Bohemian Trevi Top :: contrast yoke and tassels

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Most of the time as I am working with a pattern, I think up a million ways to hack it. “It’s a tunic!” “Oooh, a twofer dress!” “AND, even a romper!!!”  But by the time I finish with the intended garment I discard all of my pattern hack ideas and quietly move on. I leave my little pattern hack ideas behind to languish and die. Well, I am happy to report I listened to the “please hack me” voice this time with my Trevi Top and the voice was right!  My trevi top DID want to become a bohemian Trevi Top with a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels! It really did! Guys, I managed to create my favorite shirt ever with this hack. Hello happy, hippy, bohemian Trevi Top!  You are here just in time for summer.

Actually, as you might be able to tell from the snow in these photos I made this top a month ago or so.  But no mind! I have never claimed that my internal voice was practical and it certainly isn’t seasonal.  It also took me so long to blog about it because I have been working on a tutorial for the the Hey June blog. So, if you want to learn how to add a contrast yoke to a top, pop over to Hey June Handmade for the easy tutorial.  But stay here for a little while so we can mutually admire this top.

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Why aren’t bright yellow tassels a more common thing, right? I have no idea. They are so perfect.

The rest of the fabric is just as fun.  I used a print from the Anna Maria Horner’s line Loominious for the contrast yoke. I love that it is yarn-dyed and woven instead of printed on top of flat cotton. In essence it is scrumptious. The indigo striped fabric is an old white curtain that I indigo-dyed myself! I really love indigo dying, even though I don’t do it all that often.  The color is stunning and I surprised myself by falling in love with how they look together. It’s an unexpected pairing for sure.

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

I especially love the variation you get with the indigo dying process.  Didn’t the back turn out kind of cool? I was able to use a more richly dyed portion for the back placket and play on the natural variation of the dying process.

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitchBohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

I hope you feel inspired to add a contrast yoke to a Trevi Top (or dress…even better). It’s a super fun variation and a great way to add a bit of a hippy/boho look with just a little bit of special fabric! Be sure to check out my tutorial with Hey June for the full how-to as well as a peek at my second contrast yoke Trevi.

Men’s Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern + Juxaposey llama Fabric]

Hi all! We are all back from our spring break, feeling fresh and revived.  It’s the perfect time for me to release my first free pattern. Eek! This whole thing started because I felt I was neglecting my husband, sewing-wise. Here is the deal, sewing for men can be difficult. It’s certainly harder than choosing what I want for myself or even my kids.  Plus, unless you are sewing for one of those Florida dudes in need of an endless supply of breezy, patterned shirts it’s also a little dull.  But…you know what isn’t dull? Boxer Shorts! Full of fun patterns and colors and easy to construct, men’s boxer shorts are basically the wild and crazy guy of a dude’s chest of drawers. So guys! Guess what? It’s time to bust out some awesome fabric and get cranking out boxer shorts!  I picked llamas and a fun print from Betz White’s new Juxtaposey line. In fact, Betz really is the inspiration for this whole project.  When she asked me to make something in her new line I knew it had to be boxer’s short for my dude.

Remember a long time ago when I made these boxer’s shorts for him? I was so amped up about them and was promising a free pattern for men’s boxer shorts.  Well, you know what? Making a digital pattern was harder than I expected and I kept putting it off.  And putting it off.  And tinkering a little bit and then putting it off again.  Oof. Finally, when Betz White asked me if I would make something in her next line of fabric, Juxtaposey, I knew it was time to get serious. I mean, the first bunch of boxers where made in her Dutch Treat fabric line. If she can release an entire new line of fabrics, surely I can create one pattern! So, I’m so proud to present this free pattern for Men’s Boxer Shorts in Juxtaposey fabric.  (*whisper voice* proud but also a little timid and scared..so be gentle with me.  I hope everything works like it is supposed to. I certainly worked on perfecting the pattern for a long time but still it’s kinda freaky to put this out into the world. know what I mean?)

