Hi! Kelly here from Handmade Boy. I am here to help you solve one of the greatest mysteries in the sewing pattern world, which pattern is for you?
When there are several difference versions of the same pattern available, sometimes it’s hard to decide which one is best for you. Hopefully, this review will help you decide what you want in your boy’s underwear pattern. Please note that I am not comparing patterns or giving my opinion on which ones is “best”. I am reviewing each pattern independently and will give my opinion on what I liked or didn’t like about the pattern along with how they fit my son. I am also including his take on each pair. Remember, he is 4. 😉
I used the same type of fabric for all pairs (custom fabric from Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop for prints and the white for bands is cotton lycra from Purple Seamstress.) The point of using all the same fabric is to keep fabric out of the equation in terms of fit. Now, my son is a long, thin thing and just because one pair fits my son well doesn’t mean that another pair won’t fit your son better. I also want to state up front that I was involved in the testing process for both Peek-a-Boo and Patterns for Pirates underwear patterns. Full disclosure and all that.
For some really easy comparison shopping, here is a chart highlighting the features of each pattern. Who doesn’t love a good chart?
Like I said, Thomas is slim. Very slim. His measurements are 44.5″ tall, 20″ waist and 22.5″ hips. And store bought underwear do not fit him well. To get the rise he needs, the underwear often time fit like shorts. He is a boxer brief kid, btw. 😉 I have found Justice League ones that run pretty slim and hug his tiny hips well, but the elastic bugs him, so he grabs handmade from his drawer over RTW nearly every time.
Size sewn: 3/4
This pattern has two style options to choose from, boxer or brief. Thomas likes boxers, so that is what I went with. You can also decide if you want a functioning fly, have a faux fly, or leave it off all together. I went basic because it’s quick and Thomas really doesn’t care.
The pattern taped together really quickly and I had no issues following which size lines to cut, even printing in gray scale. The instructions were easy to follow even with the different style options available. The boxer briefs sewed together quickly as well. Sewing the center panel to the side pieces can be tricky, but if you follow the pictures, it’s pretty easy. The center panel is two pieces (front and back) sewn together and then attached to the side pieces. This makes this pattern good for directions prints. The results look very similar to Gap’s boxer briefs. Well, the Gap ones I have are much baggier. The Justice League pack we have also has the same construction method.
Bum coverage was good.
Thomas’s take. This is the pair he snatched up first from the pile when I called him over to try things on. He declared, “These ones fit me!” He does have several pairs of these in his drawer prior to this test. He is right, they do fit. The rise sits below his belly button, they are high enough in back to cover any plumber’s issues and the leg bangs fit his legs well so there is no ride up issues when he puts pants on.
Size sewn: 60cm
This is a unisex pattern and I do feel that it works well as one. It has enough of a boy look to not look like panties, but still doesn’t look like a girl would be wearing boy’s underwear. It does not have a fly option, so older boys may have an issue with that. There are no options to choose from, so no real decisions to make apart from what cute fabric to use.
The pattern taped together quickly and sewing was pretty quick also. For construction, the back and front are separate pieces so you can use directional fabric on these and still have a cute pair of underwear. The design is unique and the front and back fold over each other to create the lining in the center with all seams folded over resulting in a very nice final product. I did sew my front and back together wrong and had to do a little seam ripping to correct it. I simply didn’t look closely enough at the picture showing that step, instead going by the written instruction. It was an easy correction for me to do though.
The fit was decent. I was a bit nervous because these are done in European sizing, no American references. And I felt quite out of my comfort zone measuring Thomas for this method of sizing and just sewing based off what was given. I like to compare Thomas’s measurements to what he wears in RTW and going from there. It has never given me bad results. These ended up fitting perfectly in the waist and hips, but the rise was quite low for us.
That is his hip bone shadow. They are kinda snug in the boy bits area for him as well, so no full frontal shot. He didn’t complain about the fit there though.
The back covers well. I liked the styling of these, but I would need to work on the fit more to get enough coverage for Thomas.
Thomas liked these actually, which surprised me because he typically doesn’t like briefs. But did think they were a little small on his belly, as he put it.
Size sewn: 4
This pattern has no child measurements to base your sizing off of, only the finished garment measurements. I picked a size 4 based on Thomas’s RTW size underwear that fit him best. The pattern has a lot of detail about knit types, which can be helpful. The same information is repeated twice in the pattern making it several pages longer than it needs to be for those who prefer to print the entire pattern out. The pattern pieces are not nested together, instead you print the size you need. This is nice and easy to cut the size you need, but makes blending sizes more difficult. The front and back are one continuous piece making this a poor pattern for directional prints, but a quick sew. The leg band pieces are poorly done, imo. You are instructed to cut a pattern piece to match the finished leg hole measurements. Then you are to stretch your fabric to meet that measurement. I wasn’t fond of this. It left me needing three hands to hold the fabric at both ends and then mark where I was suppose to cut.
Rise was a bit low on Thomas.
The back covered well. But the inside of the legs sat funny on him.
Size sewn: 4
This pattern is full of options and styles to choose from. You can do an elastic waistband or knit with elastic inside, hemmed legs or banned, functioning fly or plain front. You can even have a pocket for an absorbent layer so this is a trainer. Seams can be fully enclosed, or regular. I think that covers all the options. There are a lot! I went with a fast and easy version for this review. I have no elastic in the waist, my son finds it bulky, it is just knit and I did regular seams and leg bands.
So now full disclaimer. I totally messed up the waistband of my Pirate Booty Boxer Briefs and didn’t catch it in time to make a new pair. (And I didn’t catch it until after our photo shoot.) I did not follow the method in the pattern and if I had done so, the rise would have been about an inch shorter. Had I made them correctly, much of the extra rise would not be there. I blame sewing at 1am for this. I simply was not paying attention when I did the waistband and went on autopilot. Mistakes happen and I apologize for mine.
The pattern was easy to assemble and cut out the size I needed. Following the tutorial is easy, but you do need to be mindful of using the directions for the options you want. The legs and back piece are all one panel so there is no seam in the back. The pattern is good for directional fabrics as well.
The legs are longer than most store bought underwear. My son liked this. He called them shorts underwear. LOL
Most of that extra fabric is due to my lack of ability to follow clear instructions. I think the rise still would have been a tad long for Thomas because of wear he likes to wear his underwear, but not nearly as bad as I made it. The pattern pieces are nested well so going a size smaller on the rise, in the future, would be very easy to do. The fit was great in the waist, hips and leg bands using Thomas’s measurements to pick the size.
Back side coverage was also good.
Thomas really liked theses also. He said they were comfy and not too tight anywhere. And like I said, he liked the extra length in the legs.
I hope my reviews help you decide which underwear pattern is best for you! If there was anything that I left out that you feel is important, feel free to leave a comment and let me know!