Instructables
Picture of mesh undies
01.jpg
On these hot summer days we could all use a little help cooling down.
For me, wearing shorts to work isn't an option (office-dwellers, can you feel me?), going commando=no, and I'm not wearing a kilt. What's a guy to do?

Hello mesh undies.
A moisture-wicking mesh fabric underwear for increased air-flow.


Typically, underwear are made from cotton (or a cotton-blend) which helps with breatheability and comfort. To make mesh undies the material selected must have these same characteristics, otherwise someone is going to have some unhappy junk.

Mesh fabric comes in a few different varieties. There's a blend that is mostly polyester (used for sport pinnies) which is not what we need. This type is mostly polyester and will inhibit air flow and trap heat, even with the perforations.
I choose a mesh material with synthetic microfibers that wick moisture away from the body with a blend of spandex, the same type they use for cycling jerseys.

This instructable is entered in the Summer Sewing Contest
Remember to vote for your favourites!

enough talk, let's make some underwear!
 
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Step 1: Tools + materials

Picture of tools + materials
06.jpg
For these undies I used:

    tools:
  • needle + thread (or sewing machine)
  • chalk (or pencil)
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
    materials:
  • old underwear (or pattern)
  • mesh fabric (moisture wicking microfibers)
  • strip of fabric elastic

Step 2: Rrrip

I started by measuring the elastic that wraps around your waist and cut a length slightly longer than required, then set it aside for later.

Next, I used a seam ripper to remove the elastic from the fabric.
*note: cotton fabric likes to curl on unfinished edges, so be careful not to pull too hard on the fabric otherwise you may have a misshapen template.
studleylee11 months ago
I've run into this same issue and I applaud the instructable. I do lot of programming and
sit for hours at work. My one breathing/wicking fix was silk boxers from Thailand via Ebay, but their thinness creates other issues like: not protecting from jeans harshness on certain body parts. Wicking away of moisture is addressed here. Great job!
valkgurl11 months ago
This is hysterical! But in case this is real--

To cut a fabric such as this cleanly use a CUTTING WHEEL (fabric stores and WM for a few $$$ and come in different sizes) and either a cutting MAT (marked with grids and curves--great for a lot of uses) or a few sheets of newspaper or the like underneath. Hold down the pattern and rolllllll the wheel along. Just like pizza. Smooth cut and no more fighting with the scissors!

For the elastic and edges---a SERGER would come in mighty handy hereabouts or use a ZIG ZAG stitch for edges and where you need some "give".

If you just insert elastic into a casing the elastic has a bad tendency to shift and bunch and generally be a real PITA. In this case--that could hurt. So at the seams get yer stretchy stuff where you want it and use a few stitches to "tack" the stuff in place to the garment fabric,

AS you pointed out--all mesh is not equal. I sell a lot of this stuff and most like the Underarmour is a special double secret poly spin. I don't think I have ever seen cotton added in. And some is so awful to the touch I can't bear to handle it--certainly NOT something you want next to your skin esp on one of these 100* days! So before you re-cycle make sure you can stand to have it touch you.

And there is motorcycle riding underwear that address' this exact problem BTW. But it might be spendy. If I showed my husband anything like this he would probably want to know when my next Mental Health appointment was. But I can SEE how uncomfortable the regular boxers and briefs are! Soooo--good job maybe you should address a niche market!!!!

You never liked that day job anyways.
agow11 months ago
Metqa,

Thank you for the instructable on what instructable means. I got it, I meant no disrespect, I truly just meant you could buy it instead of going to the trouble of making it. Not including the obligatory comments folks feel compelled to make about free balling, the remainder of the comments seem to stand in awe of the invention of breathable skivvies, whereas I was merely pointing out that it's already been done. Unless one has a penchant for sporting homespun banana hammocks, you could just buy them. In all my days, I never imagined there was a market for do-it-yourself drawers. Who knew?

I would like to add, I am of the same school of thought as manicmonday that if it can otherwise be reasonably obtained, then an instructable makes sense, adding the caveat that if folks are curious about how something works; how to somehow functionally or aesthetically enhance a given item; or if folks just have a general passion about said item - those all merit instruction too. I just didn't see how this met any of those criteria. My bad.

