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Dec 28 2010

Tommy Boxers: Wrap-up

Published by under Sewing

Just wanted to post some final thoughts on the Tommy Boxer and some things I would do differently.

Overall, this is a great pattern. Really easy to follow. Very clear instructions and excellent guiding pictures. I’ll definitely make it again.

Here are some items I would do differently:

  • Size-wise, I recommend making whatever your “normal” size is. I measured one of my husband’s favorite pairs across the seat of the pants as recommended in the pattern and used their guide which indicated I should make a medium. The medium fits him, but he’s requested a large for the next pair with the medium waist. Large is his normal size for store bought boxers.
  • As mentioned in the sewalong, I would sew the sport elastic closer to the top of the boxers.
  • I would sew the seams on the vents when I sew the side seams. I don’t see a reason to wait . . .
  • I would use a lighter fabric. I used some Debbie Mumm quilting weight cotton. Super easy stuff to work with but a bit stiff as boxers go. Would probably try to find some lighter cotton.

Also, I’ve posted a review on Pattern Review: my review.

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Dec 27 2010

Tommy Boxers: Part 5

Published by under Sewing

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Minnie approved!

These boxers are Minnie approved!

It’s the last day of the Tommy Boxer walkthrough so let’s finish them up.

Sew the Fly

The fly to start

Here’s what your fly should look like right now.

Folding under the bottom corner of the fly

Lift the top flat and fold the corner of the bottom layer under.

Folding under second corner of fly

Then fold the top layer under as well so the edges match up and pin in place.

Fly pinned to be topstitched

Stitch down the right side (looking from the inside), down around the bottom, and up the left, being sure not to catch the right side into the sewing on the way back up — otherwise the fly won’t open!

Bottom of fly

Give an extra little zig zag on the bottom to secure.

Pinning elastic in place

And stitch in line with the bottom elastic seam to secure the top part.

Crotch seam

Topstitched fly seam

Our final seam which goes across the bum.

Pinning hte crotch

Pin the crotch seam and sew it. Same seam allowance as before. Press your seams open and then closed.

Crotch seam

And finish off. As before, I’ve chosen to use a serger.

Reinforce bottom seam top stitching

Once again, reinforce from the outside with some top-stitching.

Vents and Hems

Finished vent

Our last step is the bottom hem. First sew each vent. You’ll be sewing up one side, zig zag across and then down the other side. You’ll nee to open up the bottom hem for this.

Finished hem

Press hte bottom hem in place and stitch.

Finished Tommy Boxer Shorts

And you’re done! Enjoy your new boxers.

Hope you enjoyed this walkthrough and that it was helpful. I’ll have a review of the pattern as well, but to summarize: I really like this pattern and will use it to make many more boxers.

Here are the other parts in case you missed them:
Tommy Boxers: Part 1
Tommy Boxers: Part 2
Tommy Boxers: Part 3
Tommy Boxers: Part 4

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Dec 23 2010

Tommy Boxers: Part 4

Published by under Sewing

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Today we’re doing the elastic This walkthrough assumes you’ve bought the pattern which has very detailed instructions on how to pin the elastic. So I’m not going to go into some of the measurement details, but will show you what it looked like for me so you can tell you’re on the right track.

Attaching the elastic

Sewing in end of elastic

Tuck the sport elastic into the pocket made with the fly on the right side of the boxers. Stitch in place.

Pinning elastic in place at end

Pin the rest of the elastic in place at the points specified in the pattern. (This is the part where the pattern has a table of measurements for you to follow.)

Stitching the sport elastic

Stitch the sport elastic in the 4 channels. You’ll want to hold the fabric such that the elastic is stretched but the fabric is flat.

Finished sport elastic

Here’s what teh right side looks like after it’s sewn. Like real boxers!

Inside of finished sport elastic

And from the inside. I’ll probably push the elastic a bit higher next time so there’s not so much of a ruffle at the top.

Pinning the end of the sport elastic

Overlap the two parts of the fly and pin to secure in place.

Tomorrow is Food Friday and Christmas Eve so we’ll finish up on Saturday.

Update: In case you missed them, here are the other parts:
Tommy Boxers: Part 1
Tommy Boxers: Part 2
Tommy Boxers: Part 3
Tommy Boxers: Part 5

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Dec 22 2010

Tommy Boxers: Part 3

Published by under Sewing

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Today we’re working on sewing the fly and getting some real sewing done. This is a longer post but only because I have a lot of photos, not because it’s more complicated.

Folding the Fly

One side of fly

The two sides of the fly look the same, but mirror images of each other. We’ll start with the left side of the boxers which means the fly part is on the right.

Measuring fly to get correct width

Fold over 1.5″ and then fold over 1.5″ again. Press, of course. The second fold should be at the point where the slit into this piece starts.

Sewing top edge of other side of fly

Stitch 1/8″ from the edge at the top to hold the folds in place.

First fold for fly

Now take the other side. Press over 1/4″. Use your guide if you like.

Second fold for fly

Then press over 1.5″. You’ll notice this one sticks past the edge. This is because it will overlap onto the other one giving us the fly as we know it.

