The Monthly Stitch Knitspiration: underwear

(I’ve already posted about this pattern here, but have written a post for the start of next month’s The Monthly Stitch’s challenge – to sew with knit fabric)


Underwear is something a few years ago I NEVER would have thought about making. I mean, come on – make your own underwear? That’s ridiculous. Skip forward to today, and I haven’t bought myself underwear in about a year. I’ve made myself underwear from a few different patterns – Jalie 3242, and Ohhh Lulu’s Ginger and Betty patterns. I haven’t posted any pictures because they were mainly all made before I started my blog. So far they’re just plain cotton knit ones, but I would like to branch out into a bit of lace to make them pretty Because it uses such a small amount of fabric, you can make underwear out of scrap fabrics, or you can get several (3-4) pairs out of 1m.

And if you think it would save money to make your own underwear, think about mens underwear! In New Zealand, a nice quality pair of brief’s costs at least $20, and a nice pair of knit shorts costs >$25-30. When you consider how much fabric would cost US to buy, and then realise that these are being made off shore, and I’m 100% certain the fabric will cost a fraction of what we pay for yardage. It’s even cheaper if, like me, you were able to get sent a whole box of knit fabric scraps for FREE – thanks Levana!!!

ImageThe only issue is PATTERNS. For ladies patterns you have several options. There’s ones to buy, like those from the Big 4 pattern companies, Ohhh Lulu, and Merckwaerdigh there are vintage versions, free patterns like those from So Zo and Cloth Habit, and many others. For men, there haven’t been many options. Several months ago I had a go at making mens underwear, starting by pulling apart a pair of Mr. Guy’s briefs (I buy him briefs/gruts partly because they’re cheaper than shorts! Ha) and making  pattern. Lets just say that didn’t work well – turns out that particular pair didn’t fit him well in the first place, and the pair I made were terrible.

I then tried the Jalie 3242 mens brief pattern (you can see Male Pattern Boldness’s boxers and briefs here). I ended up making several different pairs, but they just didn’t fit well (even though I re-drafted the crotch piece 3 times) and I found the leg binding really difficult to look good. After that I kind of gave up, with the general idea in my mind that I would revisit the idea later.


Then, two weeks ago, Thread Theory launched their new pattern, the Comox Trunks. Dang it but Morgan and Matt know what we want, and the PDF pattern in particular is really cheap (only $7.50 CAD). I snapped up a copy and the next night I had a version made up:

ImageThis was the only knit I had in my stash, hehe. Original blog post here

This pattern is EXCELLENT, as can be expected with all of Thread Theory’s patterns. After my big box of knits arrived from Levana, and I got some more waistband elastic from Made on Marion, I quickly made up three more pairs (one pair has… disappeared).

ImageThe shorts only take me about 60 minutes to make up, including cutting, so they’re a great project if you want a quick fix or only have a short time to sew. I think I’ll end up cutting these out in bulk and having them pre-cut ready to sew up so they take even less time.

ImageUnderwear can be really difficult to get pretty; they’re quite a different beast from full-size garments. Mens underwear (and this pattern in particular) is designed to be easy to look professional, once you get used to stitching the smaller pieces (I find womens underwear much harder because of all the picot elastic etc). For these two pairs, there’s a couple of dodgy areas, especially when I stitched my twin needle over the waistband elastic… which then broke. The blue pair doesn’t have that seam top-stitched.

Mr. Guy tells me these shorts are really comfortable, and he reaches for them before his other RTW pairs. I wish I had some photos of him modelling them, but I’m not willing to share 🙂 You can see some lovely modelled pairs on Thread Theory’s blog


Thread theory is running a sew-a-long for the shorts starting Friday April 4th (today for us kiwis/Australians and tomorrow for those from almost everywhere else). To celebrate, until Friday night there is 30% off the pattern! Just enter SEW-ALONG at the checkout.

Close ups:


Pattern: Comox Trunks by Thread Theory

Fabric: Cotton-spandex knit from Levana, free

Notions: Thread from stash, waistband elastic

Total: about $2 each

13 thoughts on “The Monthly Stitch Knitspiration: underwear

  1. Pingback: Knitspiration: underwear | The Monthly Stitch

  2. I made my first pair of undies last year from Ohhh Lulu because I was interested in the fact that they used woven fabric (I used the Grace pattern). I’m not sold on woven undies FYI.

    I’ve never even thought about making David undies, but they are so quick to make! I need to make him a graduation shirt first though 🙂

    • I probably would have bought the Grace pattern had it been available when I bought the others – the Betty High Waist ones in particular are VERY high (they’re meant to sit above your natural waist). I don’t know how I’d feel about woven in undies either, I think I might have tried it initially but threw them out. Even if you can get cuter fabric, I want my undies to be COMFORTABLE. At the moment my favourite is the Jalie pattern (excellent bum coverage) and I’m thinking I’ll try and alter the seamlines to give myself some interesting pairs – and hopefully I can find some interesting fabrics.

      If you’re wanting to make him any in the near future, I can highly recommend this pattern. Plus it’s only $7.50 CAD (or $5.25 with the 30% off). It took me a while to get around to making Guy anything but now I really enjoy it! The Negroni shirt by Colette is also well worth the hype

  3. I asked my boyfriend if he wanted me to make him some underwear when the Comox pattern was released but he said he preferred me to make him things you can actually see him wearing such as sweaters. I suppose that is kind of cute but I thought it would be fun to attempt some underwear for a change…

    • Just do it anyway! I often have to do that with my husband (like, “I’m making a sandwich, do you want one?” “No thanks” I make him one anyway, and of course he would have eaten mine otherwise). Plus they’re actually very fun to make, use up scraps from other projects, and save heaps of money compared to bought ones!

      • You are right, I got the pattern anyway! Ha, even if my boyfriend doesn’t want any I also have a dad and a brother. My brother is a student so he must want free garments, right? I’ll just have to guess at his size though, can’t really measure him because he lives abroad at the moment.

  4. I broke down yesterday. I bought and downloaded the Comox Trunk. I do have the Jalie long John pattern which he likes. I was going to make those into boxer briefs, but just haven’t gotten to it. I’m glad to see others making these up too. I’m not too sure how Hubby would respond to the polka dots! I’m attempting to find something a little more…subtle.

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