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How to Sew Your Own Underwear + FREE Pattern!

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

My dear friends today I want to introduce you to my newest pattern the Acacia underwear! Have you ever wanted to sew your own underwear? This pattern is my gift to you as a thank you for following along with me, being a part of this sewing community and supporting my brand the whole year. You make it possible for me to do what I love, and you inspire me to make more and do better every day. I really hope you enjoy sewing the Acacia underwear pattern as much as i enjoyed making it for you!

Home sewn underwear in different colourways
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

If you follow my newsletter you will have already received an email about Acacia with details on how you can download this pattern for free. If you aren’t yet on my newsletter, you can sign up here and download instructions will be emailed to you.

I started working on this sewing pattern the same way all my patterns start. I was unhappy with all of my store bought underwear, and wanted to make my own but I couldn’t find a sewing pattern that had the fit I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I love lace underthings as much as the next girl, but what I really wanted was something basic and normal and super comfortable that I could wear every single day and fill up my dresser with. I wanted enough bottom coverage that my life would be a wedgie free zone, because you guys! – I refuse to put up with that.

So I put all of the things on my undie wish list into this pattern! Acacia has a low rise (but not super low), and a comfortable leg cut with ample coverage. The gusset has fully enclosed seams because no-one needs their undies to include a built in lint trap pocket. I’ve also include three methods for attaching your elastic, because we all need options! And you know what, if you want to sew these out of stretch lace – you still can!

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Also they are so easy and so fast to sew up, perfect for beginners to learn some new skills or for experienced sewers to whip up a pile of.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

I wanted it to be easy to make this pattern out of your scraps, so all of the pattern pieces are full size (as opposed to the usual “on the fold” style) so that it’s easier to squeeze them in on your fabric scraps. It’s like underpants for free! Can you tell i’m excited?

Though the pattern comes with detailed instructions and sewing diagrams, I know that many of us also like seeing photos of how to make things in more detail, so I’m going to show you how to sew these from beginning to end using all three elastic attachment methods.

Ready to sew?! Lets do this!

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

First thing you need to do is gather up some fabric or some scraps, as well as your chosen elastic. Your fabric should have at least 20% stretch and good recovery. The last thing you want is for your undergarments to stretch out while you are sewing, or be too small when you try them on, so please make sure you check the stretch and recovery before cutting.

Also given that the fit of underwear is often a very personal preference, i recommend that you absolutely make a test pair before cutting into your favourite fabric. This will allow you to decide whether you like the fit as is, or whether you need to make changes. This is also a good time to decide if you like the tightness of the elastic or whether you need to adjust that too.

Keep in mind that elastics like fabrics can vary in stretch and recovery and stability, so you may find that you need to make adjustments with some elastic kinds and not others.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

This pattern includes instructions for three kinds of elastic: regular 1/4″ (6mm) wide elastic, picot lingerie elastic, and fold over elastic. You can also use stretch lace as above, and this will simply be applied flat over the seam and topstitched with a zig zag stitch.

The white picot elastic on the very left has really terrible recovery, and I found that the pair i made using that elastic are not as comfortable as all my other pairs as the elastic gets significantly looser as the day progresses. Just a cautionary tale for you, because i know you gals love that hehe.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

For each pair of undies you will need to cut one Front [1], one Back [2], two Gussets [3] and three pieces of elastic. One Gusset will be the internal Gusset and the other will be the external Gusset. To make my tutorial clear I have used a contrast fabric for all internal Gussets so that you can always tell what is the right or wrong side of my garment.

The elastic measurements are included in the pattern. One piece will be for the waistline, and the other two will be the leg openings.

// HOW TO CONSTRUCT BASIC UNDERPANTS WITH ENCLOSED GUSSET //

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Place one Gusset [3] (the external Gusset) right sides together on the Front [1] so that the crotch seams are aligned.

Sew ¼” (6mm) from the raw edge using an overlocker/serger or zig zag stitch or pin in place for now.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Open flat.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Place the Back [2] on the Gusset [3] with right sides together, ensuring that the notches are aligned.

Sew ¼” (6mm) from the raw edge using using an overlocker/serger or zig zag stitch, or pin in place for now.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Roll up the Front [1] and Back [2] and pin them so that they are out of the way.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Place the second Gusset [3] (the internal Gusset) right sides together on top so that the crotch seams line up and the front and back are sandwiched between the two gussets.

