Monday, August 10, 2009

Tutorial for boy's briefs - Part 1

Note: Clicking on the photos will open up a larger sized one so you can see the details better.

Assemble your pattern pieces. If it is a multi-sized pattern, it is best to trace the size you need and cut the pieces out so you don't ruin the other sizes; it is also easier to cut the right size out if you do this.

Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric. I chose a print for the body of the briefs and a solid for the fly facing, fly stay and leg bands, so you only see the brief body in this picture. You can pay a good amount for pattern weights or go to the local hardware store like we did and get several 3" washers and use them. The last pattern weights I saw for sale were nothing but washers covered in fabric anyway!

I traced around the pattern since I am using weights. Notice on the pattern that I transferred the marking for the fly stay. This will be an important marking to have.

Fold back the pattern along the fly stay line and mark the fabric on both sides - you can do the back side after cutting out the brief body piece by turning the pattern piece upside down and folding it so the line shows.

Here you can see the line traced onto the fabric. You can use a washable marking device; I used a regular fine point marker since this will be covered and it really doesn't matter if it washes out or not.

Cut out the fly stay, fly facing and leg band, making sure you have the stretch and grain of the fabric going in the right direction.

Here are my three solid color pattern pieces cut out from a coordinating fabric.

A picture of the pattern pieces all cut out.

Leaving a small amount extra on each end, pin the fly facing to the brief body. If you are using a printed fabric or one with an obvious right and wrong side, you want these pieces right sides together. With my fabric, it doesn't matter because ribbing is the same on both sides. Sew to the body with a medium width zigzag stitch or narrow serger stitch. I prefer the regular machine since there is so much regular stitching on these briefs. With my standard Kenmore, the width is 2.5 and the length is 2; with my Janome QC4800 the length and width are both 2.5.

Here are both the fly facings sewn to the brief body.

With the seam facing away from the brief body, fold the rest of the facing over it and then under the seam. Pin in place. You will have leftover fabric overlapping onto the brief body.

Using the same medium zigzag stitch, sew on the top side of the brief close to the seam line. This will leave you with a narrow band of fly facing covering the seam.

Turn the brief over and trim the excess fabric from the fly facing, being careful not to cut through the brief body piece.

Lay the brief body on a table so that the fly pieces overlap and the dart at the top of the briefs matches up. Pin along the fly stay lines from the top of the brief body to the bottom of the fly facing, leaving room for the machine to baste the center piece.

Using a long straight stitch, baste the center pieces together. This will make the next several steps much easier than if it is left un-basted.

Using an iron on the appropriate setting, fold the fly stay in half lengthwise and press it into place. If using fabric with a print, fold the fabric right sides together.

Open up the fabric and, one side at a time, fold the center in to the middle and press it into place, wrong sides together. Don't iron it back and forth or you will stretch the knit out of shape.

A picture of the two pieces of fly stay pressed as directed with folded sides up. It is, in effect, a piece of self-fabric bias tape.

Slide a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the brief body to keep the pieces from being pinned together during the next step.
Carefully pin the fly stay, folds down, along the fly stay line you traced onto the fabric, having the line in the center of the fly stay. Make sure both pieces of brief body fabric are under the fly stay. The bottom edges of the facing will be right at the outer edge of the fly stay.

(Note: at this point you may need to switch to a larger needle to avoid skipped stitches, if you haven't already done so.)
Using your medium width zigzag stitch, sew a seam down both sides of the fly stay, making sure not to catch in the back of the briefs while sewing. Check to make sure that at least one of the seam lines catches in the edges of the fly facing and up to the top of the edge of the fabric above it.

Lay the briefs on your work space with the waist toward you. Folding up the top piece of the overlapping fabric, pin the bottom piece to the back of the brief wrong sides together, matching notches.

Turn the brief over so the back is facing up, placing the part you pinned toward you and the other part of the free flap away from you. Roll the top edge of the brief down toward the pinned edges of the brief.

...Continued in next post...

Tutorial for boy's briefs - Part 2

...Continued from last entry...

Bring the flap of fabric up and around the rolled-up briefs body so that it matches up with the pinned part. Removing one pin at a time, add this flap to the other two pieces of fabric, with the right side facing the other pieces.

Back view of pinned sections.

Front view of pinned sections.

Using an overlock stitch, a slightly longer than normal straight stitch finished with a zigzag stich, or using a serger, sew and finish off the edges of the crotch seam.

Turn right side out and pin the lower edges of the fly stays to the darts on the front of the brief body.

Starting at the pins, baste the edges of the crotch pieces together. This will make applying the leg bands easier.

A pic of the basted crotch area.

Take the leg bands and, right sides together, sew the short ends together with a straight stitch.

Fold the pieces wrong sides together, lengthwise, and mark the center opposite the seam. Mark the center opposite the crotch seam on the brief body. Match up the seams and centers and pin. Stretching the leg band to fit, pin in a couple places between the other pins so that it is evenly distributed. Sew bands to brief body using a medium zigzag stitch.

Fold the bands over the seams and under them, then pin to make a narrow leg facing.

Using the medium zigzag stitch, sew around the top side of the binding close to the seam.

Picture of the leg bands applied to the brief body

Cut elastic as directed in your pattern. Note: My pattern calls for 1 1/4" elastic, but since my grandsons wear a size 6, I used a 1" elastic instead. I've also used FOE. It really doesn't matter as long as it looks nice.

Using a straight stitch, sew the elastic right sides together at the short ends. On most waistband elastics, one side is a bit softer than the other; this is how you can tell which side is the right side.

Finger-press the seam open and sew it open using a lightning zigzag stitch.

At this point I applied the top only of the size tag over the center back seam.

Using pins, quarter and mark the elastic and the brief body. Slide the elastic over the briefs and line up the pins and attach the elastic to the briefs, placing the wrong side of the elastic against the right side of the brief body.

Sew the elastic to the brief body, using a lightning zigzag stitch and stretching the elastic as needed.

Trim the fabric under the elastic, being careful not to cut through the elastic or briefs fabric. At this point I attached the bottom of the size tag with the lightning zigzag stitch so it conceals the center seam; this helps prevent irritation and itchiness.

A picture of the finished briefs.

A picture of the 3 pair of briefs I made this weekend for my daughter's 3 potty-trained boys.