Thrifty knickers: a KCW upcycling project with pattern and tutorial

IMG_0016knickers/pants size 2-3yrs with free pattern

Chopping up outgrown babygros to make big girl’s pants was a practical solution (good quality printed jersey is very hard to find and usually expensive) and a cathartic farewell to babyhood and nappies. Plus it was a perfect project for this season’s Kid’s Clothes Week Upcycling challenge.

From this:

IMG_0008 (1)

To this:

DIY knickers from babygros to pants

I also got a bit carried away and made matching vest and knickers sets for both girls.

DIY kids vest and knickers set

But how thrifty is making knickers out of old clothes? Well the self-drafted pattern and repurposed fabric were free, but the elastic worked out at about 10p a pair. In cost of materials I just about beat Primark/George/Tesco prices but if I factor in a cost for my time: 1 pair of knickers = about 15 minutes, even if I paid myself minimum wage I can’t compete with 7 pairs for £3. This leads me to two questions.

1) Why would I bother making knickers for my children?

2) How can Primark/George/Tesco/etc possibly produce knickers so cheaply?

If like me, you’ve got at least three answers for question 1 and none (or none that you like) for question 2, I’ve drawn up a pattern for the pants/knickers which you can download. The pattern is sized to fit approx 2-3yrs and is for low leg, medium-high rise knickers/pants.

free kids knickers / pants pattern images

You can download the pattern here: Knicker pattern


After cutting out the pattern pieces I assembled as follows:

DIY knicker/pants/undies tutorial


18 thoughts on “Thrifty knickers: a KCW upcycling project with pattern and tutorial

  1. Ahh you’re amazing!! I would make them to upcycle the babygrows that would otherwise have gone to waste. Shame I only have a couple that could be upcycled. I gave my daughter’s old ones away 😦 Where do you get your elastic from?

    1. I was thinking of this video and many others like it when I made that comment, but do not feel nearly eloquent/knowledgable enough to tackle that subject in a post, particularly shoehorning it in to a post about something as trivial as knickers.

  2. Love this post! I never thought in reuse my daughter’s baby clothes for make her some nickers, I gave them all away…But I’m going to download your pattern and make some. Great idea.

  3. Reblogged this on Witch Crafts and commented:
    I’ve found that onesies are hard to resell because they’re often a bit stained at the neckline. They always ended up in our rag stash. This is such a good reuse idea.

  4. 🙌 they look awesome have you seen any good patterns for ladies knickers I’m thinking reuse old t-shirts to make knickers

    1. Thanks- I know Megan Nielsen patterns have a free knickers pattern (although I haven’t tried it myself). My current favourite pattern is the knickers that come with the Watson bra (cloth habit) although I add an inch in height.

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