Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

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!

Sewing With Sweater Knits :: The Laurelhurst Cardigan

Sewing with sweater knit fabric - The Laurelhurst Cardigan

I love the drape and feel of sweater knit fabric but I’ve long been scared to sew it given how lightweight it is.  Seems like this scrumptious sweater-like lightweight fabric is just the kind of thing my sewing machine loves to tangle up and eat. As soon as I saw the Laurelhurst Cardigan from Straight Stitch Designs I knew I had to make it as a sweater knit.  It was time to conquer my fear!  Along the way I learned a few things and I’m sharing them on the UpCraft Blog.  What is better than a sweater knit in fall? Not a whole lot! Sewing with sweater knit fabric time, y’all!

Kindergarten Chair Pockets

Ooh, what is this stack of rainbow goodness? It is, in fact, a stack of kindergarten chair pockets. You know, those easily accessible pockets that hang over the back of a child-sized chair making their folders and supplies within reach?

How to:: Quick and easy kindergarten chair pockets

Or maybe you don’t know.  I didn’t know about them until C started kindergarten a few years ago and I immediately thought they were so clever.  They are super simple, basically a rectangle with one pocket on one end to fit over the back of a chair and one pocket on the other side that you can reach into.  When J started kindy this year and his teacher didn’t have them I asked her about it and she told me SHE couldn’t afford them (Yes.  She, as an individual.  Don’t even get me started).  They are, apparently, around $8-$10 each, which gets pretty pricey when you have 20-25 kids at any given time. (more…)

make it :: sewing weight

one of the women in my fantastic tuesday night class this week enthusiastically reminded me of how wonderful it is to sew with weights.  (it’s not sewing while pumping ironing, which is how I’m making it sound.)

so let me explain because sewing weights are fantastic.  by weighing down a pattern rather than pinning it, you can trace directly onto fabric (with tailor’s chalk or another marking tool) and skip having to pin things down.  then you just toss the pattern aside and cut the fabric along your easy to see lines.  no more fussing with straightening the pattern, pinning its fussy self down only to find it has puckered up and needs to be re-pinned.  who has the time or patience for that?  technically speaking, anything can be used as a handy sewing weight…soup cans, scissors, pincushions, etc.  but, c’mon that isn’t very fun or very pretty. and, every once in a while it ought to be ok to indulge in making even the sewing process pretty.

so, now that you are sold on their unbelievable usefulness and the need for more pretty in the process, let’s get down to making one. I used random scraps of linen to make mine…it’s amazing how beautiful a little scrap of fabric can be and there is little more of a useful feeling than using up some scraps.

 1. hold up a piece of paper and trace this triangle.  yep, right on the screen.

 2. cut out 4 triangles

  3. with a 1/4″ seam allowance sew together one side of two      triangles.

  4. along another side of the triangle sew another triangle.

  5. folding the middle triangle in half, match the final open sides        and sew shut to form a three dimensional triangle.

 6. it should look like this.

 7. take the final triangle and set it along one side of the triangle you have already sewn.  sew with the same 1/4″ seam allowance you’ve been using all along.  this can get a little tricky, just be sure to sew only what you intend to and don’t miss something you mean to sew. (ha! I just realized that the preceding would be the rule for just about every stitch ever.)

 8. do the same stitch with the next side.

 9. sew a 1/2 an inch or so at the beginning and end of the final side, leaving an opening of about 2 inches in the middle of the final side.  then turn the whole thing inside out, exposing the pretty sides. (take a quick moment for a victory dance. it’s awfully pretty isn’t it!)

    

10. now…fill it up!  you may want to fill yours with something heavier than beans (which is what I used but it doesn’t end up all the heavy…heavy enough but not super heavy). you could use metal bits from the hardware store, I’ve heard of people using that to give it some heft. i digress a bit.  to fill, cut a corner off an envelope and fill it with your weight of choice.  this forms a convenient funnel for pouring into the opening you made. it works best if one hand is holding the funnel while the other is holding the sewing weight opening.

  11. last, hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch or other hand stitch.

now…go sew like mad with your handy-dandy weights!

p.s. filled with poly-fill this would make a great pincushion for a gift to someone else or yourself.

valentine idea :: from the archives


I thought I would share of my past valentine creations this week starting with these cards from last year.  I’m particularly proud of them because I got to use up fabric scraps AND sew on paper, which is a weirdly satisfying thing to do…it feels almost naughty. they are pretty simple and it’s probably pretty obvious how to make them but indulge me while I share what how I went about it.

 

I started by ironing my fabric scraps (cut cleanly using my trusty clear ruler, rotary cutter, and cutting mat) onto freezer paper.  freezer paper is this crazy stuff with paper on one side and a waxy coating on the other side and it just so happens that it sticks to fabric superbly when ironed.  you can find it in the grocery store, sometimes it requires a bit of hunting but most places seem to carry it.  I used the freezer paper to stabilize the fabric so that my cutting and tracing could be more precise.  next, I traced some hearts using cookies cutters onto the fabric using a fabric marking tool to make uniform heart shapes.

after cutting out my hearts, I peeled off the freezer paper and held them in place while I sewed them onto the paper.  you can’t really pin through the paper without actually making things more difficult and/or sloppy.  other than that, it’s just regular sewing, except it makes a cute punch-y sound while you sew.  I used alphabet stamps and standard stamping ink to print the letters.

easy-peasy.  and, so cute and modern looking…in my humble opinion. I had a few clear vellum envelopes leftover from some other card-making escapade and I especially liked how those looked when you could see through to the card as below. 

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