Sew the front and back crotch seams ¼” (6mm) from the raw edge using an overlocker/serger or zig zag stitch.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Pull the Front and Back pieces through the Gusset, turning the underwear right side out.

Press the seams flat.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Line up the side seams with right sides together.

Sew ¼” (6mm) from the raw edges using an overlocker/serger or zig zag stitch.

Press the seams open or towards the back.

You are now ready to decide which method of elastic insertion you wish to use!

// HOW TO ATTACH REGULAR ELASTIC //

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


When using regular elastic we recommend using ¼” (6mm) wide elastic. For this sample I have used swimsuit lining as the internal Gusset. I have two kinds of 1/4″ elastic in my stash, and this one is the more stable with the best recovery. Make sure you check your elastic recovery as it will affect  your fit.

This method of elastic insertion will make it appear that the side seams are narrower than when using picot elastic. The reason for this is that when using picot elastic some of the elastic will extend beyond the garment edge. Though they look slightly different, both ways fit equally as well.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Overlap the edge of your elastic by ¼” (6mm) and pin or baste.

Divide all three pieces of elastic into quarters with pins.

Divide the waistline and leg openings into quarters and mark with pins.

Pin the elastic to the waistband and leg openings on the wrong side of the fabric, ensuring that you line up the quarter mark pins.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Sew the elastic to the waist and leg openings using a zig zag stitch and sewing directly through the centre of the elastic.

You will need to stretch your elastic as you sew so that the elastic and fabric are aligned.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Fold the elastic edge towards the inside of the underwear.

Sew along the raw edge to enclose the elastic using a zig zag stitch and once again stretching as you sew.

// HOW TO ATTACH PICOT ELASTIC //

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

This method will help you attach picot elastic which is the most widely used lingerie elastic and generally has a scalloped or decorative edge.

Picot elastic has a right side and wrong side, which is usually pretty obvious when you look closely. The wrong side is usually flatter/smoother and has less detail.

When we sew the elastic to the garment it will be right sides together, so i recommend you figure out which side is the right side of your picot elastic befor sewing.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Overlap the edge of your elastic by ¼” (6mm) and baste or pin.

Divide all three pieces of elastic into quarters with pins.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Divide the waistline and leg openings into quarters and mark with pins.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Pin the elastic to the waistband and leg openings on the right side of the fabric, with right sides together, ensuring that you line up the quarter mark pins.

The picot edge should be pointing towards the garment, not away from it.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Sew the elastic to the waist and leg openings using a zig zag stitch and sewing directly through the centre of the elastic. Some people like to sew a little closer to the scallop edge so that only the decorative edge shows out the edge of the garment, but I prefer a little of the elastic showing too. Keep that in mind when you choose where to sew.

You will need to stretch your elastic as you sew so that the elastic and fabric are aligned.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Fold the elastic towards the inside of the underwear. The picot edge will now point outwards away from the garment.

Sew along the raw edge to enclose the elastic using a zig zag stitch and once again stretching as you sew.

// HOW TO ATTACH FOLD OVER ELASTIC //

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Fold over elastic has a plush side and a shiny side. Most people use the plush side as the right side, and the shiny side as the wrong side, however you may sew it the other way round if you wish. Fold over elastic has a line running down the centre that makes it easy to fold in half.

Using this method we will not be turning the fabric in by 1/4″ (6mm) along the waist and leg openings as with the other methods. This will result in the waistline sitting slightly higher and the leg openings extending further by a little. Personally, I find the fit is still really nice and not worth making any alterations, however if you prefer, you may trim 1/4″ (6mm) off the waist and leg opening edges before sewing the elastic so that the finished garment is closer to the other styles. I think this would be easier to do on the pattern pieces themselves before cutting out your fabric.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Place your fold over elastic right sides together and sew the edges together ¼” (6mm) from the raw edge.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Divide all three pieces of elastic into quarters with pins.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Divide the waistline and leg openings into quarters and mark with pins.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

Pin the elastic to the waistband and leg openings, folding the elastic over the raw edge to encase the raw edge. I like to fold over and pin at the quarter marks only, and then as I am sewing i gently align the rest of the fabric and elastic as needed.

