For me sewing a simple pajama shorts is easy- it is a perfect beginner sewing project that could be sewn from start to finish in even less than half an hour. But men’s boxer shorts baffled me with its concealed fly placket, buttonholes, and the separate waistband- till I decided to take one apart.
I cut apart an old boxer brief belonging to my husband ( It has seen some wear – a boxer shorts is one of the most comfortable garments for men ) – this is as simple as simple could be – I am happy – simple and easy sewing is my forte. Hurray. More home stitched boxer shorts. Maybe.If he is sweet enough.
Note: When I sew this I very obviously did not know how to cut and sew with checks – the patterns do not have matching checks! If you are interested to know check out the post “What is Plaid? Plaid Vz heck Vz Tartan. You can also look at the different types of checkered fabric patterns – checks are the best for boxers.
Cut out the 2 pieces for the back as per the pattern below.
Keep both the pieces together (rightsides inside ) and stitch the crotch seam. FInsih the edges with serging or zig zag.
Hem the bottom edge of the legs . I turned under 1/2 inch twice and stitched the hem in place.
Your back pattern will look like this now. Keep aside
Cut out the two pieces for the front as per the pattern below
You have to add button and buttonhole plackets to the front fly area.
Lay the two pieces down , rightside up. The one on the left ( this will come on the rightside on the body) will have the (smaller) button placket. The one on the right will have a wider buttonhole placket. It will be sewn so that it is concealed. You will not see the buttonhole and button from the rightside , when sewn this way.
Cut out the 2 placket pieces
Now we will be sewing the plackets to the fly area.
Start with the smaller button placket
Fold the placket piece by the middle; rightsides out. Finish the long edge and the bottom edge with a serger or zig zag stitch.
Keep the folded placket piece on top of the leg piece , so that, the stitched edge of the placket is on top of the fly length of the leg pattern piece
Open the placket to the other side. Iron from the top. The left side piece will look like this now, with the placket projecting out.This is your button placket
Now take the other placket piece and front leg piece
Fold the placket piece by center. Finish the edges of the placket the same way as you did with the other placket – side edge and bottom edge
Keep it on the edge of the fly part of the leg piece the same way you did with the other leg; stitch in place
You have a big placket piece here. Now fold it by the center, upwards. Now it is half its width. Refer Picture below. Iron this fold in place
Now open up this fold. You have to attach button and buttonhole. You can do the buttonhole sewing and button sewing by machine easily. Checkout the posts on making a buttonhole with your sewing machine here and how to correctly sew buttons. But since it is a lone button here I made the buttonhole by hand. Check out the tutorial to sew a buttonhole by hand perfectly here.
Now fold back the buttonhole placket same way that you did earlier. You have to fold it again to the back .
It will look like this now, Placket folded to the back. You can pin the top edge of the folds in place. I somehow skipped the top stitching of the fly part. It will keep the fold at the top in place
Now arrange the two front pieces so that the plackets are correctly overlapping. Baste stitch the top in in place (red line above)
The button placket will be concealed like this
Stitch the crotch seam of the front legs from the inside
Now stitch the hem of the legs . Turn under the edges 1/2 inch twice and stitch in place for a simple hem.
Sew the back and front pieces together at the side seams and inner leg seams .The leg part of the boxer shorts is ready. Now we have to attach a waistband
Take out the waistband piece you have cut out. Join the edge together so that it is a circle now. It should be the exact same dimension as the top edge of your shorts.
Keeping the fabrics rightsides together, stitch the waistband edge to the shorts’ top edge. Stitch in place.
Turn to the other side and stitch. For a neater finish stitch in the ditch from the top catching the fold of the waistband on the backside. Remember to leave some 1-2 inches unstitched to insert the elastic.
Insert an 1/2 inch elastic ( measure around the place where the shorts will be worn. Add 1″ extra. This is the length of elastic you need to insert – if you want tighter reduce 1″).Stitch the hole closed. If you have fold over elastic, you can simply attach the elastic to the back of the waistband – no more inserting elastic into the casing etc. Easier the better. This is how it is done in the Levis brand of boxer shorts. So there.