we'll take a look at how to copy your pants, focussing on a simple, comfortable style. In Part 3, we'll look at cloning fancy pants, so if that's more your thing, click here.

Meet my favourite comfort pants:

My favourite pants

I've had them for a few years. They were, in fact, an emergency purchase from an outlet store somewhere on the Gold Coast. I needed some undies, walked into a store and grabbed the first thing I saw. I wish I'd taken more time over my purchase, or bought more, because I love them. The fit is great, they are super soft and stretchy and they are still really cute. I wish I could tell you what brand they are, but even the label has faded too much to tell.

But 2 years of regular wear and tear has seen them start to fade, pill and lose their shape. So I figured it was time to replace them - with themselves. One of the nice things about these pants is the fabric, a soft, stretchy, mid weight knit that I hadn't been able to find locally. So in the end I simply commandeerd a couple of Mr. Weavers old t-shirts for the job as these had the right softness, weight, stretch and pre-washed feel that I was after. Mr. Weaver initially didn't know they were missing, and since he's seen the end result, doesn't mind too much either! However, I would recommend obtaining permission first...

In order to copy these pants, I had to make a tough decision to sacrifice a pair so the reverse engineering could commence. The pink pair bit the dust and was cut up into the individual parts.


Deconstructed and unfolded

The individual parts were then measured, the direction of stretch ascertained and pinned to pattern paper. The shapes were then traced, labelled and marked with notches were necessary.

Once this was done, seam allowances were added to the pattern pieces.

Next, it was time to turn my attention to the elastic. One of the things I love best about these pants is the fact that there is no leg elastic. Instead, they are shaped in a way the fits perfectly eliminating the need to place elastic at the leg openings. This makes me happy.

The only elastic required, is at the waist. In this case, fold over elastic was used. This was also measured and noted. Now, here's the thing - one of the reasons that your favourite pants are your favourite pants, is probably because you have had them for a while and over time the elastic has lost some of it's most aggressive stretching abilities. So, if you make your pants with the exact same length of elastic they may feel a little snugger at first, I didn't want this so I added a little extra to my pattern directions and commenced reconstruction.

Ultimately, these pants are amazing not just because of their fit but also because they are super simple to make comprising only 3 pieces - the gusset, the left front&back and the right front&back - so it was sewn up in less than ten minutes.

Gusset with pattern markings
New pants, burrito gusset

An additional benefit, is the gusset is constructed in two layers, using the burrito roll method, which leaves no raw edges. The leg openings were cover stitched and the waist elastic applied at the end. And Voila!, new favourite comfy pants.


I then made a second pair - just to test my pattern was accurate and decided to have a bit of fun with Mr. Weaver's duck t-shirt. By placing the right front&back piece strategically, I was able to position the head and bill of the duck on my right hip as though it's looking up. You can do this with any patterned t-shirt and is great fun.

New old faithful comfy pants

I have worked out that I can make three pairs of comfy pants from each of Mr. Weaver's t-shirts. This means that as well as a year or so of wear for him, there's at least another couple of years wear for me. That's a great return on investment and some very satisfying recycling!

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