Beautiful Boxers

Tyo's Boxers: Pattern and Fabric

This past summer, Tyo fell in love with boxers. Less as underwear than as PJ/lougewear bottoms, but anyway. When Peter of Male Pattern Boldness announced his Boxer Sewalong, I thought it was the perfect thing for her to try out. After all, boxers are one of those classic beginner projects! And a sewalong could get her motivated, interested, and above all, reading!

So when Peter started earlier this week, I gleefully shoved my Steve Jobs Memorial Handheld Device* in her face to read his posts, dreaming of after-school idylls of mother-daughter time spent peacefully together in the sewing room.

Tyo's Boxers

Tyo being Tyo, glanced over the posts, complained that she had a headache (she always has a headache when she gets home from school. Unfortunately, the combination of not eating well during the day** with the long bus ride home means she usually arrives home with nausea and cratering blood sugar), and went off to watch “Good Luck Charlie.”

But finally on Saturday (Thanksgiving long weekend! Yay! We’re not having a turkey! Cry!), she had the time/energy/interest/desire to get Mom to stop hassling her about cleaning up, so we headed downstairs.

One Happy Seamstress

Pretty much all of Peter’s clever, fine details went out the window almost right away. Flat felling? I think not. Fly? Meh. It’s not like she’s going to be using it. Stitching elastic directly to the fabric? Um… let’s not even go there… (I did make one grave error, when I flippantly mentioned that boxers are the perfect beginner project. Tyo informed me that she is absolutely NOT a beginner.)

After some rummaging, Tyo selected this fabric, which is a red and white striped, lightweight polyester from the stuff my Grandma gave me last summer. In real life it’s not nearly as shiny as it looks in these photos, although it’s still fairly obnoxious. For the pattern we went with Simplicity 9495, which she also used to make Syo’s birthday present earlier this summer. She also traced off the pattern (YAY one-piece patterns!). I made one alteration, which was to lengthen the crotch-height (or is it depth? I always get those mixed up. I added vertical height) in the back portion. This was a Good Idea, as the rise in the back is just about perfect. The rise in the front, on the other hand, is way too much and bubbles out—I will probably lower it almost two inches when/if she makes another pair. Which probably means that the whole thing is meant to have a waist-level rise and Tyo’s wearing them low-rise, it’s just that her wonderfully round bottom (I might just be a tad jealous) is eating up the extra rise in the back…

More Superfluous Hedgheog

Tyo cut them out and did all of the stitching herself, including serging the seams to finish them. I did most of the pressing. We discovered that hems are easier to stitch without pins (which is how I always do them, but we all know that I don’t always or even often do things the “right” way). I made some pretense of trying to get her to read the instructions, but a) they were making no sense to her, and b) they were stupid, so we winged it. I’m not a big fan of the pants-construction method where you sew the inseam first, THEN the crotch seams. It just seems awkward. Especially when the inseam is only 2″ long.

Tyo's Oil Painting

Then Then Tyo went upstairs and made an oil painting. First she made her canvas (by gluing some white paper to cardboard). Then she pulled out the oil-paint set a friend gave me eons ago (like, pre-child) that I only ever dared use once because the whole canvas+cleanup thing completely terrified and overwhelmed me.

Since we don’t have the products on hand for cleaning up the oils, she used some disposable makeup brushes and a paintbrush that was probably on the way out anyway.

And I gotta tell you, it’s probably one of my favourite things she’s ever made…

There’s a lot to be said for not knowing you can’t do something.

*iPad. Thanks, Little Hunting Creek! (Oh, Hunting Creek is still popping that Malware alert that’s been stalking the blogosphere very annoyingly this week. As far as I can tell the original problem’s been resolved, and a scan before and after visiting it didn’t reveal any malware or viruses on my computer, but now you’re warned.)

**Just to cover my ass in the parenting department, I pack both my kids a healthy and nutritious lunch including whole-grain bread, low-fat lunch meat, and several servings of fruits and vegetables every day. She just never eats it. SOP is that she finishes it when she gets home, but of course this doesn’t help with the after-school crash.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Beautiful Boxers

  1. Great work Tyo! And I love your painting!

    T: My adolescent’s diet is increasingly going to shit. I try so hard to make it healthy and well-balanced. And then I find she’s eaten the entire bag of Goldfish at the expense of the vegetables and protein… Since she doesn’t go to daycare anymore, I can’t really control what she’s eating. And she’s not so concerned about how to be healthy at this point.

    • Tyo’s main issue is appetite-suppressing medication, but I definitely feel you. We did actually go through a phase of including goldfish (whole-grain) in her lunch because she *would* eat them, but a) they’re expensive, b) I’m still not convinced they’re actually healthy, and c) they’d evaporate out of the cupboard the moment I looked away so we were always out.

