I made my husband underwear. Yep. UNDERWEAR. And as one of my sweet IG friends asked, “Do you always make your husband’s underwear?”, no, I never have before. But I uncovered Kwik Sew 1672 when I was digging through the (alarming number of) accumulated pajama patterns in my sewing area, looking for just the right ones for this year’s Christmas Eve jammies (more on that later), and it was asking to be made. Begging, really. Begging non-chalantly whiel leaning up against a wall. An invisible wall. Would YOU have been able to resist?
This has been sitting in a basket waiting to be sewn up for about a zillion years, and I don’t know why I waited so long. It was a fun, simple sew with just enough details to keep me interested. The fit is pretty great (sorry, ladies, hubs was NOT down with modeling for you–which is a shame, because you’re missing out #sorrynotsorry), and the design is very much in line with store-bought boxers. It doesn’t take a ton of yardage, and let’s be very clear here: is an EXCELLENT use for those novelty prints that you just can’t resist but neeeeeeeed to buy.
Hence the ridiculous nativity boxers seen above. Holla!
This print makes me laugh. I found it at a 75% off big box fabric store sale a few years ago, and bought just a little over a yard-ish. Plenty to make these boxers. And I thought it was funny? Maybe a little irreverent, but not ill-intended? They’re Christmas pants! Anyway, my husband is amused by them.
One of the features I was most intrigued by in this design is that it lacks a center back seam–just cut on the fold for a nice, smooth behind. I’ve seen lots of the boxers we’ve bought him have a gusset in the back, and some have just a simple center back seam (like the ones we got at Banana not too long ago), so to see a pair with neither was interesting. I wasn’t totally sure they’d be comfortable or not ride up, but he reports back that he didn’t really notice until I mentioned it, which tells me it’s pretty good!
The fly construction takes up the majority of the sewing for these, since the rest is simple seams. The instructions are nicely written, and give good stitching diagrams to get a polished, professional finish on the fly with NO RAW EDGES. That last is really important to me, since I want anything up close to my skin to feel as completed as possible. The width of the waistband and (ahem) sizing of the opening seem to be in line with most off-the-rack men’s underpants.
The nativity boxers were rolled up and tied with a ribbon, then put in my husband’s stocking for Christmas morning. Being me, I went ahead and cut two pair while I was at it, but didn’t quite get the second completed when I was sewing. Those I gave him just last week (For the 11th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to meeee….): Grinch boxers.
You can see on this pair how there’s a nice box sewn at the upper waistband, along the elastic, and a trapezoid at the lower end of the fly, to catch the raw edges of the fly facings and hold them in place on the interior. Both the right and left fly are finished cleanly with stitches away from the opening, so there isn’t a lot of bulk. It looks clean and professional in person.
On the interior, you can see the point at the lower end of the fly–the lower squared raw edges are tucked up at a diagonal and the trapezoid is stitched from the right side to keep it all pretty.
I opted to serge most of these seam allowances, rather than making French seams, partly because I didn’t want to invest the time in French seams and come to learn that the boxers didn’t fit well. The only exception is here, the very first curved crotch seam below the fly, which is where all the assembly begins. Because it intersects with the fly facings, and is a tiiiight curve, you can’t really get the serger in there (or, at least, I can’t), so I chose to overcast the edges and then topstitch them in place before moving on to the rest of the construction. I serged the side seams, and then sewed the inseam (at the bottom of the image here) and serged it BEFORE adding the elastic, even though the instructions have you sew the inseam last before the hems. This was so I could topstitch all those seams–side and inseam–to one side, so there isn’t any friction along thighs on either side. I like a smooth finish.
The waistband finish is nice in that it doesn’t involve a casing–you fold and press the upper raw edge to the wrong side, then place the underwear elastic over it and stitch in place. Just like they do in the factories, y’all. The raw ends of the elastic tuck under the fly facings at the center front.
The hem is just a simple double-turned hem. My husband pointed out that these boxers are shorter than most of the ones we buy at the store, but that he thought it was a good thing, since that makes for less bulk to fit into snugger pants (like jeans, as opposed to suit pants or khakis). When sewing these up, I made the medium, and when it comes to bulk, they seemed HUUUUGE. But once the elastic was on, they seemed right in line with every other pair of boxers I’ve seen. So I guess dudes just like ’em roomier?
One final note: I did purchase the “underwear or swimsuit” elastic for these, from Hancock. These two pair are laid on top of one another at the left side seam, and you can see how the nativity pair (which have been laundered since sewing) are narrower than the Grinch pair (where the fabric was prewashed but the elastic hasn’t been laundered). Just FYI that, while I may have had some margin in the cutting of the elastic, for sure it shrinks up a little in the wash. Also: I was forced to press the nativity pair for these photos, a task I never thought I’d do and quite honestly would have assiduously avoided ten years ago. WHO AM I??
Anyone else ever sew boxers? I can smell a new trend in sewing women’s underwear coming on, and have seen a few pair of boys’ boxer briefs, but don’t see men’s underpants very often. Is that because we don’t sew a lot of underpants? Or is that because when sewing we tend to neglect the men in our lives? Something to keep in mind with Valentine’s Day just around the corner…