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Sep 9, 2011

MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along!


Hold on to your hats, friends, and don't catch a chill -- it's time for another sew-along!

Everybody loves boxer shorts and they're not hard to make.  In fact, boxers are an excellent beginner-level sewing project for someone just starting out.  Are you a beginner or do you know someone who is?  Sew along with us this October!

The MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along will begin on Monday, October 3 and will run for approximately two weeks.     

If you're unable to join us at that time, no worries: the posts will remain accessible on the blog.

For this sew-along, I invite you to use any men's boxers pattern you wish; they're generally very similar to each other, and I'll be using a few different ones to point out various design elements and methods of construction.  We'll even discuss how to draft your own boxers pattern!

Here are a few commercial patterns I found for sale online.  I recommend looking on Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, and you can also do a Google Shopping search.  (Sometimes a search under "men's boxers sewing pattern" will yield different results than "boxer shorts sewing pattern."  You can also try "men's underwear sewing.")   Boxer shorts patterns can also be found new on sites like Pattern Review and Fabric.com.

Patterns from the Sixties and earlier were usually sized for a specific waist measurement (usually within two inches, e.g., 28-30).  More modern patterns tend to include S-M-L-XL and you cut the size you need.

Kwik Sew 1672 is an easy-to-find pattern (Pattern Review sells it) and Kwik Sew instructions are excellent.


McCalls 8934 dates from 1997 and is no longer in print, but it's not hard to find online.  I found a few for sale on Etsy.


Simplicity 9958 is in print and can also be purchased on Pattern Review, among other places.


You can also pick up a vintage boxers pattern if you choose.  They may require a little more pattern tweaking, but usually not much. (Towel and razor not included.)   NOTE: The French boxer style with front-button yoke will not be the focus of this sew along, though I welcome more intrepid sewers to give it a try for an extra challenge.

 


Boxer shorts generally require no more than two yards of fabric (cotton shirting or cotton flannel are ideal choices) and roughly one yard of elastic for the waistband.  We'll be talking more about boxer shorts sewing supplies in the days ahead.

As in the past, I have created a Flickr group for participants to join.  You can join here (if you're already a member of Flickr) or by emailing me at peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com.

Friends, please remember that boxers also make an ideal holiday gift for that certain someone.

Could you or someone you know use some fresh underwear?

I hope you'll be joining us!

45 comments:

  1. This one is on my calendar!!!

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  2. You mean the "Men of the MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along 2012 Calendar"? ;)

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  3. Ooooh! My son will be so happy! I bought fabric to make him boxers a year ago and still haven't done it. Thanks for the motivation.

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  4. I'm in too! I just ordered the Kwik Sew pattern from fabric.com. There is only one left, so grab it fast if you need it!

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  5. Excellent idea! I haven't sewn a pair of boxers for a few years, although I've done quite a few of them. They make great gifts.

    Let me also recommend the First Choice Boxers pattern from Timber Lane Press. A very good pattern which I reviewed once for the Creative Machine Newsletter, and a good company to deal with.

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  6. Peter -- I recall at some point either you or maybe Brian of Briansews mentioning that one of these patterns had a superior fly (stayed neatly closed). Does that ring any bells with your or anyone? I'm looking forward to doing some boxers in rayon for the purposes of travel. If you get the right stuff its really comfortable and washes and dries out quickly.

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  7. I'm really looking forward to this sew-along. Your previous sew-alongs have helped tremendously in my learning to sew clothing.

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  8. Hey Peter. I have used this boys pattern and LOVE it. If anyone wants to make them for children, here is the link.

    http://www.sewthankful.com/FirstChoiceBoxersForKidsPattern.html

    I made them in double gauze cotton.

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  9. JonnyF8, that must have been Brian. The beauty of sewing your own boxers is that you can stitch the fly to fit you perfectly. This has less to do with the pattern, and more to do with how the fly is finished.

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  10. Two YARDS of fabric? Ye gods. It takes that much to make a pair of full-length slacks for a medium-sized woman! How big around is the person for whom you are sewing? In other news, Elan has a pattern for boxers that has a back panel, not a seam. Makes for a less crevice-y wearing experience.

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  11. I've sewn lots of boxer-like things in the past, and I currently don't have anyone to sew them for at the moment, so I think I'll pass on this one... and make Bit's Supergirl costume instead....

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  12. I recommend the out of print but not unavailable Grande pattern (used to be distributed by Elan too). A more modern elastic waist, so you can eat dinner. But the double curved seam on the butt which is a very comfortable feature of older models. Perfect for lounging on the couch, I can't count how many I've made in the weirdest fabrics :-). Come in many sizes too, including rather large ones.

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  13. I'm in! I make boxers for my husband, brother, and father out of novelty fabrics, and I have at least three pairs that need to be made for Christmas presents. I use Simplicity 9958 - have had no complaints, and I've probably made 30-40 pair over the last 5-6 years.

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  14. I'm in!It seams easier than a shirt to start!!
    Do I have to work on my abs for this?

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  15. Okay, I'm sneaking in to the back of the room and shyly raising my hand with a dumb question:

    Are boxers the same as pajama shorts? I have two early 50s patterns that show pajama pants with "shortie" option. They have a drawstring waist and a fly front.

    example:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4R_S1cTAW_5CHI6Kseu2v7HaoNLb051tDLRroF6txek?feat=directlink

    Replace the drawstring with elastic? Or am I way off base? (You can guess that no one in my house wears boxers. Yet.)

    I want to make some and can easily buy another pattern, but I think it would be fun to use one of these older ones if possible.

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  16. Yes, Kathy, that would do perfectly well. You might want to make them a little shorter is all.

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  17. I make a batch of Simplicity 9958 boxers for my son about every five years. I just sent off the most recent batch of seven this summer, so I won't be sewing along with you, but I might want to watch, if you don't mind!

