Friday, May 5, 2017

Lauren Makes Lingerie: Upcycling Old Clothes into Undies!

I'm in the process of moving (again...), and after doing this seven times in as many years, I've picked up a few tricks.  One of which is getting rid of as much as possible before you pack.  Because what's the point of packing and moving things you don't actually want or use??

So as I was cleaning out my closet this past weekend, I came across some RTW garments that I never wear anymore:  some Target t-shirts that don't fit quite the way I want them to and an ancient American Apparel skirt I haven't worn since high school.  I try to donate as much as I can (either to Women's Empowerment or Out of the Closet), but these pieces were just a little too old and ratty to give away.  No one really wants my old stained and pilly tee.

And then I got the bright idea to reuse these knits and make underwear!  This may have been my excuse for abandoning the cleaning to go sew...but let's not think too hard on that, shall we?

After sewing every night this week and binge watching Girlboss, I now have less unworn clothing cluttering up my closet and FIVE brand new pairs of undies!

Not only is this a great way to recycle old garments, it's a fun way to try out new patterns.  Especially if it's a pattern you're unfamiliar with or are intimidated by - you haven't invested a lot of money buying new fabric, so there's less pressure to get it perfect your first time.  Or you can use one of the many amazing free underwear patterns out there, and then you've spent next to nothing!

Out of the five, my favorite is the green ones.  I've anxious to try out Evie La Luve patterns, and now we carry them in print at the store!!  The Esme panties were my top pick, so I was excited to try them first!  I love the crossover detail.  They're designed for using stretch lace in the back, but Hannah showed how to use jersey and narrow lace trim instead on her youtube channel.  I decided to keep going and use the stretch lace trim on the waistband too instead of foldover elastic, and I love how delicate and pretty they look!

I also tried out a free pattern from Ohhh Lulu - the Celeste bikini!  I had the red lace trim in my stash, so the only thing I bought new was the foldover picot elastic that I used on the waist.  That comes out to like $3.50 total!!

I won't go into too much detail on all these undies, because that would be a longgg blog.  But I will say that I found it really interesting how different all these turned out to be.  The purple one is a thong, but the other four are bikini cut panties.  The other black pair is my trusty Jalie 3242, and the taupey-brown pair is the bikini that comes with the Watson bralette pattern.  So I know they're all different patterns, but how many ways is there to draft bikini bottoms?  Turns out MANY.  I ended up taking in the side seams on the Celeste panties, whereas I don't really have to do that on the Jalie panties.  I took a little in on the side seams of the Watson bikini, too, and I realized those have a higher rise than the other panties.  So even if all pantie patterns look the same to you, trust me, they all fit very differently!

I like the look and fit of the Esme panties best, but they were certainly the most fiddly, what with the rayon/lycra jersey and the narrow lace trim.  However, I totally plan to make them again, perhaps with pretty stretch lace like it calls for.  I'm much more confident making that little investment now that I know I love the fit!

Have you ever recycled fabric or cut up old garments to make new ones?  What did you make?  I kind of want to cut up every old t-shirt now and make more underwear!  You can never have too much, right??

Happy sewing, my friends!

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