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Sep 29, 2011

Time to think about underwear + A Ditch in Time...

Readers, it's nearly October, which means it's almost time for the MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along to begin!  Our start date is this coming Monday, October 3rd.  Where did the time go? 

You don't need a lot of supplies to make boxers, just some fabric, thread, elastic, and a sewing machine.  Hopefully you already have these.  If not, there's still time to get them!

I'm going to be working primarily from two men's boxers patterns, both vintage: McCall's 3438, and Simplicity 1960 (the standard boxers, not the yoked French style).  You can use any men's boxers pattern -- or even pajama bottoms pattern -- you choose.

The only difference between a vintage boxers pattern and a contemporary one is generally the rise.  Men used to wear their pants at their true waist, and their underwear too.  We'll be lowering the rise together -- an easy adjustment to make.

The fabric I'm using is basic cotton shirting.  I recommend using 100% cotton fabric that's soft.  Here are my choices.  I've used the two on the left for other projects; the two on the right are new.  If you're not sure how much fabric to purchase, check the back of your pattern envelope.  For more information about men's shirting, check here.

Yesterday I picked up two different kinds of elastic, both 1 1/4" wide.  The standard elastic will go in a casing; the softer, more pillowy elastic will be stitched directly onto my fashion fabric and therefore come in contact with my skin.  I bought one yard of each, which will be plenty.

And that -- as they say -- is that!  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.

And now, The Daily Ditch©.

Anyone who grew up in the Seventies remembers these Russ Berrie figurines, which, if I recall correctly, you'd buy in stationery stores.  (Does anyone still buy stationery?)  Much like Troll dolls, they're either adorable or grotesque, depending on your taste.  I used to have more than a dozen; today I will own none. 

I'm ambivalent about parting with my Magic 8 Ball -- it doesn't take up that much space after all.

Should I ditch it?

Finally, after more than two years of being able to use only half my closet, since the doohicky supporting the clothing rod snapped off and the left side of the rod couldn't support the weight of my clothes, I finally replaced it. Ta da!

Not only that: with the drill out and ready, I decided to finally hang this kitschy Sixties bulletin board I bought at the flea market many years ago and never used.

Is it me, or is there a resemblance?  What better place for it than my sewing machine corner?

Friends, that's it for today.  My next challenge is to weed through my old sewing projects and decide what stays and what goes.  I mean, groovy cotton-poly sheet shirts -- who wears those things?

Do you ever ditch things you've sewn?  Is it harder than dumping ready-to-wear?  Any advice is appreciated.

Happy Thursday, everybody!


  1. A magic 8 ball is nothing more than a D20, after all. If you feel indecisive, a dice will take a lot less space and fulfil the same purpose!

  2. When in doubt: Ditch. Or you could use it one last time (or not) of course to decide.

    I threw away some stuff that was not fitting well after making them. Considered that part of the learning process. Hurts more then RTW, for sure. Even with the fitting issues.

    Good luck in your sew-along. I won't be joining due to an exactly overlapping small holiday... (small voice saying: reschedule pretty please...? ). I'll sure have a look at those after my break.

    Jan-Theo / NL

  3. I used to have one of those little figurines in my room as a kid. I found it oddly comforting. Good luck on the sew-along! :D

  4. The Russ Berrie figurines are creepy. I'm glad you are ditching them.

    I am in the middle of a big annual ditch. Living in a small-ish Texas city, setting things out on the curb just isn't done. I accumulate a giant pile of ditch stuff in the back of the closet, then donate to the church Youth group's annual garage sale.

    So far, I've ditched three bags of clothes, including some I made, but they don't fit. Also, one large box of books and gadgets. Today they will get the golf clubs and bag that have accumulated a decade of dust in the garage. Hooray for more space!

    My husband really likes the McCall's 8934 boxer-inspired shorts as loungewear. I'll probably make him a new pair in the spirit of the sew-along.

  5. My husband likes his pj bottoms with a drawstring. I never seem to do it right. If you include that in a sew a long, I would love to play along. Congratulations on the ditching.

