Hot! “Made in the USA” undies for athletes


The Facts:

Fabric: Red Tee-shirt Jersey, two extra large white tee-shirts with graphics
Pattern: McCalls 6128 and Sarah’s Panty Tutorial “How to sew underwear”
Year: contemporary
Notions: lingerie elastic
Time to complete: quick and easy! In a few hours I had half a dozen new pair!
First worn:July 24 for photoshoot and everyday since then.
Wear again? Yes, over and over again.
Total price:Two tees were 75 cents, and the rest was from stash.

Challenge: The Olympics!


At first, I couldn’t imagine what I might do for the Olympic challenge. I was stomped until my new lingerie patterns arrived and I deciced that some undergarments (made in America) were overdo. For those who haven’t kept up with all the Olympic news, there was quite a bit of hubbub over the fact that our uniforms for the American team were designed by Ralph Loren, but like everything else, made in another country!  Heaven forbid! Give a few American gals a chance to get in on the sewing! That’s what I say. So, I’ve designed a few styles especially for our team and sent a twitter message to them to check out the Sew Weekly and get a glimpse of what they could have had.

The red racerback top was super easy. I cut the two pieces out of red tee-shirt material and serged the sides together. Then I serged the neck and arms, pressed over about 1/2 inch, placed red lace on top, and zigzagged it with the regular machine. I cut a size 14 and tapered to a size 16 from the waist to the bottom. I also shortenedd the pattern at the shortening/lengthening guide just above the hip. After examining the pattern pieces for the panties, I decided that they weren’t going to fit my bottom as nicely as some of my RTW panties, so I went on an internet search. I found Sarah Seitz tutorial. She has you take an existing RTW pair and cut them apart to use as a pattern. I followed it exactly, but I chose to put the elastic on once the sides were sewn, instead of before. I practiced on a few stretchy scraps from my stash and was very pleased with the outcome. Later, I went to the thrift store and found two brand new oversized men’s tee-shirts with the appropriate Americana graphic for the Olympic Collection. I proudly wear the Gold Medal for these Made in America Undergarments.


I used some red ribbing around the leg openings on this pair of panties. I folded it in half, sewed the ends together, and serged it to the panties.

Just what you want on your bottom!

And finally, the whole collection for 2012! American themed, 100% cotton, upcycled, locally designed and sewed in America!


Oh, and just in case you’re not a fan of the Americana theme, I also made some green tiger panties!



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. You rock! Love them all!

  2. You are a champion!

  3. Barbara you do indeed rock. I’d never thought of making my own knickers until Stephanie’s panties last week, and making them our of recycled t-shirts with logos or patterns is a superb idea….loved it so much I went to local Goodwill this morning and bought some red,white & blue t-shirts. Thank you so much for the links and advice.

  4. Oh so funny! This is fantastic Barbara- and I love the dog!


  5. HeHe they’re brilliant Barbara! I too need this pattern. My fav? the doggy ones. :)

  6. I love the doggy ones too. I made my own pair once waaaaay back. They were a little tight. Maybe I should revisit the idea. Bet your husband loves them!

  7. Barbara what a great idea and the link is awesome. Oh Mena? I think we need an intimates challenge.

  8. Ha ha ha! This is awesome!

  9. Oh goodness!! The pair with the dog and flag just bowled me over with laughter! Super use of t-shirts. I love them!

  10. Thanks all for your kind comments.. This was a fun one, I must admit. :)

  11. Nice undies. I’ll have to check out the marked down tees next time I’m out shopping.

  12. You take the gold for this one!

  13. LOVE this idea, going to make some this weekend with my new overlock! Thanks for the laugh and the inpsiration : )