Project: Boxer Shorts

Sew Tunes: Phoenix (Pandora Station)

Pattern: Kwik Sew

Fabric Used: Seersucker

New to Me: Elastic…and the first project for a boy.

Trips to Store: 0. I have had the fabric staring me down in my fabric cabinet.

Loved One: A  Southern gent Andy who has been waiting patiently for his seersucker boxer shorts for months. Ok, maybe a year…plus.

Day by Day…

Sunday, August 21:

I have had this fabric in my stash for a very long time. I’m a sucker for all things seersucker and the more color in the seersucker, the better.

And why is seersucker a summer staple here in the south? Martha (Stewart) knows all:

“The puckers in the fabric are thought to allow air to circulate under the fabric, making it ideal for summer clothing.”

I am going to make Andy view B – a rounded hem instead of a square hem. There are only two pattern pieces, but there are 11 steps in the directions.

I washed and dried the fabric. I placed the pattern pieces on the fabric and cut. I kept the square hem, but traced the rounded hem markings onto the fabric. I may want to use this pattern again, next time using the square hem.

Once cut, I stitched the front crotch seam (just quoting the directions!). I then created the left and right fronts by folding the fabric along the fold lines, bringing the fold to the right side of the fabric, stitched, then folded inside out. Since I wasn’t quite sure about the folding inside out, I used the baste stitch at first. Practice run. It turned out the way it was supposed to (Sigh of relief), so I switched the stitch length back to 2 and stitched.

I then stitched the front of the boxers to the back at the side seams. Something interesting to note. The seam allowance for this pattern is 1/4″ (except at the waist). The standard seam allowance for clothing is 5/8″.

Friday, August 26:

Time to place the elastic. I folded the raw edges of the waist 5/8″ to wrong side of the fabric and pressed.

I divided the waist into fourths, and marked with pins. I then divided the elastic into fourths. I matched up the pins and stitched a vertical line, locking the elastic into place.

I placed the elastic on the folded raw edge, and stitched. Stitching elastic is a two person job – a stitcher and a stretcher.

Saturday, August 27:

I wasn’t happy with the stitch lines of the elastic from yesterday, so I ripped out the stitches and started over. This put me back about 45 minutes, but well worth the time spent to fix it. The lines are still not super straight, but it looks much better. Elastic is just awkward.

Once done, I overlapped the left front over the right front and stitched a rectangle up by the waist, and a triangle down by the crotch. I was debating adding a button to keep the opening closed, but decided against it. There is probably a reason that pattern didn’t include this step. I’m trusting the pattern.

Sunday, August 28:

The back and front of the boxers are already stitched together at the side seams, but now it’s time to stitch together at the leg seam. For some reason, the front and back didn’t match exactly. The front was about 1/4″ shorter on either side than the back. We shall see if this impacts the finished boxers.

Awwww, the last step. I finished the bottom edge of the shorts. The directions said to fold in 1/8″. Wow, that’s a REALLY narrow hem. I fudged the directions and added a little more to the hem. I then stitched, positioning the needle to the far left, and using the outside of the right side of the foot as my guide.

And Andy now has a new pair of boxer shorts…just in time for Labor Day.

(Andy, male modeling please.)

Project Wrap-up

Sew Happy:

  • Despite it being narrow, I am really happy with how the hem looks along the bottom edge of the shorts.
  • I am finally able to present Andy with his long-awaited boxers.

Not Sew Happy:

  • Elastic vs. Jenn, and the elastic won. Need to keep practicing.

Helpful Hints (to self)

  • I think it is time to learn the french seam. This will add to my repertoire of finishing techniques.
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