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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Genius ideas: Jalie's Gerald underwear for the male species and a couple of local geniuses

What goes around comes around and lately I am returning to more sewing for family.

I made all my children's clothes when they were little, but as they got to be teenagers, and I got more involved in my work, I sewed less for them and more just for myself.

This is changing. I am using my sewing again to communicate my family connections.

And in this family there are more than a few males.

Sewing for men is always interesting. 

Despite the fact that boys and men will wear a favourite garment past the stage of utility they can still be pretty fussy about what you sew for them. And also, until recently, there just haven't been many decent men's patterns around. Anyone who has made a Big 4 elephant sized pair of shorts or pyjama pants for a husband or son knows exactly what I mean.

So even knowing this a few years ago when weeding out some of my husband's most loved underpants from the laundry basket (as in weeding them right into the garbage)  I invested in a few underwear patterns. I think I had the very ambitious idea that I would sort of do a DIY upgrade of his underwear drawer, and that my spouse would be both impressed and very grateful.

Of course he didn't have a chance to be either. Once I looked through the instructions and realized how much binding, elastic, and little tiny pieces were involved, I ditched the idea. I think I went on to make myself a winter coat or something else less demanding.

So with all that in my history, Jalie's new release men and boys underwear pattern, short, longer and long johns really intrigued me.

What attracted me to this pattern was:

1. The waist was finished with encased elastic, no extra trip to the fabric store, and the hems were just hemmed.

2. The pieces were simple but very crafty, I knew all this pattern drafting thinking would give me a good fit.

3. The size range, as is typical for Jalie, went from very little and young to very large - I love the economy of this.

So let's start with the line drawing:

I decided to make my pairs without the trap door at the front, as both my subjects (age 3 and 65 ) confessed to never using those. Poppa Leo opted for the longer mid thigh length and Billy went for the shorter version.

Here are some detail shots giving you a sense of just how easy these were to make:

Back view, note there are no back or side seams which really makes them super comfortable according to the clients.

The front views and I could not resist super imposing the two pairs because I just thought this was so cute. Both are made of 100% cotton jersey. Note the interesting inseam gusset.

And finally the shot you have all been waiting for, the actual underwear on the actual guys who will wear them.

I have to tell you that during this photo shoot my son-in-law (Billy's dad) announced this was probably the strangest thing of many strange things that had happened at his house.

My husband, who generally is a pretty good sport, particularly when he senses that being a good sport is the quickest way to get me to stop talking about something, wondered if we couldn't do this picture taking in private. However when I pointed out I was going to post these pictures on the internet, and modesty was a dead cause anyway, he just gave up.

This is a really great pattern but sewers have to see it on to assess fit and make their own judgements.

I personally think they both look pretty cute:

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runlexlou said...

I literally laughed out loud when I read this post. Your observations what men want or don't want when it comes to clothing were spot on. I can't tell you how many articles of clothing my husband insists he can still wear, despite the worn corners on his shirt collars and threadbare patches in the seat of his pants. Too, too funny. I've been following your blog for a long time and really enjoy reading your posts!

annie said...

My husband has a favorite pair of pajama bottoms. How to explain this - the body of the pants has ripped away in places from the encased elastic waist band. The fabric has just worn thin. When I tried to tell him that they really couldn't be repaired, he got a couple of strips of duct tape! Thanks for letting me start the day with a laugh!

Sewingelle said...

You and your models are the best! Now if only Jamie were available to Australians at a reasonable
price. Actually, that’s probably unfair given the clever drafting and multiple sizing, but it would be nice to have to pay so much for shipping.

auschick said...

This is one of the most hilarious sewing posts I've read in a while! You write well! Great job on the pants :)

Yvette Chilcott said...

Barbara, your post is a hoot! I, like your previous commentor, laughed out loud as I read it. And, your review is great, too. I looked at that pattern as my stepsons might really like them, and there aren't too many things I can sew for them, other than bathrobes and baggy sleep pants. My hubby, on the other hand is a "tighty-whitey" kind of guy, who has just recently accepted coloured tighties. lol. We'll see. I'm glad I read your post, it made my day, thanks.

Sox said...

Those are great! I love your commentary as well.
You have me curious, could one leave off the pouch/trap door and make these for women?

bbarna said...

I had always used the Kwik sew men's and kids underwear patterns, but now there are so many more comfy knit boxer styles out there. Last year I made my son some and I knew they were a hit when I overheard him telling his brother in law "these new undershorts that mom made are heaven to wear". These most definitely look like a great pattern.
Barb from Prince George

Kathleen Meadows said...

I laughed out loud too and actually read the bit about "going on to something easier like making myself a winter coat" to my husband. Your husband truly is a GREAT sport - there is absolutely NOTHING I could bribe mine with to appear in a pic in undies I'd made for him :)) I'd made my husband a couple of Tees using a pattern that turned out a little small across the belly (mine is 67) - he pronounced, "Thanks!" and never wore it so that marked the end of so called "selfless sewing". Making him undies would be ramping that challenge to a whole new level. So you're BOTH brave :) I'm now reading your book Barbara and just have to say how VERY much I'm loving it. It's the first sewing book (and naturally I have a FEW) that I'm reading cover-to-cover. It's fun and informative and I'm learning ALL sorts of new tricks that I'll definitely be implementing into my sewing. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Your family are good sports to let you take their photos in their underwear. Hilarious post.

Anonymous said...

Barb, I have always been in awe of your sewing expertise but now I am also impressed with your art of persuasion. Well done on both counts. Your models should be on the Jalie pattern cover.


Anonymous said...

Still re-reading, still laughing! Your son-in-law's comment cracked me up. That husband of yours is such a good sport. But then, he'd have to be....


Rachel said...

Is your husband fastened to that post so he doesn't escape screaming into the shrubbery?
Very brave boys. Oh, and comfy looking undies.

SuzieB said...

Funniest post ever - but your husband does not look happy!