Making briefs from material around the house might not be a craft for everyone, but those who want to do this DIY project can make a new pair of recycled briefs from an old pair of briefs and an old shirt or similar cloth. This article will detail how to go about recycling old material into a new pair of briefs.
Materials needed are an old pair of briefs, an old T-shirt or similar material, scissors, and a sewing box. Material should be lightweight, unless the briefs are to be worn in wintertime. Thermal material, sweatshirt material, and similar heavy material are too heavy to be worn in most occasions and should be avoided. Ideal material would be from a T-shirt, turtleneck, polo shirt, or undershirt.
Cut the brief off of the elastic. Save the elastic for later. Take the cut off briefs and cut open the sides and bottom to make two brief panels. These will serve as models with which to measure the cloth. As old briefs are, well, gross, a good additional step would be to replicate their shape on another piece of cloth and use the cloth, not the briefs, as the stencil. Once the stencil is made, it can be saved and used repeatedly. It can be made out of any cloth or even cardboard.
Now take the old shirt and trace the stencil, but cut an inch wider on each side and an inch deeper. This allows for material lost through overlap in sewing. Cut out a front piece and a back piece. Make sure the sides extend at least an inch on both sides of the stencil to allow for sewing. If cloth is desired for covering the elastic, cut the cloth an inch longer on top also.
Line the pieces up, with the cloth of each curling outwards. You are sewing the brief together inside-out. The finished product should have cloth curl inwards. This will reduce the visibility of the curl under pants. If briefs are to be worn under tight pants, either hem or use a cloth that does not curl, such as turtleneck material.
Sew the sides and bottom of the briefs together. When sewing the bottom of the briefs, start sewing an inch up on the side, sew the bottom, then sew up an inch on the other side. This prevents the brief from shifting to one side. Normal briefs have an elastic/hem on the bottom that serves the same purpose. Because this additional sewing closed an inch of the leg hole on each side, it is necessary to have the brief be an inch wider on each side, hence the earlier excess cloth.
Take the elastic and stretch it out with a board, book, or similar object until it is as wide as the rest of the brief cloth. Sew the cloth to the elastic leaving most of the elastic exposed, unless extra cloth has been allocated for this. Sew thread loose; thread should be able to stretch to the width of the cloth. That is why the elastic is stretched before sewing. Otherwise, the cloth will bunch up unevenly and the thread will be too tight and break if stretched.
You now have a homemade pair of briefs made from re-purposed material for free. Advantages are that it is free and it recycles waste material. Disadvantages are that it can take some time to learn how to alter the stencil to make a pair with maximum comfort, and that if cloth curls, it could show through as a lumpy line under pants. This is remedied by hemming the material, but is an additional step.