Undergarment TNTs!

Hi Sewcialists! Gillian here, to talk about the TNTs that go under everything else!

Ask anyone who sews underwear, lingerie, bras or other underpinnings, and I bet they rely on TNTs. Using the same pattern over and over makes a lot of sense when you either need to focus on fit (as in bramaking) or sewing multiples (as with underwear)!

Today I’m going to walk you through a few of my own TNTs, link to resources online, and perhaps convince you to sew some undergarments this November!


I first got into bra-making in 2015, when I took a weekend course with the Fairy BraMother, and I haven’t bought a RTW bra since! Bra-making is not as hard as it sounds (it’s just a bunch of straight seams!) but the real magic is in tweaking a pattern to get your perfect fit. It usually takes me 3 or 4 goes to get a pattern to fit, and that is a big investment in time and materials. Once I get a pattern to fit, I definitely want to reuse it again and again!

If you are interested in bra-making, there are a huge amount of resources now online!

  • We hosted a Lingerie Month here on the Sewcialists in summer 2015, and the posts are still really popular!
  • I also hosted Lingerie Month on the Curvy Sewing Collective in 2016, which has particularly great resources for folks with larger busts!
  • The Fairy Bra-Mother has three classes on Craftsy now, and I know lots of people who have successfully started sewing bras just from those courses!
  • I’ve got a bramaking section on my blog, if you want to read more about my attempts to find a TNT, and how I eventually had a custom pattern drafted!


This summer, I decided to try making bralettes as a comfy casual option. There are lots of bralette patterns out there, particularly if you are a D-cup or smaller. If, like me, you are larger, you might have to do some adjustments and chose your fabrics and notions wisely.

If you are looking for patterns, try Ohhh Lulu, Madalynne, Jalie, or Pin-Up Girls!


If making bras seems a bit overwhelming, may I suggest underwear as a super simple alternative? I made all these pairs with a TNT pattern for the Sewcialists Scraptember in 2014, and ever single pair is still in regular rotation and looking great! I experimented with 3 or 4 patterns before I found the fit I wanted, but from there, the sewing part is easy!

I did a round-up for the Curvy Sewing Collective of patterns that fit a bootie 45″ or larger. If you are smaller than that size, there are tons of options out there, from sassy thongs, to hipster panties and high-waisted retro styles. There are tons of pattern round-ups out there, like Maker.Style’s “5 Free Undie Patterns” or Tailor Made Blog’s 50 Pantie Patterns to Get You Started Sewing Underwear!


Now here’s another simple project that often goes under clothing: leggings! I honestly wear leggings about half the days in a year — short versions to prevent chaffing under dresses in summer, and long leggings to keep warm in spring, winter and fall! I fell in love with the first legging pattern I ever made and I’ve been sewing them for 4 years since. I bet I have made 30 or more pairs over the years! Here’s my most recent pair where I talk about why I love my TNT!

Leggings are a super-simple project that can be sewn on a normal sewing machine with a zigzag or a serger if you have one. There are tons of patterns out there now, from Big 4 to Indie. Once you find one you like, you can start playing around with fabric — I’ve made mine in cotton lycra, rayon, bamboo, sweater knit, ponte, scuba, jegging and even in super-stretch twill!

other options.jpg

Today I’ve rounded up my own personal TNTs, but there are of course other kinds of undergarment you might like to make!

Do you have any undergarment TNT patterns? Please link to the in the comments if you do. If you don’t, does the idea of sewing TNT underthings interest you?