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

So much dude-age in boxer shorts!  Before we start enthusiastically taping, cutting and stitching I should lay out some disclaimers. First, I made these to fit my husband. The pattern is one size and I would guess it is close to a medium or average? I really don’t know. His boxers were in a pathetic state so his measurements are the basis for this design.  You can always make the waist smaller or looser by varying the elastic length but there will certainly be men for whom this pattern doesn’t fit. Sorry about that. Maybe by the time Betz comes out with her next line of fabric I will have figured out size grading! We can hope.

The second disclaimer is this is my first time making a pattern in a digital form so be gentle with any mistakes. Oh, did I already say that?

Ok, let’s start making some men’s boxer shorts!

You will need :

+ Free Pattern, available here.

+ 1 ¼ yard of cotton fabric

+ 1 yard of 3/4” wide elastic

+ Spool of matching thread

+ Standard sewing supplies, of course

Instructions: 

  • Print out the free pattern, available here. Be sure to print it sized 100% and not to scale. If you aren’t sure if it printed correctly, measure the 2” box on page 1.
  • Tape together the pattern as show below and cut out the two patterns piece, one front and one back.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • True up the fabric and place each pattern piece on your fabric and cut out 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces. Be sure to draw the indicated markings. Hint: If you fold your fabric so that the right sides face each other you will better prepare yourself to start sewing.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Begin by placing the two front pieces rights sides together. Draw, with a marking tool, a line from the top notch to the dot marked at the bottom of the faux fly.
  • Stitch the crotch seam by sewing along the line you drew with a basting stitch and at the dot mark switch to a standard stitch length and sew the rest of the curve with a 4/8” seam allowance.
  • Clip along the curve of the seam allowance and then iron the seam allowance toward the wearer’s left side.
  • Beginning at the dot marking, sew along the curve of the crotch 1/4” to the side of the seam allowance to secure it in place. You will be sewing through the seam allowance fabric and and the boxer short fabric. This is a visible stitch.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • While facing the right side of the front of the boxer shorts, sew a stitch 4/8” in from the edge of the faux fly. Mirror that stitch with another one 3/8” to the left. If you want to, you can sew a strong zigzag at about 1/2” before and up to the seam. This will hold the faux fly in place and create a classic boxers look.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Repeat with the back crotch seam without worrying about the faux fly, (sew a 4/8” seam allowance with right-sides together. Clip curves, press seam allowance to the wearer’s left side and stitch a visible stitch 1/4” to the side of the seam.)

For the side seams and inseam, we will be sewing a flat-felled seam.  You are going to love this technique. It not only hides all raw edges of fabric but it keeps the fabric laying flat reducing bulk and it’s a super durable stitch.  Plus, it’s a very professional seam so you will feel like a champ. As an aside: I looked at a lot of my husband’s boxers and they all had flat-felled seams, it’s interesting that such a basic (and cheap) garment has such quality construction. Who knew? .

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitchFollowing the numbers in the picture:

1. Begin by stitching the front and back side seam of the boxer’s WRONG sides together with a 5/8″ seam allowance.

2. Cut ONLY ONE of the seam allowances down to half the size of the other.

3. Press the seam allowances with an iron such that the full-size seam allowance covers the half-sized seam allowance. Fold the full-size seam allowance in half over the half-sized one to meet the original stitching line and press it flat against the fabric.

4. Stitch along the edge of the fold.  Admire your beautiful stitch! You are such a pro!

+ Complete the inseam at the bottom that connects the crotch to each leg in the same manner.

+ To make the elastic waistband you will first need to measure your wearer’s waist and cut the correct length of elastic. Be sure to measure at the point on their waist that they are most comfortable having the waistband sit on their body. Subtract 6” from this measurement and that is how long you cut the elastic. If you don’t have your wearer nearby, you can wing it and cut about 32” of elastic. Set the elastic aside.  Note: Most 3/4″ has a good deal of stretch but if yours doesn’t, for some reason, you might not want to reduce the length by 6″ or it will be too tight.

