Today I am very excited to share a FREE pattern & photo tutorial for the toddler underwear I posted about earlier this week (link here). It’s the perfect scrap-busting pattern–use it to turn all your favorite knit fabric scraps into something useful! Make your undies with or without an accident-friendly absorbent layer. This underwear pattern is designed to fit a toddler with a 19″-20″ hip measurement (for reference, my daughter wears size 2T-3T in ready-to-wear clothing and has a 19.5″ hip).
Let’s get started!
First off, download and print the FREE pattern in my (new) web shop here.
Make sure to print from Adobe Acrobat Reader and be sure the scaling is set to “Actual Size.” Double check that the pattern printed properly by measuring the 1″ scale square on the first page. If you prefer to use a rotary cutter instead of a pattern piece for the waistband and leg bands, you only need to print pages 1-2 (band dimensions are printed on the Center Panel pattern piece). If you prefer to cut your bands from a pattern piece, print all four pages. To assemble the printed pattern, cut off or fold the right margin and tape or glue the pages together. The diamonds in the corners of the pages are to help with alignment.
Second, gather your materials:
- 1/2 Yard knit fabric (jersey, interlock) with at least 30% stretch for body fabric. You may use two or more coordinating prints, as I did in my samples.
- 1/4 Yard knit fabric or ribbing with at least 5% lycra or spandex for waistband and leg bands.
- Optional: 1/2 Yard fleece (or other absorbent knit fabric) with at least 30% one-way stretch for absorbent layer.
- Stretch needle for your sewing machine
- 100% polyester thread
A Note About Equipment
You do not need a serger (or overlocker, for my sewing friends outside the U.S.) to sew this pattern. Although I used a serger to sew most of the seams on my underwear, you can use a conventional sewing machine with a walking foot or regular presser foot instead. If you use a conventional sewing machine, use a very narrow zig-zag stitch to sew your seams. This will allow the seams to stretch without breaking the threads.
A Note About Seam Allowances
This pattern includes a 3/8″ seam allowance for all seams except for where the ribbing bands are attached. Sew the waistband and both leg bands on with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Cut & mark all fabric pieces.
For fleece lined undies:
- Baste fleece to wrong side of one Center Panel along all four straight edges. Set aside.
Sew Back Seams
- With right sides together, baste Side Panel and other Center Panel (the one with no fleece) together at back (longer edge), matching double notches. Repeat for other side.
- With right sides together, serge or sew Center Panels together at back (longer edge). Repeat for other side. Note: Side Panels will be sandwiched in between the layers—be careful not to catch them in the seams.
- Turn right side out and press.
- Top stitch close to seam, if desired.
Sew Front Seams
- Baste Center Panel and Side Panel together at front (shorter edge), matching single notches. Repeat for other side.
- With right sides together, serge or sew Center Panels together at front (shorter edge). Repeat for other side. Note: Side Panels & back will be sandwiched in between the layers—be careful not to catch them in the seams.
- Turn right side out and press.
- Topstitch close to seam, if desired.
Prepare to Attach Waistband and Leg Bands
- Baste through all layers along curved crotch seam. Repeat for other side.
- Baste through all layers along top edge of Center Panel at front and back.
- With wrong sides together, stitch or serge short edges of waistband together. Repeat for both leg bands.
Managing seam allowances on waistband and leg bands:
a. For stitched seam, press seam allowances open.
b. For serged seam, clip the middle of the seam allowance, taking care not to clip past the stitch line. Press top and bottom opposite directions.
- Fold and press all bands lengthwise, with wrong sides inside, to make a loop.
- Fold waistband into even fourths and mark each fold with a very shallow clip (1/8”) or a pin.
- With seam at center back, match up marks on waistband and top edge of the underwear and pin, aligning the raw edges. Waistband should be against the outside of the underwear.
- Stitch or serge the waistband with a ¼” seam allowance, stretching the waistband to match the length of the top edge of the underwear. Make sure to only stretch the waistband to avoid unattractive puckering. Remove any visible basting stitches and press.
Attach Leg Bands
- Fold leg bands into even halves and mark each fold with a very shallow clip (1/8”) or a pin.
- Fold leg hole in half and mark each fold with a very shallow clip or pin.
- With seam toward the back, match up marks on leg bands and leg holes and pin, aligning the raw edges. Leg band should be against the outside of the underwear.
- Stitch or serge with a ¼” seam allowance, stretching the leg band to match the length of the leg hole. Make sure to only stretch the waistband to avoid unsightly puckering. Remove any visible basting stitches and press
- Repeat for other leg hole.
- Try them on your toddler and admire your handiwork!
I hope you and your toddler enjoy this pattern as much as my toddler and I do. I’d love to see pictures and hear any epic potty training stories you have! Follow me on Instagram (@octavesofcolor), on Facebook or on Bloglovin so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.