Sewing top edge of fly

And once again stitch 1/8″ from the top to secure the fly. This will make a pocket for our elastic later s well.

Sewing the shorts together

Now we get to actually see our boxers start to take shape as we do the side seams.

Pinning side seam

Pin the seams together. You’ll have to open up the hems you ironed before, as well as the vents. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance and . . .

Side seam at the vent

. . . only sew down until the slit above the vent where you should back stitch to secure.

Do this for both sides.

Serging the seam

Next finish off your seams. You can use a simple zig zag stitch or I like to use my serger.
Topstitching

Then I like to top stitch from the outside. It gives a nice clean finish.

(This part was annoying because I was using white thread to sew the inside, but I wanted brown topstitching so I had to keep switching threads :P)

Press hems and vents back into place.

Pin & sewed curved part of the fly

Next pin the crotch into place and sew.

Serged curved part of the fly

Again finish.

Another quick note: I like to press all my seams open before finishing them off with the serger.

And that’s all for today. Tomorrow we’ll move on to elastic.

Update: In case you missed them, here are the other parts:
Tommy Boxers: Part 1
Tommy Boxers: Part 2
Tommy Boxers: Part 4
Tommy Boxers: Part 5

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Dec 21 2010

Tommy Boxers: Part 2

Published by under Sewing

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First thing we have to do today is a lot of folding in preparation to sew. There are actually very few seams. But if I learned anything in my sewing class it was a) use a new needle each project and b) your iron is your best friend.

Side vent to be folded

So we’ll start with the side vents. We’re going to be making vents on each side of the boxers which means 4 sides (since each vent as 2 sides). The picture above is one of the sides pre-folding.

Fold the side vents

First fold on side vent

Go ahead and fold over once so that the folded edge is in line with the cut edge above. Press.

Second fold on side vent

Now fold over one more time as far as your little cut above the vent allows. Press.

Repeat that for the other three vents.

Next we’re going to fold & press our hems.

Fold the hems

The pattern includes this handy guide for pressing hems. You simply lay it on your fabric and fold over until your fabric meets the desired line. The guide includes a straight edge and a curved edge which is used for the top of the back of the shorts.

However, I actually found it easier to just eye ball it and I don’t think it will make a big difference if you’re 1/8 of inch off for these things. Honestly, no one should be looking at my husband’s boxers that close except me.

In any case, if you are totally OCD about your hems, the guide is handy.

Using guide for folding

So we’ll start with the bottom of the shorts. Fold over 1/4 inch.

Fold hem at bottom of leg openings

Then fold over another quarter inch.

You’ve got 4 bottom edges and each will hit one of the 4 vent folds. When you get to the vent, just fold the hem like normal. It’ll be a bit thick where it folds over the vent but it’s fine when it’s sewn.

Fold down top edge

Next we’ll fold the top of each piece. For the top, we do 1/2 inch but only fold over once.

Tomorrow we’ll work on the fly.

Update: In case you missed them, here are the other parts:
Tommy Boxers: Part 1
Tommy Boxers: Part 3
Tommy Boxers: Part 4
Tommy Boxers: Part 5

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Dec 20 2010

Tommy Boxers: Part 1

Published by under Sewing

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Today we’re starting the walkthrough of making Tommy Boxers.

Tommy Boxer materials

First thing I did was buy the pattern. I bought mine from Sew, Mama, Sew, one of my favorite sewing sites. They have a great blog with lots of fun projects and a wonderful selection of fabrics. The pattern is downloadable right after you pay. Instant gratification!

As with all downloadable patterns, first thing to do is print it out, cut it out and past it together. This is a great thing to do while watching TV. Before printing it out, you’ll need to figure out what size you need to print. I just measured one of hubby’s old boxers that he likes and they have a conversion from existing short measurement to their sizes. Excellent.

Here are my pattern pieces all assembled.

Pattern assembled

Next cut out your pieces. There’s only 3 pieces. Couldn’t be easier! The only materials for this are 1.25 yards of fabric, sport elastic (see photo at the top), and the usual thread, machine, etc. Pretty simple. And great to make with those random pieces of fabric you have leftover from bigger projects.

Pieces laide out to be cut

We’ll continue tomorrow with what to do when you’ve cut out the pieces.

Update: In case you missed them, here are the other parts:
Tommy Boxers: Part 2
Tommy Boxers: Part 3
Tommy Boxers: Part 4
Tommy Boxers: Part 5

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Dec 18 2010

Tommy Boxers

Published by under Sewing

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Here’s the next project I’ll be working on. The Tommy Boxer shorts by Sis Boom/Jennifer Paganelli. I’m making them for Frank, but will probably also make a pair for me just for kicks. I haven’t been able to find decent men’s boxers in prints I like for a reasonable price. We bought some for Frank at a discount store, but they were like wearing parachute pants or plastic bags. So I’ve decided to make them myself.

Boxers are not hard. I’ve made them before though not with a real fly. And if these go well, I can make several pairs at once and streamline. Over the next week I’ll be posting a walkthrough of making the Tommy Boxers.

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