Sew Everything Workshop has a pattern for men’s boxers. I decided to do try this pattern for the experience, and also to use up extra fabric I had. And, as the author points out, “nothing says love like a custom stitched pair of undies.”
I wanted to use light fabric, but I am always afraid of failing at a project the first time I do it. So, to save money I looked through my fabric stash and chose the most fabric with the most appropriate weight- leftover fabric that Wrong gave me after she finished her Tokyo Tie Bag. OK, so compared to my partners normal boxers it’s a little, um, bold, but that’s OK! He can’t complain if he’s getting free underwear, right?
This was my first time sewing a project for a man, and my first time dealing with elastic.
Most of the instructions are golden, working like magic to take a few pieces of fabric and turn them into a pair of boxers with a fly. I don’t have any complaints or comments about the instructions until it’s time to deal with the elastic- at this point you need to deviate from the instructions!
The boxers look so real! It’s great to make a project that actually looks wearable. But, sadly, they are not wearable…
There are two reasons why this project is not an “A” project. The sizing is too big, and the elastic installation technique is off.
The author tells you to use a safety pin to pull the elastic through the casing. Well, maybe that’s fine if you are using flannel or another nice, strong fabric. But, since I was making summer boxers, my fabric was thin- thin enough to be ripped by the safety pin pulling through the casing. It would be much, much better if she instructed sewists to use an elastic guide or a bodkin to pull the elastic through. Use the proper tools for the job! I think the author might be trying to save people a few dollars by telling them to use a safety pin to pull the elastic through the casing instead of buying a specialty tool- but really, those tools exist for a reason! Instead of saving a few dollars, all I did was waste my time and effort by ruining my project at the end. I tried taking out the elastic and making it narrower, but the damage had already been done. Instead of following the instructions for installing the elastic that Sew Everything Workshop provides, look in Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z.
Ninja Kitten also made the boxers to wear herself. She had issues installing the elastic because of the fly overlap. And, she also ran into the sizing problem that seems common in Sew Everything Workshop. Compared to my partner’s other boxers, the length seems about right, but the width is much larger than other pairs of boxers that he owns. Maybe this would have resolved itself if I had been able to get the elastic in without ripping the casing, but now we’ll never know. If Diana Rupp does a second edition of the book, I hope she re-sizes the patterns, and also has a wider variety of sizes available- small, medium and large doesn’t cut it in modern America. But, I still like the book for having detailed instructions and explaining basic sewing techniques- despite it’s deficiencies in dealing with elastic.
Would I make this again? Yes, with reservations. MOST of the instructions were good, but I’d have to use a different elastic installation technique, and go down to a small instead of a medium. It’s a B and not a C because I’m willing to admit that human error probably played a part in this failure- but since this is a beginner’s book, the author ought to use proper technique instruction to help negate human error.