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?)
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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? .
Following 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once you have sewn through the waistband, you can use a seam ripper to unpick the basting stitch of the faux fly.
- 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!
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!
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!