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This badge bit (BB) is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in textiles.

In this project, you will make and sew pair of panties, boxers, or briefs.

Minimum requirements:
  - make one pair of panties, boxers or briefs
  - use a natural fabric
  - knit fabric is okay as long as it's natural fiber
   
To document completion of the BB, provide proof of the following as pics or video (< 2min):
  - A description of which you will make
  - The fabric and tools you will use for your project
  - Sewing in progress
  - Finished panties, boxers, or briefs
 
You can find instructions in these articles:
 - How To Sew Panties
 - Men’s Boxer shorts – Free sewing pattern & tutorial
 - Men's Briefs - PDF pattern

Or with these videos:


COMMENTS:
 
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Clarification: are we allowed to use elastic? The video tutorials provided use elastic, but it’s made of polyester and rubber which I would assume would normally be against the rules of BBs. Just want to double check before I start work on this
 
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You're right about it not being made from awesome material.

It would be better not to use, but I also know modern comfort likes an elastic (note, before the 20th-century elastic tech wasn't good enough for clothing like this, so most of human history we didn't have it in their undergarments).  

If you can do it without, that would be best.

If you feel you must use it, I would suggest making it so the synthetic won't touch the skin.  

We'll chat about this behind the scenes and things might change later.  
 
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The boxer shorts could be very easy to make without elastic. If the waistband is a casing with an opening (possibly just a wide buttonhole?) for a drawstring. A wide drawstring sewn from the same light fabric, or a ribbon, might be more comfortable than an actual string (like what's common on swimming trunks or sweatpants).
Another option would be to add a button at the waist, and a fly, to open like a pair of pants, with buttons or hooks (some boxers, not the ones in the video above, have a buttoned opening in front "for access"). The waist would need to be a measured fit, like pants. One could possibly have a row of buttons (like on a shirt cuff), or some other ties, or tabs with buttons at the hips, to be slightly adjustable.
 
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I'm going to take the plunge. I got one too many pairs of underwear that wasn't up to my comfort and quality standards, so I used a couple of 100% cotton T-shirts that had damage that made them unusable, but still had plenty of good fabric. My machine doesn't do stretch stitch well, so I sewed them all by hand with cotton thread using a stretch stitch video that was posted here on permies. My local favorite fabric shop has "cotton elastic for swimsuits" - but I still encased it and only used it at the waist - I used the knit edging around the neckline to give a little stretch to the leg holes. I've finished 3 pairs and am working on a 4th and I'm using them exclusively unless the laundry gets backed up and I'm forced to use an old pair.

So the first pair was made from a disassembled pair that was worn out. The problem was that it had warped from use, so before I made the second pair, I used it to design a paper pattern.

https://permies.com/t/102665/a/181717/paper-pattern-laid-out-on-old-shirt.jpg

This picture also shows some more of the equipment I used, but it was all pretty basic.


I suspect that when I took this picture, the other yellow pair was on me. I truly hope you're willing to take my word for the fact that they fit and I wear them!
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I haven't purchased underwear for myself since 2013. When it started wearing out, I spent some time searching for a 100% natural fibre alternative, which proved to be very difficult! I tried several versions of underwear in the above bikini-style made of old cotton t-shirts, but I found that, without elastic, it wasn't too long before they sagged and started trying to fall off my hips while in use. I went through versions of the same with a drawstring, but ran into trouble with the drawstring snapping while out and about, and the crotch eventually sagging out as well. At this point, I determined that perhaps knit fabrics were not the best option for this job, and researched historical undergarments made with wovens.

I ran across a pattern for Edwardian cycling bloomers and thought--aha! This is what I was looking for! I cut out all the lacy frilly bits, and cut the length substantially, and they work great. I made my first pair back in 2017 out of the edges of an old, threadbare bedsheet, and it only just wore out. This pair of underwear was made to replace it. The fabric is 100% cotton muslin, and the thread is cotton. The buttons are re-used vintage buttons I've collected over the years. They work great under pants, shorts, etc, and by modifying the number and placement of darts, the same pattern works for my partner also.
mb-bb-textiles-straw-sew-underpants-1.JPG
Cutting, sewing, and ironing the fabric
Cutting, sewing, and ironing the fabric
mb-bb-textiles-straw-sew-underpants-2.JPG
Sewing buttonholes; finished underwear
Sewing buttonholes; finished underwear
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M Broussard wrote: At this point, I determined that perhaps knit fabrics were not the best option for this job, and researched historical undergarments made with wovens.

I ran across a pattern for Edwardian cycling bloomers and thought--aha! This is what I was looking for!



Any chance you could share the pattern and mods, I'd be interested in trying to make a pair of these!
 
M Broussard
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Zoe Ward wrote:
Any chance you could share the pattern and mods, I'd be interested in trying to make a pair of these!



The pattern was "Bloomers for Cycling" by Black Snail Patterns, which is still available for free here.

As for modifications -- I just cut the legs short enough so they wouldn't poke down out of my shorts (no buttoned cuffs or messing with plackets, just a rolled hem), and added 6 pleats to the top prior to attaching the waistband for a more form fitting look. The pleats I used were 2cm wide by 8cm long: two in the front (one on each panel) and four in the back (two on each panel). The number and shape of pleats you'd want will vary based on your size, shape, and the base pattern size you use. I only put in 4 pleats using the same pattern for my husband and it works great.

I changed the closure to be a single button in the centre front rather than a series along the side -- no cuts or anything, just fold the fabric over and insert button (you can see this in the photos above). The great thing is that with a button and button hole at the waistband like this, you can just move the button if you need an increase or decrease in waist size -- a very easy modification.
 
