Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big Girl Underwear: tutorial for girl's 2T/3T underwear

At 2 1/2 years old, I can proudly say my daughter is fully potty trained! Literally the afternoon that I posted about Haley's ghetto fabulous potty chart, she made the final step and went #2 in the potty. This day needs to be an official holiday or something. I have never been so happy about poo.

When she first started potty training, we bought my daughter a couple packages of "big girl underwear" to use. Since she's now officially potty trained, she needed more pairs than we had originally purchased. I had a lot of knit fabric laying around, so I thought it'd be fun to make her some myself!

I will say that it took me a lot longer than anticipated to make underwear, but it's fun to see my daughter running around in underwear I made myself. I think it would also be fun to involve your child in making her own Big Girl Underwear by allowing her to use a stamp and some fabric paint or fabric markers to make designs on her underwear to get her excited about potty training.

Supplies for Girl's 2T/3T Underwear:
  • Download the free pattern HERE
  • Knit fabric for main pieces and bias tape (I used some t-shirts I had sitting around - don't use really thin knit though! Comfy jersey shirts work well for this.)
  • 1/4 inch elastic
  • Ballpoint needle (helps a ton when sewing with knit fabric)
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies

Step 1: Cut out your pieces.

Download and cut out your pattern pieces and place them on top of your knit fabric Trace around your pattern pieces and cut out. You should now have 3 pieces (left to right): your front piece your crotch piece and your back piece.

Step 2: Sew the front and back pieces together.

Place your front piece on top of your back piece, right sides together. Match up the edges of the crotch area and pin.

Sew straight across to join. When you open your piece up, it should look like this with the line you just sewed on the inside of the underwear:

Next, take your crotch piece and iron down each end 1/4 inch. Place on top of the crotch area, ironed side down, making sure to overlap the edge of your crotch piece with the edge you just sewed on the underwear. Pin and sew both ends down.

Step 3: Add bias tape.

You can buy bias tape from the store, but I chose to make my own out of knit fabric because it's much more comfortable for little legs.

To make your own, cut strips 2 inches wide and 13 inches long from your knit fabric. Fold your piece in half wrong sides together and iron, then fold either side toward the crease in the middle and iron. That's it!

Line each leg with the bias tape by sandwiching the raw edge of your fabric inside of the bias tape. Pin and sew down the length of each leg. This is the easy way of sewing bias tape on. I won't bore you with the details of the hard (and proper) way of sewing on bias tape :)

Step 4: Finish the leg holes.

Cut 13 1/2 inches of 1/4 inch elastic for each leg and use a safety pin to thread it through one of the openings of your bias tape on each leg hole.

Let the ends of the elastic stick out the ends of the leg holes a little.

With your underwear inside out, match up the sides and pin from the waist to the top of the leg hole. Sew the sides closed, making sure you catch both ends of the elastic when you sew.

Trim off any additional fabric and elastic that still may be sticking out.

Step 5: Create your waistband.

With the underwear still inside out, fold the waistband 1/4 inch and iron, then fold down another 1/4 inch and iron. Sew your waistband closed.

Cut 19 inches of elastic and use a safety pin to thread it through your waistband.

And now you have a homemade pair of big girl underwear for your big girl!

I won't embarrass my daughter by posting pictures of her little bum in underwear all over the internet, but just know that she loves them :)

Do you have a little boy who's potty training? There's a great tutorial over at Home Sweet Homebodies on how to make your own Easy On Potty Training Pants for little boys.

Check out my sidebar to see where I link up each week!


  1. Goodness, you made underwear, Jen?!? Wow! I wish I had half the motivation that you do. These are freaking adorable!

  2. I love it! This is so awesome. I was seriously unhappy when I had to buy some of those ridiculously expensive bitty little panties at the store.

  3. Cute! They turned out great, and of course they must be comfy too since they are knit. Thanks for the link! (PS- I don't know if it's just me, but when I clicked the link for the pattern, it wasn't there, maybe the permissions need adjusting- or maybe it is just me!)

  4. Cool!! I've been wanting to actually make my own!! I have to ask - what is that cool font in the title photo?

  5. This is such a great idea! I've never seen this before - but this week I have seen two posts like this - your little girl ones and the other one I saw were for big girls. You did awesome - and so did your daughter.
    Thanks for sharing. Saw you on TT&J

  6. This is PERFECT! My daughter is just over 2 1/2 and has no desire to be potty trained... but I know one day it will happen. I think she would LOVE to pick out the color fabrics for her own underwear. She always sees me cutting and fabric so maybe this could even be motivation for her to stop wearing diapers! (Off to Pin this now!)

  7. Cute idea!! I've got a TON old knit shirts laying around waiting to be recycled but I just haven't found a project for them yet! LOVE this though...great idea!!

  8. Very Cute! I have a tutorial on my blog using what looks like the exact same blue striped t-shirt material! I would love to have you link up with Creative Me Monday at The Southern Institute! My linky party runs all week long. Here's the link:

    Hope to see you there!


  9. So i'm wondering..???? for a 4T would you just widen the flaps a little and lengthen the crotch piece just a tad??

  10. I made some undies for my 2-year-old son and am trying to figure out how to adjust a pattern for my 4-year-old girl (who's a skinny-minny). Have you made some bigger sizes for your daughter? Maybe I'll try your pattern - thanks!

  11. By the way, I did in fact use your pattern as a basis for my 4-year-old. I traced a pattern 1/2" bigger, cut the leg opening for the front piece slightly higher, and did two separate crotch pieces. I sewed them together like I did for my own undies ( using stretch elastic for the leg holes and folding elastic into the waistband. Haven't posted any pics yet but will soon! It was super-easy and I'll get a few pairs from an old baby blanket that I didn't know what else to do with.

  12. Thanks for the pattern! Loved it and really enjoyed making 8 pair. I have an average girl and at 23 months I had to add 1/2 inch to all sides (2 inches total) and since I made them from my husbands unused tech conference t-shirts, I just used the hem of the shirt as the waistband (which would be like adding a 1/2 inch on top since I just butted the pattern to the top of the already hemmed fabric).

    I used 13 inches of FOE (Fold Over Elastic) for the legs which was very quick and I'm hoping it will hold up well.

    I added lace and found that if I stretched the fabric while sewing flat lace on it scrunched back up and made it "gathered" - a much faster way than actually gathering the lace beforehand.

    I tweeted a picture of them here:

    Again, thanks so much for the pattern. My daughter needed undies and I needed a way to express some pent up creativity.

  13. Love this! I was trying to find a tutorial because my little girl is just so skinny and it is impossible to find training pants for her that are cute! Edited the design a little to fit her legs and added in the Pul fabric on the bottom and flannel on the inside. Works like a charm! Thank you! :)

  14. I'm trying to make some superhero underwear for my granddaughter to get her more interested in her potty training. Fruit of the Loom made these during 2013 and sold out as soon as they were on the market but I didn't realize it at the time--now they're discontinued. These look doable except for the fact that they look to be hipsters rather than briefs. She's "linear" (a good thing!) so anything that low slides down. I may have to actually buy some briefs and do some reverse engineering.


Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! I try to respond to each of them through email so please make sure you leave an email address or have your profile set up to include your email address if you want me to respond :)


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