Make sure that your elastic seam is sewn with seams open as above to reduce bulk.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic


Sew the elastic to the waist and leg openings using a zig zag stitch and sewing directly through the centre of the elastic or along the edge as I did.

You will need to stretch your elastic as you sew so that the elastic and fabric are aligned.

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic

That’s it! Now you can enjoy sewing yourself way too many pairs of undies in any fabric and elastic combination you would like! The options are really endless!

I hope you enjoy Acacia and can’t wait to see what you do with this pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNacacia and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

If you haven’t downloaded the pattern for FREE yet, just fill in your details below to subscribe to my newsletter and download details will be delivered right to your email! If you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comments!

How to sew your own underwear with FREE sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen // includes three methods for attaching elastic
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Megan O (meggipeg)
3 years ago

These look fantastic! I’ve already downloaded and printed the pattern and it’s taking all my willpower not to run off and make a pair right now on Christmas Eve! Thank you for a brilliant freebie that I am sure I’ll use over and over – and Merry Christmas xxx

Lisa
Lisa
3 years ago

I’ve had a bag of knit scraps waiting for this for over a year along with two other patterns (yours makes three). I’ve been told this is super easy but after reading through your tutorial, I’m sold! Thanks so much for sharing. Merry Xmas!

Kiriaki
3 years ago

Thank you for the pattern and tutorial. Looking forward to sewing the pattern soon.

Kristen
Kristen
3 years ago

I’ve been amassing a collection of cute FOE, can’t wait to make some of these undies with my knit scraps. Brilliant idea, thank you SO much. :)

Caroline
Caroline
3 years ago

This is lovely. Thank you for sharing. Definitely going to try this.

Brenda
Brenda
3 years ago

I twice entered my name and email information as requested, two days ago and have still not received the free pattern.

Freya
3 years ago

Thank you so much!!! I cannot wait to make my own!!!

Kathy
Kathy
3 years ago

Thanks so much for generously sharing this pattern! So excited to make my own panties–Goodbye Victoria’s Secret ;).

trackback

[…] Nielsen released the FREE Acacia underwear […]

Laura
Laura
3 years ago

Hi! These look great, and easy to sew. I am going to download and copy the pattern for both myself and my sister. She hates underwear because…”I can;t find any that fit right”. Now she will!

Leah
Leah
3 years ago

Before I sign up, I’m curious if these are even available in my size. Do you know how large the pattern goes?

Melody
Melody
3 years ago

Thanks for the pattern and excellent (!) Instructions. Melody

Mary Cliff
Mary Cliff
3 years ago

Thanks for the pattern . I’ve whipped up four pairs. Great pattern with good coverage, perfect leg raise and instructions. I learnt a thing or two from the instructions as well.

Morgan
Morgan
3 years ago

I’m new to garment sewing (have several quilts under my belt) and would like to start on some small projects like this! Any online resources for sourcing the elastic?

Kristi
Kristi
3 years ago

I am so excited to make these. Thank you so very much for the pattern. Should I purchase elasticized thread?

Villainesse
Villainesse
2 years ago
Reply to  Kristi

No elasticized thread!
Underwear elastics generally include 3/8″ picot or even plain, Fold Over Elastic or fancier narrow leg/wider waistband stretch laces that can be sewn with a composite zigzag directly on top. Make sure your fabric has good 4-way stretch, but only stretch your elastic, NOT YOUR FABRIC, as you sew.
And make sure your elastic choice is knit, not braided, so it doesn’t get narrow as you stretch it while sewing.

Once you master this simple pattern, you can modify it with stretch lace side panels, appliques or bows for your own creativity outlet! No one ever has too many great-fitting underwear.

Sasita
Sasita
2 years ago

Cannot put the details for download the pattern.

it was show that ” Invalid interest ID: ‘4’. “

Daina
Daina
2 years ago

Hello!

There seems to be a problem with the subscribtion. When I try to subscribe, I get an error Invalid interest ID: ‘4’. Is there a way to fix this? Would very much love to try out the panties pattern. Thank you!

Dorion
Dorion
2 years ago
Reply to  Daina

I had the same problem but found that by signing up in the regular section on the side, I was correctly subscribed and able to get this pattern and some others. :)

Sara
Sara
2 years ago

So excited to make these!! Do you suggest prewashing the fabric before sewing?

christina stjernholm
christina stjernholm
2 years ago

Im so sad. I would love to try this pattern, and to get your newsletter, but I cant subscribe.

emily
emily
2 years ago

I’m having the same problem :( I really wanted to try this patten.

