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Training/Night time underwear

Okay so within the move I have had zero time to breathe or yet alone make a post. So I'm painfully behind on life and well everything.

I create DIY post based on what's going on in my life and right now it just happens to be potty training at night. I know I have an exciting life, you can be jealous now. After trying almost every method under the sun to 'train' Dex nothing has seemed to work. Long story short we wanted Dex to feel that he was wet but my motherly tenderness couldn't stand him sleeping in his wet sheets.

This mission allows you to create underwear in any size that you need, and save you time and money while your child learns.

Mission: Night-time/Training Underwear
Duration: 3 hrs
Ninja Level: 2 (intermediate)
Estimated Cost: $15-20
Weapons Needed: 
  (The weapons below will allow for 2 pairs of underwear)
  • 1/4 yard of PUL fabric (most fabric stores have this fabric now just make sure to ask)
  • 1/4 yard of decorative fabric of your choice (optional, dex choice spiderman)
  • 1/4 yard of fleece
  • 1/2 yard of knit fabric
  • 1 yard of flannel fabric 
  • 1" elastic 
  • Thread
  • Leather or denim needle
  • Jersey knit needle
  • Paper bag or wax paper
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Pair of underwear you're okay with cutting up

1) Pre-wash all your fabrics

2) Lets make a pattern!! Take your underwear that you're okay with cutting up and cut on a 100ish degree angle in the front and cut the back side about straight up. This will leave you with three pieces you'll need to draft your pattern.

3) Take out your paperbag or wax paper and lay flat. Place your middle section of cut underwear on the paper bag and trace only ONE side, the top and bottom of the underwear. I made a dot at each point of the straight edges and used a ruler to connect them, this ensures a cleaner edge.

Cut out the one side you traced and a bit of the top and bottom. Fold in half and cut out the full pattern.

4) Now place the side piece of the underwear onto the paperbag/waxed paper. Trace the piece and try to do the same with the corners by dotting them and using a ruler to connect the dots to ensure a clean, straight edge.

5) Now that we have our pattern we're ready to cut out our fabric!

Pro Tip: Depending on your needs you're able to change out the fabric for the middle section. This will be the section that absorbs the wetness/mess. The first round I made I used three layers of flannel, a layer of PUL and finished it with the decorative cotton that Dexter picked out. It works well for little accidents but we're finding we should have added a layer of fleece. You can also can use bamboo or other wicking fabric.

Find out what kind of fabric you're using for your absorbency. A strong base to start is 1 layer of fleece, 2 layers of flannel, 1 layer of PUL fabric and 1 layer of decorative fabric (if you choose) for EACH underwear. You should have enough fabric to make 2 underwear, so don't forget to double your cuts if you're choosing to do 2.

Take your middle absorbency pattern and cut out all the layers needed for your underwear.

6) Now it's time baste stitch all these layers together, so go ahead and pin like crazy making sure you pin the right way (perpendicular to the sewing edge, this way your needle skips over the pin and not snapping your needle). Switch your needle out to the leather or denim needle and stitch away.

7) Cut out 2 (or 4 if you're doing two pairs) of your side piece. Make sure you cut this on the bias. If you're not sure what that means click here, and I'll give you a run down.

8) Now time to start assembling your underwear.
Switch your needle out for your jersey knit needle. You can skip this step but you will end up in tears and your fabric will stretch way more that you can ever imagine.

Very carefully pin the long edge of the side piece (the stretchy one) to the butt side of the middle/absorbency piece, overlapping about 1/4".  Flip the underwear so it's right side out and pin. I have found with this its easier to pin the materials together the wrong way that way the material doesn't move as much.

9) Sew the two pieces together using a longer stitch. Stitch from the right side out of the underwear, this just ensures that your side piece is 100% being sewn to the middle/absorbency piece. Repeat for other side of the underwear.

If you're doing two underwear I found it easy to complete each step at a time with both underwear.

10) Next we're going to faux serge the underwear to ensure it will last, aka a fancy term to say we're now going to zig-zag stitch over the long stitch we just did. I found stitching the underwear inside out works the best. When doing this you want to make sure you're getting as close as you can can to the raw edge of the seem. This will keep it from fraying and give you that polished look. After you're all done with your zig-zag stitch take your scissors and trim up the access fabric that didn't make it into the zig-zag.

Trim up any fabric that happened to get stretched out along the way.

11) Now that we have the butt side of our underwear sewn together we're going to sew the front sides together by repeating steps 8-10.

The photo above should be what your underwear finally look like and lucky for you only a few more steps until you're done.

12) Time to add the elastic band to the top. This one I simply measured it loosely to size of the original band then cut off 1" shorter than that. This way it can expand which allows it to stay up on a child's hips. Once cut to size, overlap the ends about .5" to a 1/4"  and sew together using a zig-zag stitch and trim the access.

