Do you like to sew? It’s possible to make your own period underwear for a lower cost than buying ready-made pairs. Most period underwear isn’t exactly cheap since it uses multiple layers of fabric and is made to hold up against many wears and washings. Making DIY period underwear is a good project for intermediate sewers. Here’s an overview of how to do it.
The main thing that’s different about making period panties instead of regular panties is that menstrual underwear has an absorbent material in the crotch. They’re also waterproof if you use PUL material with them.
There are a few different fabrics that you can use to make your own period panties. In most cases, you probably want to choose dark colors. Here’s a basic list of the materials that you’ll need:
- Absorbent layer: Bamboo fleece or Zorb fabric are good options
- Waterproof layer: PUL fabric is breathable and leakproof. You can even find some PUL fabric that has antimicrobial silver in it
- Fast-dry fiber: Some type of quick-dry top layer, like athletic wicking fabric
- Fabric of choice for side panels: Some sewers suggest four-way stretch fabric
- Underwear elastic
You’ll have to raid the cloth baby diaper-making supplies for your adventure in making DIY period underwear. But the good news is that it’s not very hard to find what you need.
Make a Period Panty Pattern
There don’t yet seem to be any free period-panty patterns available online, so you’ll have to make your own by tracing a favorite pair, or you can use a free pattern for regular panties as a starting point. If you screw up, remember that they don’t use a whole lot of fabric, so you won’t be out too much money.
One DIY period panty maker drew up her own pattern based on looking at pair of THINX she owned as well as some of her regular underwear that fit her well. Her finished product is actually pretty cute. What do you think?
Sew the Pieces Together
After you cut the fabrics to match your pattern, sew the three or four types of materials into a center “crotch” panel that’s about the length of a super-plus pad. Then you’ll need to have two fabric panels for the sides of the panty.
Sew the side panels to the center panel by serging them, and then stitch elastic at the leg openings and waistband. You could use a zig-zag stitch instead of serging. And that’s it!
Your DIY period underwear should hold up just fine in the washing machine, but it’s best to hang them to dry.
Other Resources for DIY Period Panties
For a more in-depth, step-by-step tutorial, you could check out this zine (it’s not free though) that’s about making DIY period underwear.
One admirable, hardcore DIYer made her own period panties using a terry-cloth dish towel, a microfiber towel and fabric from an old merino wool sweater. She’s happy with the results and even made some for her daughter. So, you could raid your closet or hit up the local Goodwill store for fabrics.
What do you think? Will you be trying to make your own period underwear anytime soon?