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  18. That's good news, thank you!

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  19. I'm IN!!! My hubby is newly converted to boxers, and I have a little boy who seems to like them as well so this would be fun.

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  20. DH here prefers boxer briefs made from a knit; I've never seen a pattern for those, although I suppose they're just regular briefs with an extended leg. Also the vintage patterns have that interesting double seam in the back, I wonder if that's more comfortable to wear?

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  21. I saw a few boxer brief patterns on Etsy last night actually, so they do exist! I'm excited for this sew-along... I picked up a pattern last night from eBay and I'll be visiting the fabric store next week! Peter, I must tell you that I've been lurking here for months and you really inspire me to challenge myself and finish projects! And to sew straighter seams... :)

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  22. This sounds like great fun, I made my first pair of shorts in the summer so it seems a natural progression to try of an undergarment:-)

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  23. I'm in! My husband will love that I can make his boxers now. I already bought the kwik sew pattern and some fabric.

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  24. Phyllis, Jalie ( http://www.jalie.com ) makes a boxer briefs pattern that has sizes from 2T all the way up to a men's 2XL in one pattern. That's what I'll be using in this sewalong, for hubs & my almost 3 year-old. Kwik-Sew does or did make a long johns/boxer briefs pattern for men, too. I have it, as well, and it's as nice as KS patterns always are.

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  25. I have a boxer shorts pattern from an independent company,Timber Lane Press. You can see them here: http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/first+choice+boxers+pattern.do I bought this sometime in the last year from an online store but I can't remember where. For anyone interested, First Choice Boxers is the name of the pattern and it's sized from a 24" waist to a 45" waist and has a middle panel on the seat. The sew along may give me a push to finally make the boxers.

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  26. I drafted a boxer pattern according to some instructions on threadbanger. They were super easy to draft and the recipient was very satified! Link: http://www.threadbanger.com/post/5652/boxers-pattern

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  27. How exciting! I'm hoping I can find the time to do this one!

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  28. I'm trying to find a pattern for the front button yoke style. If I find one in my size (or close) I'm in!

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  29. The Jalie one for trunks is excellent, I made it recently for my other half. It fit very well (though I did have to cut the elastic a bit longer than it suggested owing to my OH's fondness for curry). I was really pleased, there's something kind of extra specially satisfying about being able to make your own underwear!
    http://www.jalie.com/mens-underwear-pattern.html

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  30. Sounds like fun! I'm gonna give this a try!

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  31. I am so thrilled that you are taking us through your shorts, having been an admirer for afar! Sorry, couldn't resist! Seriously, I have made a few pairs now from a Simplicity pattern, but just know there is a better more professional way to sew them, & from what I've seen of how you sew, if there's a better way, you'll know about it & will share the joy. I am thinking specifically of comparisons to the stalwart of UK underwear, M&S. Their boxers favour flat felled seams which I think looks (& must feel) so much better than serging ....

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  32. I'm new to sewing and I need help. I love the blog so far. I plan on following along with this project. I have already learned quit a bit from your videos i.e I am now using my straight stitch foot for straight stitching instead of the zig-zag foot. Who knew!? : ) More vids please.

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  33. Can anyone confirm the fabric requirement? Is it really 2 yards? Is it only 24" wide or something?

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  34. I just love the Simplicity pattern from 1960, very dapper LOL! Good luck with your sew along!

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  35. I want to try the front button yoke style only make them into long drapey pants. Gotta find that old-tyme pattern.

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  36. I'd like to be in, too - I was thinking of making some for my father whose old ones are falling apart (as avidenced on the laundry line).
    I don't have a pattern - I was thinking of taking one off an existing pair; I like the way it's constructed. Will that count? ;-)

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  37. Peter, what are your thoughts on Kwik Sew pattern 2334. It contains knit briefs and boxers along with two under shirt patterns for a t-shirt and a tank top. I was thinking of using the boxer pattern for the sew along.
    http://sewing.patternreview.com/Patterns/573

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  38. i'm so in on this one.
    still on the hunt for the mccall 3438 for the funky y brief but it may take years to find a copy of that.

    will be finding a decent modern boxer pattern for this project

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  39. Hey Peter going to draft my patterns using wildginger tailormade and dresshop pattern making software, hopefully my stash of half a metre fabrics will be put into good use....

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  40. Count me in, but I think the date (3rd Oct) is an omen for me - it is back to school/work for the last school term here 'Down Under' in Sunny Queensland. So I will be teaching my class while you all start sewing the boxer's without me - thank goodness for the time difference!!!!

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  41. Awww, too bad i missed this. Frankly I HATE boxer shorts...I am of the generation that saw them as "grandpa pants"; I always LAUGH and roll my eyes when I hear young women describe them as 'sexy" (give me a BREAK!) But my "old man" (there's an expression you don't hear anymore) likes them so I made a few pairs for him with the Kwik Sew pattern. I wanted the Grande "back panel" type pattern but it was no longer available. (those French ones with the yoke are really something else! I think I want those for MYSELF!)

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  42. Glad this is here. I'll be using it to upcycle some care worn dress shirts into boxers. And why not? I already know he likes the fabric and with the starch washed out, it's super soft.

    On a different note, your article in Vogue Patterns has me drooling over a couple of old Singers at a resale shop. One is an electric from maybe the 40's, and another is an antique treadle. Do I want that, or a spankin' new heavy duty serger...?

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    1. I have the Brother 1034D serger which these days can be purchased quite cheaply (less than $200),and it's a great machine. Maybe you can have both! ;)

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  43. Coming late to the party here - any chance you'll be doing one of these for those tighter fitted boxer shorts/the undies type? Would like to make my partner some things and he doesn't wear the cotton/flannel type!

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