Readers, today is a national holiday in the United States. Traditionally, people go to the beach, attend outdoor barbecues, and watch fireworks displays.
Never one to follow the crowd, I spent my July 4th making underwear.
As you know, I recently purchased Jalie 3242, a new release; I don't think anyone has even reviewed it yet on Pattern Review -- please don't try to beat me to it! It makes three kinds of women's underwear (thong included) and three kinds of men's -- low rise briefs, trunks, and a jockstrap, in twenty-nine different sizes (!).
For my first attempt at this pattern, I decided to make the briefs. I wasn't too sure what size to trace -- so much depends on the stretchiness of the fabric, but I chose size "Z" -- which corresponds to a 32" waist.
First I traced my pattern pieces with yellow tracing paper. There are only three pieces: the main piece (comprising back and sides), the pouch (double-layered) and the covered elastic leg bindings. I had to focus carefully on the size I was tracing since there were so many intersecting lines so close together.
After I cut my pattern pieces, I proceeded to cut my fabric, which I'd laundered this morning. No pressing at all in this project.
It all went together in a straightforward fashion. A big thank you to those of you who told me to download the instructions off the Jalie website so I wouldn't have to have the huge pattern paper open the whole time (the instructions are printed on the pattern itself). I did just that.
There are no exposed seams between the side/back piece and the pouch, which I like a lot. It took the most time to attach the elastic to the leg bindings, and then to attach the bindings to the leg openings. (It goes on like double-folded bias strips.)
The pattern has you topstitch the leg binding with a zigzag stitch, but given the minimal amount of stretch needed for the leg openings, I could have used a straight stitch and had a more professional-looking finish. Since I used gray thread on a heathered gray fabric, you really don't see the zigzag much.
The waistband is just a strip of black waistband elastic, 1 1/2" wide. (The elastic in the leg binding is 3/8".) Pretty much all the seam allowances on this pattern are just 1/4" so there's not a lot of trimming needed (I did trim a bit on the leg binding seam allowance to reduce bulk.).
I lapped the edges of the black elastic over each other and sewed a satin stitch over the raw edge on each side so it's all smooth and finished.
The waistband is attached by lapping the wrong side of the elastic over the top edge of the right side of the briefs at 1/4" and zigzagging. Since I used black thread on black elastic, the stitches don't really show.
OK, it's time for the big reveal -- there's not much more TO reveal, actually. I hope my attempts at sucking it in aren't too obvious.
Overall, the fit is excellent; I have no complaints.
The way the pattern is drafted, the straight lines are horizontal along the backside, but they angle a bit toward the front pouch. I would have preferred horizontal stripes in front too but that's the pattern.
I will definitely wear these briefs: they're very comfortable and they're fun -- well, fun for briefs. I think the gray mixed with the red stripe is a nice touch, otherwise there's not a whole lot going on here. Considering this was really a practice run, I'm pleased they fit so well.
Curiously, this morning I set my serger up specifically for this project but I never used it -- I did the whole thing on my Bernina. I'm not really sure what I could have serged here -- the narrow elastic to the leg binding, I suppose.
Friends, that's all for today.
For those of you celebrating July 4th, I wish you a safe and happy holiday. Everybody else, Are you ready to make briefs?!
BTW, would any of you be interested in a knit briefs sew-along? Let me know!
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!