The Peppermint Stick Boxers

The Sips N Sews studio, where I do a lot of my project work, offers several beginner’s sewing classes. One of them is a “pajama shorts” class, otherwise known as boxer shorts.

Jess, the Sips N Sews operations manager, showed me the assembly steps for the pattern used in the class. I had about a yard of spare fabric after completing the Peppermint Stick Shirt, so I made matching boxers.

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The boxers use a casing for the elastic, which is typical – but you overlap the waistband at the front, and secure them with a stitching box, shown below. This is a different technique from the Simplicity 2741 boxers I first made as a beginner, and a good choice for a first sewing project. What’s more, it’s easy to open the waist band to adjust the elastic for the desired fit.

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Whereas the shirt has carefully turned flat-fell seams, with the boxers construction is more carefree. I made mock flat-fell seams by first stitching a 3/8 inch seam allowance with a conventional machine, then finishing the seam edges with a serger. I folded down the serged seam allowances and secured them with a line of stitching 1/4 inch from the first. The result looks like a flat-fell seam from the outside.

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Similarly, I used the serger to finish the seam allowances on the inside of the fly.

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Long ago, I had started an upcycle project to turn some old discarded dress shirts into boxers, which never went anywhere. I used the Sips N Sews class pattern to finish this “UFO” project. I made some pairs of upcycled shirts-to-boxers, adapting the shirt pieces in interesting ways.

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I removed and reused the shirt pockets as both functional and design features on the fronts. (With these white/blue stripe shorts, I actually made a pocket from light purple plaid scraps to get a color/pattern balance that I liked.)

The front shirt placket becomes a design feature on the front of the shorts.  I also added a button to the fly, to keep the fly closed as well as add to the “shirt” feel of the shorts.

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The shorts backs are fabricated from the shirt sleeves. The sleeve plackets turn into fun “kick pleats” on the back of the shorts legs.

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I’ve made the upcycled shirt boxers available for purchase at Sips N Sews, 1144 Sutter Street in San Francisco.

Finally, if you’re looking for a good beginner’s menswear project, boxer shorts are a great place to start.  The best online tutorial is the excellent sew-along at Male Pattern Boldness.

5 thoughts on “The Peppermint Stick Boxers

  1. Testosterone

    Inventive and delightful!

    Cotton shirting, positioned, pieced, and placed in the most deserving garment of soft, breathable, fabric.

    On behalf of man-parts everywhere, you are a pioneer of conscientious construction, and lauded accordingly.

    Reply

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