Thursday, February 25, 2010

Little Boxer Briefs

ETA 3/11/11: 
I’ve updated both the pattern and tutorial for the boxer briefs.  If you want the latest version, click the bum below:
IMG_1825 button
Or proceed with the original.  It’s up to you…
Today I'll show you how to go from this:
To this:
If you're like my mom, you're currently asking, "Why?  What's wrong with that shirt?  Do the boys need new underwear?  Don't you like that shirt?"
To which I'll answer you what I answered her, "Because I can and I thought it would be cool."  And actually, I didn't really like that shirt.  Sorry, mom.
Boy Boxer Briefs
a tutorial
First gather up some old tees.  Or any knits, you'll need about 1/2 yard total. 
All of these are size 6 boys, and I was able to get up to a size 5/6 brief out of them.  You might be able to get up to one size larger, but I'd find bigger tees for bigger sizes of briefs.
Also, it just so happened that every one of the tees I gathered had euphemisms for the male anatomy on them. A lizard, a rocket, and a nut. Oh, and a moon.  I promise it wasn't on purpose.  Just an awesome coincidence I discovered once I started cutting things out.  I took it as the Universe's way of letting me know it approved of the fate of these shirts, in spite of my mother's misgivings
You'll also need 1/2 yard 1 1/4 inch braided elastic
Here are the pattern pieces:
legs: A and B (you'll need both)
-I only uploaded a 3/4 size.  For each additional size, you need to add about 1/2 inch or so.  A trick would be to get two standard pencils.  Holding them in the same hand, next to each other, trace along the pattern line with one pencil while making a matching, larger trace with the other one.  Does that make any sense?  I can go into that more, if you want.
-This is my first time sharing a pattern.  They're not perfect or anywhere close to professional, but they'll do the job.  I hope.
-If you want to have an enclosed elastic waistband, increase the top lines of each piece by apx 3 inches, make casing, insert elastic.
-All seams at 1/4 inch for this pattern to get the 3/4 size
Lay out pattern pieces on tee, arranging so that you get the images you want, where you want them.  The nice thing with most tees, is that they are made with continuous rolled jersey, so there are no side seams.  This makes it so you can cut on the side, and not worry about a seam going through where you don't want it.
Now you're going to want to cut off the sleeve and bottom hems of the shirt.  We'll use these as leg bindings (and fly bindings, if you choose to add that feature to your briefs--instructions for a fly at the end)
Trim the cut-off hems along the inside of the stitching
So you have a nice folded tape for binding
So your pieces should look like this.  At this point, I would mark, near the raw edge on the backsides, the leg pieces as to which is which and you don't end up with two right legs, or whatever.
Allign your center front piece (some would call it a "codpiece", but really, I can't do that without giggling) with center back.  ****if you want a fly, please refer to instructions on doing so below before going on****
Put right sides together, sew
Press seam open
top stitch on either side of the seam.  This is both decorative, and also keeps the seam allowance in place for more comfort when wearing.
Get a leg piece.  Cut a binding strip (remember from the sleeves/hem?) to length to match with the lower part of the leg piece
Open the binding and sandwhich the lower edge of the leg within the binding.
Pin in place
Top stitch close to raw edge of binding (you don't need a finished edge with knits).  And then turn the piece around and top stitch near the bottom edge
Fold leg piece in half, matching short inside inseams.
Sew, finishing the seam allowance as before, with topstitching on either side.
Repeat with other leg
Turn leg right side out
Right sides together, and matching top edges to bottom edges, layer leg piece and middle pieces
Pin and sew, finishing seam allowances as before with topstitching on either side
Repeat for other leg
Turn briefs right side out.
Cut a strip of elastic the length of the entire top opening of the briefs, plus an inch.
Overlap the cut elastic one inch, and sew using the same stretch stitch you've been using, up and down multiple times
Trim any excess elastic off the overlap on either side, close to the stitches
Now, here's where I screwed up with the first briefs I made, so I don't have pictures.  But what you want to do is lay the elastic in place, right sides of top edge of briefs to wrong side of lower edge of elastic.  Sew, repeating at least twice for reinforcment.
(I did right sides together the first time,and it worked, but it's a little wonky as you can see below)
And that's it.  Really cute boxer briefs from meh tee shirt.
Adding a Fly
.  If you want a fly, or "pocket" as it's called around here, on your front piece you need to
cut out two front pieces, using the "Fly" pattern pieces.  Note that they are different, with one cut out being higher than the other, in addition to the opposite side.
Take some of the binding tape you cut off the hem/sleeves (I'd use the sleeves for this part, save the hem for the leg openings) and sandwhich the raw edge of the curve inside it.  Pin.
I did two stitch lines down either edge.
Repeat for the second front piece
Lay the top front piece on the behind front piece and baste all around the outer edge, about 1/8 inch in.
Sew to back piece as instructed above, and go from there.
I also made a pair for my older son, using some flatlock serger fun.  Only it wasn't fun.  They turned out totally messy and I need a lot more practice, especially before diving in with contrasting thread.  Apparently.  But they fit and he loves them, so whatever.