Mihrican
Mihrican
2 years ago

I am a beginner and need an underwear pattern.I couldnt find it.Can u send me the pattern and explain how can i use and print it?Thanx…

RUDE Girl
2 years ago

Hello, Meg! I am unable to access the pattern. This text is appearing in a red text box Invalid interest ID: ‘4’ I will try again shortly.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago
Reply to  RUDE Girl

Still no email received Meg. Looked in junk emails and not there?

Karen
Karen
2 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Still not working. No email is coming through for me to confirm. Thank you.

GLADYS
GLADYS
2 years ago

I am a beginner and need an underwear pattern.I couldnt find it.Can u send me the pattern and explain how can i use and print it?Thanx…

GLADYS SUAREZ
GLADYS SUAREZ
2 years ago

I am a beginner and need an underwear pattern.I couldnt find it.Can u send me the pattern and explain how can i use and print it?Thanx…

GLADYS SUAREZ
GLADYS SUAREZ
2 years ago

RECEIVE A CORDIAL GREETING FROM VENEZUELA. I HAVE TRIED IN MANY WAYS TO ACCESS THE UNDERWEAR ACACIA PATTERN. I ENTER THE CODE AND IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE. I REALLY WANT TO GET YOUR PATTERN. PLEASE CAN I SEND IT TO MY EMAIL OR INDICATE HOW TO DOWNLOAD IT?

Yeoh
Yeoh
1 year ago

Hi. I cant download as I have opened and tried to download 3 times but failed to do so. Please help. Tq.

Rachel
Rachel
1 year ago

What lengths of elastic are you supposed to use? Is there instructions I’m missing? I downloaded the pattern.

Maria
Maria
1 year ago

Hello¡¡ I cant download acacia… please heeelp!! im subscriber 4 times
Thnks… nice day

Hoa
Hoa
1 year ago

Hello, Meg! I cannot access the form. This text appears in the red text box. Invalid interest ID: ‘4, I tried many times
And … Which elastic length should you use?

Sandra
Sandra
1 year ago

hoi ik heb me ingeschreven maar vind niet waar ik het patroon gratis kan downloaden help dit lijkt me een super patrooen

shira
shira
1 year ago

How can the pattern be adjusted to a higher rise, and to not go up the bum LOL?

chantelle
chantelle
1 year ago

It wont allow me to subscribe to be able to access the pattern. Could you help please

Amanda Johnston
Amanda Johnston
1 year ago

Hi Megan, I’m wondering if there’s a modification that can be made to this pattern without the use of elastic. I’m severely allergic to elastic hence the reason why I’d like to start making my own underwear. Should I try using a drawstring in a casing around the waist?

Nancy
Nancy
1 year ago

I signed up for he newsletter and free Acacia pattern, but did not receive the password for the free pattern. Nothing in my junk mailbox either.

Michelle
Michelle
1 year ago

Can you advise what Elastic you used? Perhaps a link in order to make sure I’m getting the correct Elastic. Thanks again

Maira Martins
Maira Martins
1 year ago

Hi Megan! I sent you a message on instagram about an issue with your checkout page. Hoping it gets solved soon, as I am in looove with the Acacia underwear and this will be the first underwear I sew! :)

Perri Nelson
1 year ago
Reply to  Maira Martins

Hi Maira!
We’ve just replied to you message on Instagram :)
We think the issue should be resolved – we can’t wait for you to start sewing!!

Mona
Mona
1 year ago

Thank you, I have very much enjoyed trying out this pattern, and it’s definitely going onto my undies shortlist :) The size 2 is a really neat fit for me without any modifications.

Sinaha Suttharom
Sinaha Suttharom
1 year ago

Thank you for the pattern and tutorial. Looking forward to sewing the pattern soon.

trackback

[…] Megan Nielsen : Acacia – This is a free pattern if you subscribe to their newsletter. Classic style, good detailed step-by-step instructions directly on the blog! Just like with the Kikis above, the pattern pieces are whole (not half with a fold line). Smallest size is 24 inch / 61 cm waist and 34 inch / 86 cm hip. I make the 2nd size and get a good fit out of it, although the shape is not my favourite. […]