Introduction: Mesh Undies
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Summer Sewing Contest
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.
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enough talk, let's make some underwear!
Step 1: Tools + Materials
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.
Step 3: Trace Template
Once you've separated the elastic from the fabric lay the old underwear over the mesh fabric. To be safe offset your trace about 1.5cm (1/2") beyond the template. I left plenty of fabric at the top and bottom on my mesh to allow for flexibility when sewing up the elastic.
Trace your outline onto the mesh with chalk or pencil, then remove template. You may notice some distortion from the elastic removal in the transfer. Even out irregularities by sketching with the chalk to make a more even shape (this is an approximation only, it doesn't have to be perfect).
When you have a shape you are happy with fold the mesh fabric lengthwise with the chalk outline on the outside. Holding it up to the light, line up the two sides of the template as close as you can, then cut out shape and unfold. You will have a symmetrical mesh blank of your undies.
Step 4: Finished Edge
A finished edge will give a clean look to your undies and, like cotton, will prevent the edges from curling when stretched. With an iron set on low, fold and iron the edge that will wrap around your thighs.
A finished edge will go on both leg openings, but is not required for the top and bottom.
Next, the elastic is closed into a loop and the ends sewn together.
Step 5: Elastic
I decided to make the mesh style slightly different than the original, with the elastic wrapped in the fabric instead of being sewn above. Using your template as a guide measure up where the old elastic was, then mark on your mesh where the elastic line starts. Working on the inside of the undies, place the elastic on the mesh and wrap the mesh over the elastic and back down, then pin in place.
This style (elastic inside fabric) requires that the fabric be bunched to allow for the elastic to stretch when putting underwear on. To achieve this I pinned in select locations allowing for plenty of bunched fabric between pins, then pulled fabric and elastic taut while sewing.
Step 6: Embellishments
Since the only colour available in this particular type of mesh fabric was white, it makes for boring underwear. I chose to embellish mine with a small patch that I had lying around.
I also sewed in the tab from the old underwear. While the material composition on the old label does not match my new fabric, the size is correct and it gives the product a more finished look.
Step 7: Try 'em On!
Give them a wash and your new undies are good to go!
These sporty undies are ready to provide comfort and aeration for your next summertime activity, or just sitting in your cubicle rocking minesweeper.
Either way, mesh undies are a great way to help keep your bits cool on these hot summer days.
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