Reno said...

Love the euphemisms and may I use the over-used word and say...CUTE!

Robin said...

Seriously Sabra! You're my hero!! Will you make me some to wear? :o)

Bec said...

hahaha informative and funnny! Is there anything you can't do?? Love these. Thanks so much!!

Rebecca said...

I can tell you are having waaayy too much fun!!!! Those are adorable!!

saskia said...

completely jealous that it's so easy for you

Sabra said...

Oh, no, Saskia! What's giving you trouble?

jenheadjen said...

Hilarious! Love the idea and the correlation you found!

hipchic~cynde said...

I just found your blog and already I love it!!! My 11 yr old will only wear boxer briefs but is so darn picky in the fit....I will have to try this for sure!

janetta said...

oh, no, are the pattern pieces no longer available?

so freakin cute!

Sabra said...

They are there. Sometimes Google Docs gets bogged down, but they're there. Here is the direct link:

if it doesn't work at first, try a few minutes later.

Thanks and good luck!

xiangirl said...

Our community gathers undies for underprivileged children preschool through high school at Christmas. They don't get enough boys' briefs so I'm going to try it. Right now I'm making one out of red/white/blue stripes/stars t-shirt with the presidential seal across the butt. How fun! I couldn't have done it without you!

Guna said...

Love this! I am going to try this tomorrow - great project for me, never having sewn with knits.

A question though - when sewing with a walking food and jersey needle, are you also using a zig zag stitch? if so, what stitch length and width? I'm intimidated!

Slipcovers by Shelley said...

I might try this out when I have a free moment from sewing slipcovers for clients. I have three boys...and they would think this was COOL! Nice to see something fun for boys....always girl stuff everywhere, and I don't have any girls. Thanks for the pattern.

Amy said...

I love this, thanks!! I've wasted 3 mens shirts trying to make boxer briefs from my son's existing pair. Thank you for pattern pieces! Now I can cut with confidence!!

Jen McCleve said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I was wondering what I was going to do with all of my kids old shirts. Now I can just make them into boxer briefs. What a great way to save money on clothes and make something practical with them.

Shari said...

So, if I wanted a size 3T or 4T, could I get that out of a 3T shirt? And I assume it works on the inside for the whole pencil on the pattern thing...

Sabra said...

Shari, probably. It's mostly going to depend on how you cut things out. If you're working around a graphic, you're not going to be able to get as much out of any given shirt, most likely. Does that make sense. Strictly speaking, a 3T shirt should be more than big enough for a 3T brief, assuming you just cut what you need and not what you want. If that makes sense?

Kimberly said...

Thank you thank you for this blog! My twins are potting training right now and I just bought a 4 pack of "ok" looking boxer briefs from Old Navy and they were $12.99 for a 4 pack! Yikes! So I just made my first pair, far from perfect but I want to share them with you and I'm not sure how to do that!

Sabra said...

Kimberly, I'd love to see them! You should post them on your blog.

tabby blooms said...

Hi! I have been searching for patterns for my boys and hey I found it plus I can use their old t shirts!!!! That's an added bonus!!!! Thanx alot

Stephanie Morgan said...

These are so cute!! how do i use this pattern to make them a size 7?

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