+ Make a casing for the elastic: Fold down and press the whole waistband by 1” and then repeat another 1”. Stitch along the bottom fold, leaving a 5-6” opening at the back.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and use it to wind through the casing making sure it doesn’t twist.
  • Overlap both ends of the elastic by 1” and stitch a small box with a diagonal line to secure the ends together. Place closed loop fully inside casing and work with your hands to evenly spread the waistband gathers.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitchMen's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitchMen's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Stitch the remaining opening in the casing closed.
  • To ensure that elastic doesn’t roll inside of the casing, we are going to sew three or four straight stitches through the elastic and the fabric. We want to do this carefully, however, to be sure we don’t lose any elasticity. To do this, pull on the waistband until the fabric is fully flat while you sew the stitches.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Once you have sewn through the waistband, you can use a seam ripper to unpick the basting stitch of the faux fly.

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

  • Hem each of the shorts legs by folding 1/2” and then another 1/2” and sew at 3/8” along the fold.

You are Done! And looking sharp if I do say so myself!

Men's Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern for Juxtaposey Fabric tour] || a happy stitch

I truly had a hard time choosing which prints to use from this collection. They really are all really fun and would make a great pair of boxers!

Juxtaposey fabric collection from Betz WhiteJuxtaposey fabric collection from Betz White

I really hope you like the pattern and find it useful and fun, friends. I think boxers can be a witty, quirky way to sew in funky fabric for men. I can imagine a luxuriant version in Liberty on Valentine’s day! Happy sewing all. Please share with me if you do make any, I will be over the moon!  Tag me on IG so I can see them!

Fabric Buckets as Easter Baskets

For Easter baskets this year I decided to make the boys reusable fabric buckets using my standby tutorial here. I love the idea that the buckets themselves are also a gift and a reusable one at that. We will still give them gobs of chocolate of course but the beautiful fabric bucket balances it out a bit, right?  It also might be true that I fell in love with this new fabric collection  from Maker Maker and was looking for a good excuse to make something out if it. Just maybe. (more…)

Elephants, Kitties and Narwhals!!! a.k.a. The Perfect Baby Layette in Organic Knit

Polka Dot Trevi Top in Double Gauze

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

I pretty much know, at this point, that any pattern made by Adrianna from Hey June Handmade is going to fit me and look amazing on first try.  Check out my Cheyenne blouse, Sanibel rompers, Lane Raglan hoodie, and  leggings for proof. So, I was jubilant when she asked me to pattern test her latest creation, the Trevi Top and Dress. I went with a double gauze fabric from my stash to make this polka dot Trevi top.  I am thrilled with the results, as expected. (more…)

An Olive and Pink Everyday Blouse

An Olive and Pink Everyday Blouse || sewn by a happy stitch

I made myself an olive and pink everyday blouse, y’all.  And, it’s ticking all the happy boxes.

Tremendously wearable but not at all boring. Check!  Comfortable but not frumpy. Check! Full of elegant but not-at-all fussy details. Check! Fulfills my commitment to make a blouse for Project Sew It.  Check!    Awesome addition to my handmade closet. Check! Check! check!

I’ve been crushing on this pattern since it came out. The Everyday Blouse was released through UpCraft Club and designed by Rachel, the Brazilian designer and endlessly talented sewist behind House of Pinhiero. (more…)

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles :: Secret Valentine Exchange

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles! Designed and made by *a happy stitch*

Every year I try to sign up for Sanae and Ute’s fabulous Secret Valentine exchange.  I have managed it for the last two years and that is a good thing because when the deadline slips past me I end up super bummed and kicking myself with regret. The reason I love it so much is mostly because it feels so warm and fuzzy to be a part of secret exchange of handmade goodness.  But, I also love the exchange because it gives me permission and freedom to create something with no real agenda.  Ah, the beauty of open-ended making! This year I decided to make this hand-stamped tote with leather handles and shipped it off to South Korea, it’s new home. Isn’t it great that the secret valentine exchange is global?! I like the thought of sending something made with my hands around the world. It reminds me that the power of the handmade is amazingly universal and these days that reminder feels especially potent. (more…)

All You Need is Love Table Setting [See Kate Sew – Book Review]

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

I am a sucker for two things: a handmade Valentine’s Day and a pretty table setting. So, when I got a copy of the book See Kate Sew * for review from Fons & Porter and was immediately smitten with the adorable, pocketed placemat and little wallets, I decided that our family needed a little “All You Need is Love” table setting for our Valentine’s breakfast. Ok, I’m a sucker for three things. I also LOVE breakfast. But, that is beside the current point.

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

(more…)

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