Friday, February 19, 2010


This is one for all the lovebirds out there who put any stock whatsoever in Valentine’s Day. First of all, you’re all fools. Fools I say. Perhaps this is harsh of me, or perhaps it is not completely unfair of me to loathe any holiday completely over-taken by greeting card companies. Don’t get me wrong, the idea behind the holiday is still a very nice one, but sappy greeting cards, tacky flower arrangements, and chocolates in heart shaped boxes don’t really say that you care. Unfortunately, the commercialization of this holiday is almost exclusively American. There are still plenty of places around the world with the right idea. Take Finland for example; instead of a holiday for lovers, they celebrate a day of friends. Or the Slovenians, who believe it to be a day that birds are married, which is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. Or the Brazilians perhaps, who skip the holiday altogether and celebrate Carnival, a whole week of celebration in honor of sex and debauchery. Yes please! Don’t think me to be a poor, single, bleeding heart. Quite the contrary in fact, but I still believe in the power of a hand-made gift, and I sincerely believe that any gift worth giving is worth putting a little effort into. That being said, nothing says Valentines Day, other than a Christian martyr, like matching handmade underwear.

At first glance, the pattern piece for a pair of briefs is an extremely odd one, but once they are put together it makes perfect sense. Let me start by saying that making men’s briefs are not in the least bit difficult or even very time consuming. I would urge those who wish to make their own, however, to start with a pair you like the fit of and make a pattern from there. I ended up using Kwik Sew pattern number 2334 and they were more or less the male equivalent to granny panties. Once I made the first pair, I made a couple of changes to the pattern and it made all the difference, but were I to make them again I would certainly be making even further changes. The other major thing that I gleaned from this project is that the ideal fabric is very specific. I chose to make mine of a basic cotton knit because I really liked the colors, but it ended up being far too thick and completely lacking in the necessary spring-back quality. This resulted in lettuce-edged leg bindings and saggy, non-supportive crotches. I assure you, these qualities aren’t in the least bit sexy. The pattern used ¼” seam allowances and was completely stitched together using a narrow zigzag.

The first step is to attach the bindings for the fly openings. Simply pin and stitch with right sides facing.

Next fold the seam allowances towards the wrong side to cover the stitches that were just made. Pin into place and topstitch on the right side close to the edge of the first seam.

Now overlap the left front over the right front and pin into place at all marked notches. Stitch the two layers together at the top.

The next step is to attach the fly stay pieces. These pieces do exactly as they are named. As there are two layers for the fly, these pieces hold the bottom layer in place. First, press the raw edges towards the wrong side of the fabric. The pattern instructions say to press them towards the middle but I found this to create a very wide piece, so I would recommend overlapping the pieces a bit to make them just a bit smaller than they recommend.

Next, pin and topstitch both pieces down close to each edge. Each piece is longer than it needs to be, so once they are stitched, simply trim of the extra bits.

The next step is connecting the crotch pieces and it’s the most fun. It’s a little tricky to wrap your brain around at first, but for some reason I always have a fondness for these types of seams. First pin the bottom layer to the bottom edge wrong sides together matching notches. 

Unfortunately the next step is the tricky part and is paired with a photo that doesn’t quite capture the technique but try and wrap your brain around it anyway. Take the top crotch piece (the one not already pinned) and wrap it all the way around the underwear until it reaches the bottom layer. Then pin and sew all three layers together, pinning the top piece right sides together.

After the crotch seam is sewn, the underwear will really start to look like underwear. The next step is the leg binding and either there was a misprint in the instructions or the pattern piece should have been cut with the stretch going the opposite direction. Either way, the way the instructions tell you to sew on the leg bindings is not really possible. Both the leg bindings and the elastic will start out a bit smaller than the pieces they will be sewn to, so the first step is to divide all pieces into quarters with pins. This just makes it easier to give each section the right amount of stretch. Fold the binding pieces in half wrong sides together and pin and stitch with right sides and raw edges together.

Now trim the seam allowances a bit and fold the binding to the wrong sides covering the seam allowance.  Then topstitch close to the edge. On my next pair I think I’ll opt out of doubling up on the fabric for the leg binding. It would be a lot easier to sew through less fabric on such a small seam allowance. Next time.

The last step is to attach the elastic which is the one step that I would really have preferred the use of a topstitch machine. Something about the zigzag stitch on the elastic, even with perfectly matching thread, doesn’t rub me the right way. It would be great, but not nearly as many people see my underwear these days, so it doesn’t make much of a difference. We’ll never be able to wear them due to the problems I listed earlier on, but they sure turned out cute anyway. So cute, that I really can’t wait to make another pair out of an appropriate fabric. I know that many of you probably totally skipped the instructions to try and catch a glimpse of me in my underwear and I’m terribly sorry to disappoint, but were I to show that picture you might have gotten a little more than you bargained for. And this just isn’t that kind of blog.

this was actually posted by SWEATSHOP_WARRIOR 
he just wasn't logged in properly


Ivanhoe Books - Art And Design said...

Mon Dieu! Saggy, unsupported crotches! Gorgeous manties ;)

photo talk with siri & tanja said...

omg LOVE! i seriously just fell off my couch laughing so hard at the end, because of course i scrolled down hoping to see daniel in his manties!!

YHBHS said...


of course, why didn't anyone else think of that?