If you’ve been following The Refashioners 2016 you may have seen an absolutely brilliant jeans refashion by Joost de Cock, which sent us all scurrying off to his website to see what other amazingness he had been up to. He has a site called MakeMyPattern, with several patterns (mostly for men), which are all available free under the Creative Commons license, although there is an opportunity to make a donation, and I read somewhere that Joost donates all the donated money to charity on his birthday. What’s nice about the site is that the patterns are designed to encourage men to sew for themselves, and it appears that many people who make the patterns are, in fact, men. Fabulous! Although I have to say that I would never ask Mark to sew for himself as he might then expect me to cook :-P.
I immediately wanted to make all the things (the trousers, the shirt, and the hoodie), but the undies did catch my eye as I’ve always wanted to make them for Mark, and then I saw Meggipeg’s makes for her husband and sons and immediately moved the boxers to the top of my sewing list.
As Megan mentions, specific measurements are input into the website, which must use some clever sort of algorithm because a pattern is generated to fit the individual. It even accommodates the width of elastic which you might be using, and it also defaults to 20% negative ease, but this can be adjusted depending on the stretch in the fabric being used.
The first three pairs were made from cotton/spandex from Knitwit, using some elastic from my stash.
The back view
The instructions are really straightforward and easy to follow. The only change I made was with the front dart. There are two fronts sewn together and the dart is supposed to be sewn with the seam next to the body. I didn’t like this (at all), so simply sewed the dart in the outside layer right sides together, and then, using the burrito method, sewed the inside dart with right sides together. When sewn it looks like this with the two darts on the edges in this photo, and which are completely encased when turned right sides out.
The inside and the outside now look identical and I think more comfortable to wear as well as looking nicer. By the time I was on my third pair, I no longer used my sewing machine, but did everything on the overlocker. I did also elongate the top edge of the dart as it was disturbingly pointy, and this minor adjustment made it sit a bit better.
I realised after the first pair that if I sewed the darts as the first step I wouldn’t have to faff around with the burrito bit, so did have a go at this. I still needed to burrito one of the side seams, but I got confused and completely stuffed up the construction, and didn’t realise until I had done the coverstitching. Needless to say I am now really good at unpicking coverstitching!
I got Mark to try the first pair on way before they were finished as they looked a bit big. They seemed fine, but then I had him try them again when I just had the elastic tacked on. He put them on and refused to take them off as they were so comfortable, so they had to be laundered and dried before I could finish them. He then asked for another eight pairs. Eight? Eight??? Okaaay, I can do that.
I started looking for viscose in my stash as this is the fabric of choice for Joost. I did find some white viscose, but it didn’t appeal, so I hied off to Knitwit to see if they had any. Nope, no plain viscose at all, so I decided to make myself a top from black and caramel striped viscose and make Mark a pair of boxers from the leftovers. I rather like these and decided to put my label on the back. He was thrilled!
I used some op-shop elastic for these – and it is superb elastic, which will be enough for many pairs of boxers.
I then made two more pairs from fine knit scraps, thinking they were cotton, but one pair are, in fact, merino, so I hope they don’t itch! Again I used elastic which I had found in an op-shop. There is enough of the Jockey elastic for another couple of pairs.
so, that’s seven pairs complete and I have found enough fabric for another couple, so I will meet my KPI of nine pairs. Phew! I might get a bonus at Christmas 🙂