Upcycling clothing: what can I reuse, recycle or upcycle to make underwear?

After yesterday’s post about reusing or recycling old leather coats or jackets, I’ve realised there are a few other clothing related things I’d like to ask about so…. impromptu upcycling clothing week! ;)

I’ve got some pretty printed slightly-stretchy cotton vest tops that have either lost their shape or don’t fit any more because they’ve done that thing where they mysteriously shrink by four inches in the wash. As I still like the patterns, I’d like to reuse them in some way and underwear seems a fun thing to try: the patterns would work well on pants and I think I could get at least one pair of boy-short knickers from each vest top.

Has anyone made their own underwear from old tops or t-shirts? And favourite how-to recommendations or hints/tips?

What about making underwear by upcycling other items of clothing? Does anything else lend to easy conversion?

What about upcycling things to make stuff other than knickers/shorts? Socks? Bras? Winter warming layers?

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5 Responses to “Upcycling clothing: what can I reuse, recycle or upcycle to make underwear?”

  1. Chris says:

    Fruit roll ups!

  2. Ne$$ie says:

    Hi, I’ve done the t-shirt to undies-thing and it works quite well for me (and it was fun to do ), but I use 100% cotton T-shirts only. The other thing is fleece socks from old sweaters or the like and a few mittens too. The fleece socks are pretty easy once you’ve got the pattern right. I made up a pattern from the internet from 3 different patterns (3 recources). Once I’ve got the pattern just right , I make a sort of durable pattern-pieces, that I can use over and over again. Good luck Ne$$ie.

  3. Aidan says:

    I have these wonderful underwear from Hanes, but they got ripped. Just badly enough to be unusable, but I could still take my seam ripper to it and use them to make a new pattern!

  4. Su says:

    For those ladies out there whose chests were designed for high impact sports (ie: more compact) it must be possible to use a bikini top as a pattern to make as pretty a bra as you want. Embellish at your will.

  5. Medeea says:

    Why not revamp the shrink tank top by adding some piece of material on each side?

    You could try to make a pair of short pants (pajamas or to wear around the house) by sewing together 2 tank tops. Go find your most comfortable pair of pants and make a pattern for it. Then proceed to match 1 tank top for each leg.

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