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M Broussard wrote: The great thing is that with a button and button hole at the waistband like this, you can just move the button if you need an increase or decrease in waist size -- a very easy modification.

There are some people whose waistlines change on a monthly cycle basis - so by putting several buttons on the waistband,  the size would be adjustable up and down as needed.
 
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I chose boxers since I could do a drawstring and not use elastic. I have some all-cotton pajama material with pea pods on them. I have a Singer sewing machine, among others, the pattern I found on the internet which wasn't that good so I won't post the link, and all the bits and bobs you need to sew: thread, needles, scissors, notions. I made the drawstring from some cotton yarn I bought. The drawstring was made with a 2.5mm crochet hook and is called an i-cord. It's a 3 loop cord that naturally curls up, kinda cool. I top stitched the seam I made in the waistband so that when threading the cord, it doesn't get stuck. Seems like a superfluous step but it makes life easier and it looks nice.

Supplies.jpg
[Thumbnail for Supplies.jpg]
Actually-Sewing.jpg
[Thumbnail for Actually-Sewing.jpg]
Front-back-waistband.jpg
[Thumbnail for Front-back-waistband.jpg]
Reinforcing-the-drawstring-holes.jpg
[Thumbnail for Reinforcing-the-drawstring-holes.jpg]
Eyelet-drawstring-holes.jpg
[Thumbnail for Eyelet-drawstring-holes.jpg]
Topstitch-seam-on-waistband.jpg
[Thumbnail for Topstitch-seam-on-waistband.jpg]
Wasitband-pinned-to-shorts.jpg
[Thumbnail for Wasitband-pinned-to-shorts.jpg]
Hemmed-the-legs.jpg
[Thumbnail for Hemmed-the-legs.jpg]
Shorts-are-complete.jpg
[Thumbnail for Shorts-are-complete.jpg]
Started-the-cord.jpg
[Thumbnail for Started-the-cord.jpg]
icord-crocheted.jpg
[Thumbnail for icord-crocheted.jpg]
Threading-the-iCord-into-the-shorts.jpg
[Thumbnail for Threading-the-iCord-into-the-shorts.jpg]
They-are-finished.jpg
[Thumbnail for They-are-finished.jpg]
Wearing-them.jpg
[Thumbnail for Wearing-them.jpg]
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M Broussard wrote:I haven't purchased underwear for myself since 2013. When it started wearing out, I spent some time searching for a 100% natural fibre alternative, which proved to be very difficult! I tried several versions of underwear in the above bikini-style made of old cotton t-shirts, but I found that, without elastic, it wasn't too long before they sagged and started trying to fall off my hips while in use. I went through versions of the same with a drawstring, but ran into trouble with the drawstring snapping while out and about, and the crotch eventually sagging out as well. At this point, I determined that perhaps knit fabrics were not the best option for this job, and researched historical undergarments made with wovens.

I ran across a pattern for Edwardian cycling bloomers and thought--aha! This is what I was looking for! I cut out all the lacy frilly bits, and cut the length substantially, and they work great. I made my first pair back in 2017 out of the edges of an old, threadbare bedsheet, and it only just wore out. This pair of underwear was made to replace it. The fabric is 100% cotton muslin, and the thread is cotton. The buttons are re-used vintage buttons I've collected over the years. They work great under pants, shorts, etc, and by modifying the number and placement of darts, the same pattern works for my partner also.



This is such a great idea.  I hate women's briefs because the elastic on the legs is so uncomfortable and when it stretches and sags it rides up.  One day when I had no clean undies I took one of my son's boxer briefs and was so comfortable they became my favorite, despite the double fabric in front. When I went to buy my own I was dismayed at the price, and the addition of synthetic content even to the "all cotton" ones.   Could you share the pattern that you worked out to make these boxers.  Not having to even sew on elastic at the waist sounds great!
 
Freyda Black
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Jay Angler wrote:I'm going to take the plunge. I got one too many pairs of underwear that wasn't up to my comfort and quality standards, so I used a couple of 100% cotton T-shirts that had damage that made them unusable, but still had plenty of good fabric. My machine doesn't do stretch stitch well, so I sewed them all by hand with cotton thread using a stretch stitch video that was posted here on permies. My local favorite fabric shop has "cotton elastic for swimsuits" - but I still encased it and only used it at the waist - I used the knit edging around the neckline to give a little stretch to the leg holes. I've finished 3 pairs and am working on a 4th and I'm using them exclusively unless the laundry gets backed up and I'm forced to use an old pair.
So the first pair was made from a disassembled pair that was worn out. The problem was that it had warped from use, so before I made the second pair, I used it to design a paper pattern.



I have looked at all three patterns, panties, boxer shorts, briefs, and none have what I need!  
I have fallen in love with boxer briefs,  that is, jersey fabric like panties/briefs, but with some leg like boxers.  I can't use the boxer pattern because I want a separate piece of fabric for the crotch.  like panties.  Any seam in the crotch is out!  I can't take apart a pair of boxer briefs to make a pattern, that's beyond my skill set and I don't want the overlapped fabric in the front anyway.   Plus,  sequence of sewing parts together is something I can't figure out.  

So my ask is,  can anyone make a pattern for jersey boxer briefs/panties with legs? If you could, that would be awesome, and I can use some of my many raggy t-shirts with various holes in them . I never throw out worn out clothes and I have too many bags of rags!

Thanks.
 
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Hi,  Freyda I will be able to work out a pattern for you.  I can make it for my size and adjust to my daughter’s size, then people will have a large and a small pattern.  Would that be helpful?

 
Freyda Black
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That would be awesome Heidi! I'm sure it would benefit lots of other Permies too.  Thank you so much.
 
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