Note: in this step we have not sewn it onto the underwear, we're simply measuring out the band and sewing it together.

13) Now let's sew that band onto the underwear. There are many methods of doing this, however this is what I have found easiest with elastic. First pin the stitched section of the elastic to the back center of the underwear. You want to make sure that the elastic is overlapping the RIGHT SIDE (not inside out) of the underwear by about .5".

Once you have the back of your elastic pinned, stretch the elastic all around the right side of the underwear and pull the elastic so it's even in the middle of the front and pin.

Continue this on the sides as well. This ensures equal stretching of your elastic to fabric and less bunching of fabric (because your elastic is going to be shorter than your underwear).

14) Now that we've pinned all four points it's time to sew the elastic band to the underwear. To do this do a long stitch making sure you pull on your fabric so it fits the shorter elastic. Make sure you try to keep the .5" overlay, if not it's really no big deal.

 After you have done the long stitch we're going to go ahead and do a zig zag stitch over it. I've found that doing the zig-zag stitch from inside-out side works best because you can get those edges. Doing this allows for minimal amount that you have to trim of the access fabric!

15) Waaahooo! On to our last step(s). The leg bands! There might be an easier way of doing this but this is the way that I have done it. Basically I've done this like quilt binding minus the fact of cutting on the bias. So let's get going.

First you have to figure out the width you would like your edge to be. Now we can do all this mathy stuff orrr you can do it the way that I have discovered to get you the best results. 

Take your knit fabric and on a straight NON bias line/edge (less stretchy side) fold it in an 2" or 3".

Now fold that fold in half again.

This will be the width of the leg bands strips you will see on each side of the underwear. This happens because we are doubling up the fabric to ensure great stretch rebound and most importantly it's easier on us.

Once you have your thickness of the leg band to your liking simply mark the folds at the raw edge. Unfold, measure to the mark to get your width and mark up the long side of the knit fabric to beyond the length of your leg hole (you can guestimate here or grab your cut up underwear and lay the leg piece out in a line to get an estimated length). Mine ended up being about 4" wide (2" folded in half and that is being folded in half again making about 1" on each side of the underwear) and 13" in length. Make sure to cut two strips for each leg (or 4 if you're doing two underwear).

16) Now we have to measure out our real length of the leg band strip. Simply fold one of your strips in half and wrap it around one of your leg bands.

Mine overlapped a bit and what you want is the strip to be about 1"/1.5" shorter than the leg band on the underwear you've sewn. We do this so it won't become wavy and it will pull the leg of the underwear in providing extra leak protection. Cut the band to the shortened length, use it as a guide to cut the rest of your leg bands to that length.

17) Sewing on the leg bands. The final steps are here! Now we take our newly trimmed leg band strip and fold it in half hot dog style. Turn your underwear inside out (if it's not already) pin the band to the now inside-out side of our underwear leg.

First pin the starting point of your leg band strip to the under side (crotch side) area of your underwear, this is to make sure a seem stitch isn't really shown, if the seem doesn't bother you can start wherever on the underwear.  Pin the very edge of the leg band strip to the underwear. Make sure the folded edge of the leg band strip is facing away from the leg hole. Then pin a second pin about 1.5" from the pin you just pinned. After this then remove your first pin. This might become confusing but removing the first pin allows the second pin to be your starting point when we begin sewing. We have to do this is because we need sew the band together and need some 'wiggle room to do so'.

Now we're going to loosely wrap the band around the leg and overlap our ending edge to our starting edge about .5" and then pin 1"-1.5" away from that overlap. Once again, this is because after we sew we have to stitch this piece together without a seem being exposed.

Pin the rest of the band like we did the elastic band adding more pins if needed.

18) Sew around leg starting at our first pin (leaving the 1"-1.5") and finish at the last pin (which should be another 1"-1.5" from the end). After that has been done it's time to use the allowance to sew our leg band together. Leaving the underwear inside out, simply fold out your outer layers (the ones closest to you) of the folded band so the under layer (closest to the inside our part of the underwear) of the band is exposed.

Take the corner of the two bottom layers (the ones resting on the inside out part of the underwear) and pinch them together towards you. So right now the extra fabric you are pinching should be facing you and not toward the inside out fabric.

Sew the WHOLE strip  of the edges you have pinched together, you'll have to semi-unfold the strip at this point. The end results is the strip being sewn together and the raw seem will be folded to the inside. 

19) Fold the strip back together and sew together the rest of the leg band.

20) Now we're on to our last(ish) step! YAY! Now flip the underwear so its right side out. Fold the leg band to the right side of our underwear, pin it and stitch it.

21) Repeat steps 17-20 to the other side of the leg band and you're now done!! Yay!

These are machine washable and can withstand normal amount of washes (aka we wash ours almost everyday) and should not loose their shape (that all depends on the quality behind your knit fabric) They have been a blessing at our home and I hope that this tutorial will be a blessing in others homes.

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