      My mom had some fairly granola tendencies, so my ideas of what constitutes “healthy” food are a bit extreme, too…

  2. Nice boxers and great painting!

    I have the same front height issue with Big4 PJs, I think because their waistline is a horizontal line and nobody’s body works that way.

  3. Getting your child to learn to sew is a challenging proposition…I know I have 3 girls and only one took to it. So it’s wonderful that your daughter is making some pieces, hopefully more boxers will be made in the future. Loved her painting and how she moved from one artistic endeavor to another!

  4. What talent!! I love the oil painting too. It’s great that tyo is learning to sew with you- I am so grateful for my mum teaching me!!

    • It’s weird for me—my mom sewed but I didn’t really learn from her except via osmosis. I think she showed me how to thread the machine when I was about nine. Everything else was pretty much trial and error (lots and lots of error). So actually figuring out *how* to teach… is pretty weird for me, and a little stressful.

      But fun. Definitely fun. :D

  5. Great job, Tyo! I love the self-made canvas.
    So at least one is accomplished in sewing and painting. How long until you can exploit their talents for commercial gain? I don’t have kids but isn’t that the whole point? It worked out for Lindsay Lohan! :)

    • Well, right now we’re focusing our energies in the “kids making supper for us” department… Tyo cooked two nights last week, with only minimal supervision! And said stuff like “Mom, don’t stress yourself out, go sit down while I make supper!” Without having a gun to her head or ANYTHING.

      It won’t last, of course, but it sure was nice… :)

  6. I think sewing with my daughter is the BEST mother daughter time. They are so proud when they make something. My six year old doesn’t like drinking anything because, and I quote “it makes me have to go to the bathroom more”, which is the whole point. No matter how much I tell her it will make her sick she is so reluctant. I have to pester her at every meal to drink all of her drink. I fear the day I have to take her to the emergency room for dehydration then I have to explain to social services why I really am a good mom.

    • Yikes, that would be rough! :( Lots of watermelon and liquid-rich fruits? Honestly for the most part my kids eat really well, other than the school lunches thing. I am very aware of how spoiled I am in that department…

    • That is like my husbands grandmother. She’s having issues with low blood pressure and dehydration. Why became clear when asked about her daily routine. It seems she drinks coffee in the morning, black tea after meals and that’s about it. And why? Because the only bathroom in her house is in the basement and she doesn’t want to go up and down the stairs any more than she has to. Sigh. It’s a tough battle to fight. I agree with Tanit-Isis, bring on the watermelon and oranges!

  7. Not that you need any more ideas for projects, but….. I couldn’t help but think Tyo (and you too!) may have a really good time with fabric painting/drawing. I know there are several methods out there. The one that springs to mind uses a Sharpie (I think) that Mary Nana did a while back. Tyo’s painting would be a great print, non?

  8. Great boxers & painting, a big high five for Tyo!

  9. Shams

    Great job, Tyo. On the boxers *and* the oil painting. Really nice! (And what an incredibly cute hedgehog.)

  10. Good job for Tyo! She looks so pleased! And I so agree with your comment “There’s a lot to be said for not knowing you can’t do something.” A lot of very beautiful things exist in my house because people didn’t know they “couldn’t”. It almost makes you wish you knew less than you did sometimes. And please keep posting superfluous pics of your DLH (dear little hedgehog). I put “hedgehog” on my Christmas list every year, but everyone thinks it’s a joke, so I am still, very sadly, hedgehogless.

  11. Sounds like a very creative day at your house. The boxers look as good as most of the stuff I make. My son just started oil painting too and instead of cleaning up. . . he put everything in the freezer. Also, he never finished : (

  12. Aw, she did a great job! Way to go Tyo! Also, your sprog is ridiculously good at that whole ‘creative’ thing, eh? I sort of want to steal that painting…

    I just made a pair of boxers from a Big4 pj pattern, and it was really awkwardly fit all around. Too low in the front and back, but relatively fine on the sides. Granted, I have a large butt and a poofy front, so that’s probably why. Not that it’s stopped me from wearing them, because they’re still ridiculously comfortable. Next time, I’m adding 2 inches to the back and 1 inch to the front.

    Of course, I also had lowered them to hip level, so that might’ve been part of the problem. One of these days (when I’m less insane from field work and apartment hunting) I might make a real post about them, but maybe I should make another pair with the right adjustments first.

    Sorry, babbling. Time for bed, me thinks.

  13. Pingback: I Like This Stuff – 6th Edition (Friendly Bloggers & Flight Attendants) | Falling Through Your Clothes

  14. um, WOW. serious win weekend for tyo. girl, that painting is AWESOME. i hope you have it displayed prominently. and your boxers are great!

    (now, just think of all the things you could make if you ate mom’s lunch. you would be a veritable tornado.)

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