Okay, final words on the zero waste undies

Zero waste gusset on undies

Thank you everyone who’s followed and participated in these blog posts on Zero Waste Wardrobe’s free underpants pattern. There were lots of good ideas on leg bands, gussets and bottom cover. The first post on these is here and the second is here.

Last week I had the situation of a non-zero waste gusset in zero waste full-brief undies, but Wendy, Victoria, Lyndall, @duckgoesoink and @margaretannemartin all had bright ideas about cutting the gusset with something else, specifically period pads or converting the undies to period pants.

The pieces for a pad could be cut in between two undies gussets, so I gave it a try.

It’s a good zero waste pattern cutting concept: cut it with something else and you get two things for only a little more than the fabric of one.

It worked very well.

Zero waste gusset on undies 1 layout with text
The widest part of the pad (ie the distance between two undies gussets) needs to be 21cm/8.25″.
2 pad pieces are needed, so at least 2 gussets will need to be cut.
Zero waste gusset on undies 3 cut layers of towelling
To sew a pad, cut 3 or 4 rectangles of towelling at 6.5cm/2.5″ wide.
Make the length of the towelling shorter than the pad so it won’t get stitched in with the pad’s seam allowance: cut it 1.2cm/0.5″ shorter so there’s a 6mm/.25″gap at the top and bottom when you lay it on the pad (sorry, you can’t see that very well in this photo).
I used 4 layers of (thin-ish) old cloth nappy.
Zero waste gusset on undies 5 stitch the towelling on
Stitch the towelling on to the wrong side of one of the pieces.
Brush the crumbs off your lap, clothes, hair, machine…
Zero waste gusset on undies 6 reverse side of towelling
Here’s the reverse side, showing how beautifully straight my stitching is 🙂

I’ve missed a photo here, but the two pad pieces (one with towelling, one without) are place right sides together and seamed 6mm/.25″ around the outside, leaving a gap to turn through. Have the towelling uppermost so you can lift the corners of it as you sew past.

I rounded off the two lower corners of the pad so they weren’t so square – you can see this in the photo below.

Zero waste gusset on undies 7 sew press stud on
Turn through to the right side and sew up the gap.
Stitch a press stud to each side so the pad can be wrapped around the gusset of a pair of undies and secured.
Zero waste gusset on undies 8 finished pad


PS – For making pads on their own, without making undies as well, I have a zero waste pads pattern here, where the pattern pieces interlock in a tessellation.


  1. Tracy Henwood on April 5, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Now I see the advantage of Menopause.

    • lizhaywood on April 6, 2021 at 10:09 am

      Every cloud, Tracy!

  2. Wendy on April 6, 2021 at 6:24 am

    A very satisfactory solution! The very neat press stud stitching obliterates any less than straight impression given by the bulky layer attachment 😉

    • lizhaywood on April 6, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Thank you; I feel I have closure on this particular pattern 🙂

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