  6. Uhhhh, *I* will be wearing a poly- cotton sheet shirt tomorrow for the meet-up. It was the only pink floral fabric I had to match the Sew Weekly Theme. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Looking forward to meeting everybody!

  7. I am so ready for the sew-along! Got my pattern and fabric all set to go.

    Lots of ditching going on here too, but I usually have to wait a year or two after finishing a project before I can say goodbye to it, even if it doesn't fit. Some sort of emotional attachment I guess.

  8. I might join in too. I got this great boxer short pattern (someone in our group made them and the are very authentic)...I got them from Tracy at Sewthankful (Link below). I've been meaning to make this I have a reason!

  9. NOOOoooooooooo not the 8 Ball!!!! Everything else, yes. But NOT the 8 Ball!!!!

    Clearly I have some sort of childhood trauma associated with a lost or broken 8 Ball.....must look into that......

  10. Oh, that bulletin board does look like Debbie! I need one for my sewing room now.

    Figurines in general are creepy. DITCH.

    I'm horrible at getting rid of sewing projects -- I can ditch RTW with no problem, but it takes me months or years to let go of the things I've made and worn. Too short, too small, bad fabric? Doesn't matter, I hang onto it anyway. Interestingly, the things I make that never get used are easier to ditch.

  11. I ditch things I make all the time. 1) Mock-ups in free fabric I couldn't wear (color) or wouldn't wear; 2) No longer fits; 3)I didn't wear it this season and it's "change-over" time.

    I find it harder sometimes to ditch RTW. I think because I've handled the fabric when I make something, I get bored with it faster (in terms of # of wears).

  12. I can ditch RTW no problem. But I've lovingly sewn many things from fabric my mom brought me from Asian travels--Thai silk, fine cotton, marvelous prints. They'll probably never fit again. No consignment stores in my little town. I've thought many times of giving them to Goodwill; any advice, anyone? If I keep them for a lovely quilt I'll have to store them for years...Kristina in Ohio

  13. "When in doubt, ditch." That's totally right. Especially ditch the ball.
    The back of the Simplicity vintage pattern have the same curve than the Grande pattern I've already told you about (OOP too, but less recently), except that those have a nice elastic waist that allows you to eat lunch too :-). Love your hearts fabric..
    And congratulations on the closet. That's a real accomplishment. I once had one of those rods collapse. Twice. I did shed a few tears the second time..

  14. I am signed up for the sew along and I'd like to use the Simplicity pattern 1960 but I can't find one anywhere around in size 32. Does anyone have one that I might buy/borrow? I have seen a couple of size 30's available but I'm afraid that's just not a possibility. If anyone knows of a size 32 would they please let me know? Thanks

  15. Dang! The blog wouldn’t let me post earlier today.

    Congrats on all your ditching, repairing your closet rod and hanging your bulletin board. My, my you have been busy.

    I used to have a couple of Russ Berrie’s back in the day. Amazing how my tastes have changed. Don’t know what happened to them. I guess they took their creepy eyeballs and went elsewhere. Live long and prosper.

    I am sew ready for the sew-along (groan -- bad pun intended). The DK hates boxers, so these will be for me, for lounging. I am going to take the plunge and self-draft. I’ve never sewn anything without a pattern before, so this should be a nice basic garment to learn. With you leading, Peter, it’s bound to be fun no matter how horrid my creation turns out.

  16. The bulletin board should go the way of the figurines. But I'll take that 8-ball, thanks.
    -- stashdragon

  17. Asking the Magic 8 ball whether you should ditch it... you crack me up! I haven't yet given away anything I've sewn, since I've only been sewing a couple of years. But there are a couple of things currently on the brink. It will be way harder than anything RTW though. Weirdly kind of too personal to give to Salvos... like donating used underwear or something!

  18. Hahaha (snort)!! You have no idea how close that hair color is this week, after a *really* powerful new-to-me brand of hair dye experimenting this past weekend.

    But I'm wondering why LSCG needs a Debbie bulletin board in *her* sewing room?

  19. I've got some clothes I've sewn that should be ditched, too, and I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. So, please share any tips!

    Oh, and I am in for the sew along!


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