As for the availability of said undergarments, I haven't seen the mesh variety but there is an abundance of breathable unmentionables on the market; Under Armour comes to mind, but there are many more less expensive brands out there in sporting goods stores. I think I have even seen them in the sportswear area of the local Wally-world. I do have to note that the price is a little on the high side even with the off brands, but they wear well and last for an extremely long time compared to their cotton counterparts so are definitely very cost effective.

http://tinyurl.com/m74nsb9
agow12 months ago
You do know you can just buy breathable undershorts ready made, right?
metqa agow12 months ago
agow, This site is called Instructables. the point is to "make" things not just go out and buy things.
Besides, there is nothing wrong with knowing how to sew your own undies.
Mikeasaurus, Thanks for the clarification in the different types of mesh, I wondered if I could just cut up an old football jersey, but that , I believe, is the polyesther stuff and probably would be an uncomfortable finished product. I'm gonna head to JoAnns to see if they have the microfiber stuff. I'm honestly sick of cotton undies this summer with the humidity being near 100% everyday!
manicmonday metqa11 months ago
The point of this site is to help people make things that they CAN'T go out and buy. Or otherwise can't buy as reasonably as you can make it yourself. If buying it's is the easiest, cheapest, and most reasonable way that you can do it, then there is no need for an instructable.
metqa manicmonday11 months ago
I think (hope) you are replying to agow, as I already understand the point of the site as noted in my reply...

But I have to add that I sometimes make things that I could easily go out and buy because I enjoy the the joy and the pride of making things as well. I made pasta last weekend. It would have been easier, cheaper, and quite reasonable to just buy a box of pasta, but the time spent with friends making the thing and being able to say, " I made this", was more valuable to me. 

I think instructables for things that we want to make, not just need to make, are just as valid.
gecko_girl3 metqa12 months ago
You could always go commando in the summer and not worry about sweaty undies. ;)
manicmonday11 months ago
I have to come right out and say it. I have never found the breathableness of my store bought undergarments to be an issue, and never ever felt the need to sew my own. Maybe it's just me.
gecko_girl312 months ago
Having sewn and designed undergarments in the past, I would suggest encasing the leg hole seams (the sewn edges) with thin elastic. Without it the underwear will move and you'll spend quite a bit of time picking them out of your butt. :)
metqa gecko_girl312 months ago
I wish there was a "like" button for comments, cause this one is a win! And Yeah, Commando is my code name!
Wroger-Wroger12 months ago
Mmmmmm no go the mini skirt - you have the legs for it.
Michael_oz12 months ago
You could try spreading some PVA (wood) glue over where you want to cut it, doesn't take long to dry and would leave a straight edge.
martinex12 months ago
I used wire mesh.........it's quite painful.
keeps the radioation away tho...
rivkameir12 months ago
What fabric store?
ssorensen12 months ago
This is such a great idea! To get more choice in fabric colors perhaps you could pick up a shirt in a man's extra huge size and use that to make more than one pair? (And in lots of different colors).
zoebatty4 years ago
Great instructable. Thanks for taking the time to posting this. I do have a question for you. Where did you purchase the mesh fabric? I'm having a problem finding a cotton blend mesh. I can find the polyester, but not the cotton. Thanks again.
Amiga500 zoebatty12 months ago
I'm thinking you could pick up some t shirts made of wicking fabric, too, which would give more color variety. The larger the better.
Sagi3 years ago
Very good idea for summer! :-D
thank you!
triciab12123 years ago
very cool (no pun intended!) You're the only person i know who would put a tag back on :D
rennoc3 years ago
lol- now you can pee yourself without getting you your underwear soaked- just getting you legs, pants, socks, and possibly shoes wet... Really- great instructable........ really, it could help alot of people
Iridium73 years ago
Now if you combine this with Threadbangers T-shirt cooling tutorial and make some breathable shorts...yeah
onrust4 years ago
Interesting post. I would honestly say they look cooler but they are just not my style.