Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Boxers, With a Little Tutorial

Two more pair for DS. The paisley is fairly sedate, especially when compared to the floral. But DS has a wild streak and he won't mind wearing purple/fucshia floral boxers. In fact, he'll probably make sure they stick out of his pants a little. ;-)

Taly asked to see the pattern piece so here that is. You can see the add-on I made to the fly area so that I could construct like the RTW pair. The extension is 2 inches wide.

As I mentioned last post, my construction differs from the pattern instructions. On the L pattern piece only (the one where the fly overlap will end up on top), cut off 1" of that extra 2" that was added to the fly opening. Turn it under 1" and press a crease. I use a pressing cloth so I don't melt the fabric!

On the R piece, fold the extension under 1" and press, and then fold it under again another inch and press. (Only fold the R piece twice.)

Once both sides were pressed, I used a glue stick to hold the folds in place since the fabric is slippery.

On the R piece only, stitch the extension in place 1" from the edge, catching the fold. You can do this from the back side.

Here's the back side of the R piece after the stitching.

Next, press up your leg hems. It will be helpful to have this crease already in place later. Then unfold the hem and sew/serge the inseam edges together, separately for each piece of course, so that you end up with two "tubes."

Turn one "tube" right side out and the other wrong side out. Slip the right-side-out piece inside the other so that right sides are touching. Align the crotch curve edges and the outside edges of the pressed-under fly extensions. Starting at the bottom of the fly extensions, sew/serge in one motion all the way up to the waist edge, as shown below. (Keep in mind this photo shows the boxers flat. You will only be sewing/serging along the edge.)

Next, separate the fly opening and fold over the top extension (L piece) once so that the fly opening lays flat at the bottom. (The extension will pretty much want to do this fold itself.) Stitch the L piece extension, ending approximately 2" above the fly extension bottom edge (which is underneath).

Close the fly so the L side is over the R and pin in place, or you can use my hi-tech method of taping in place. (I like the tape better because some knits will run/ladder if you pierce them in the wrong place with a pin.)

Now finish stitching the L fly extension, starting where you left off and curving into the Center Front seam. Continue up along the CF and then cross over back to where you started. This will anchor the bottom edges of the fly extensions in place.

While the CF is still taped, I sew the button in place, stitching through both layers of the fly. DS doesn't actually use the fly opening so he's OK with a buttonhole-less button.

Hem the leg. Since the crease has already been set, all I have to do is move to my CS machine and stitch.

I didn't take photos of the elastic application (sorry!), but I changed that up too. The Simplicity instructions have you fold down a casing and thread the elastic through. I don't like that method because the elastic always twists later on. (The RTW boxers were not done that way either.) Instead, I sewed the elastic into a circle and then quarter-marked the elastic and the waist. Then I put the elastic next to the wrong side of the waist and serged the raw edge of the waist and the elastic together, stretching the elastic to fit the waist between my quarter marks. (This is a stop-and-go process as you stretch, serge, readjust, stretch, serge, readjust, etc.)

After the elastic was attached, I folded down the waist/elastic once, toward the inside, and coverstitched it into place while stretching the fabric/elastic flat. The last step is to stitch along the top edge of the waist, about 1/4" from the edge. I did that on my sewing machine. The RTW has a chainstitch there, but I didn't feel like unthreading/un-needling and then rethreading/re-needling my CS machine.

These boxers with the one pattern piece are extremely fast to cut and sew. But … I'm going to have to make a copy of this pattern adding a sideseam because I have big "scraps" of the fabrics left over which are enough to make more boxers from, but only if I have separate pattern pieces for each body quadrant. If I had bought the fabric specifically to make these boxers, I would've bought less and wouldn't have big leftover pieces to use. But since I didn't, there's too much for just one pair of boxers and too little for anything else unless I make sideseams in the pattern.

02/28/08: Edited just to see if Bloglines now picks up both feeds for this post.


  1. Debbie I was so excited to click on your blog and find the boxer tutorial. When I am on the older computer that has a printer I hope this will print out to keep with my pattern when it arrives. If not I hope it stays up a long time. The boxers and the tutorial are awesome and so easy to follow along. Tell ds thank you for inspiring you to teach us to sew these. I only had daughters to sew for and now having grandsons I need some new skills. Thank you thank you. mssewcrazy

  2. It's great that a son with a wild streak has a mom who can help him out! Nice tutorial!

  3. Hi, For some reason Bloglines wasn't updating when you posted this so I only now catching up.

    Do you really have to unthread your CS machine when changing from CS to chainstitch?

    On mine I cut and pull out one of the needle threads, remove that needle then I'm good to go. I'm talking less than 15secs. The machine will chainstitch with the needle in any position. I would have thought your Babylock was the same?

  4. Belinda, No, I don't really have to completely unthread to switch from CS to chainstitch, just cut the thread for the one needle (or two) and remove it/them. It's just that I was lazy that day, and trying to get these done in the shortest time possible.

    I also noticed Bloglines isn't showing this particular post for one of the feeds. I have no idea why. I think I'll try updating it just to see if it kicks something into gear.

  5. Great tutorial! This just showed up in my Bloglines (with several others). There's something weird going on with Bloglines lately - feeds coming in days late.

  6. I'm with everyone else - Bloglines just now showed up with this! I love the boxers (the fabric looks fantastic, btw) and thanks for the tutorial!

  7. Thanks Debbie. I thought you may have been blaming the machine for your laziness. ;) LOL! I do the same thing. They can't talk to tell their side of the story so they are an easy target. :)

    I agree. Bloglines has been acting up the last few days. It did update for this edit though.

  8. I'm making boxers for my grandsons now. Your tutorial will prove very helpful in my construction process.

  9. Thanks for the kick in the "ass"! I really need to get some boxers that I have cut out finished. The tut is great!

  10. Gotta love a man secure enough to wear fuschia underwear! Thanks for the tutorial. I'd love to use up some stash making some for my men (one dh of 28 years, sons 17 and 20)



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