DIY Reusable Period Underpants, Panties, or Knickers!

I posted this photo yesterday on Instagram and my feed and DM’s blew up with everyone talking about their periods! That is AWESOME! I spent the first 5 years of having my period totally embarrassed, never talking about it to anyone (not even my best friends). I don’t want my two daughters to be as embarrassed as I was, and I want to give them the best tools to make it easier to live with.

When I found out about these kits to make your own Reusable Period Panties ( I actually hate that word, but since its the name I will use it!!), I about hit the ceiling (not really, I’m short), with excitement! I have always wanted to buy the RTW ones, but felt like the price was just too high. I wouldn’t have known where to even start trying to source all the special materials and thankfully I won’t have to because Sophie Hines has come to the rescue!

Sophie has a few different kits, but I went for the kit that allows you to use your own fabric for the other parts of the underpants, and just supplies the crotch goods (who knew I’d ever write a phrase like that on here!). (There is another kit that has everything in it for a little more money (you will still need to purchase a pattern or find a free one.) Both of her kits give you enough to make 3 pair, but since I am a small size, It looks like I will be able to get around 4 or 5 I think (I haven’t carefully checked but this is my guess)

There are coral, green, and a black kits, and I got two (one kit I bought and one was gifted). I used my own fold-over elastic, fabric scraps, and pattern for the rest! (The pattern I used was by Jalie Patterns but I did modify the crotch length for my second pair bc it was too short I thought to be really effective.)

The kit comes with three layers: Moisture-wicking (black) layer that goes against your skin, the middle is the absorbent quilted layer, and the outside layer is jersey on one side and waterproof on the other (so nothing gets on your pants!). These are cut out of whatever pattern piece you have for the crotch of your underwear. I didn’t want to pierce anything so I just used pattern weights and scissors or rotary cutter for them all.

** For those asking…. these should absorb about 2-3 tampons worth, so if you are wanting to use them alone (without a cup) then you would want a couple pairs for your heaviest day I would think!

Once you have the pieces all ready to go, you follow the pattern instructions except at the crotch, where you follow Sophie’s instructions! (There are brief instructions in the kit or go to her website for more detailed ones.)

When you’re sandwiching all the layers I recommend using clips again, instead of pins so you don’t pierce the waterproof layer! This is the only tricky part and it’s just because its slightly bulky. I fixed this by topstitching the layers together when I was all done (see below).

NOTICE In this photo:

1.The top and bottom of the crotches have stitching across them. This was to make all three layers stay together better (you’ll understand when you’re sewing them).

2. The pair on the left has a shorter crotch than the right. The one on the left is the original pattern. I would suggest finding a pattern that has a longer crotch piece (like the Arccos Undies), or you will need to do what I did, which was to lengthen the crotch (and then just alter the length of the front and back pieces to accommodate that). It wasn’t hard, but just added troubleshooting time. Sophie has a tutorial right here!

I made these for me, but like I talked about on Instagram today, I really want to make them for my daughters so that when they get their first periods, they aren’t having to secretly figure out how to make paper towel pads (like me!) or start wearing that big ol’ diaper pad in their undies– worried that everyone can tell. And then one day I’ll teach them about the cup, oh the wonderful menstrual cup (that is not the brand I use but a good how-to video) which made me say goodbye to tampons!

If you want to hear my funny first period story, head to my Instagram stories (or my saved highlights if you don’t catch it in time!). Sophie Hines and I would love if you wanted to share your first period story on instagram with the hashtag #myfirstperiodstories (and tag both of us) so we can share (with your permission!). Let’s take away the stigma and share about this totally normal part of our lives so that the next generation of women don’t have to feel all the embarrassment so many of us did!

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