Welcome to the first month of The Pattern Exam! We are covering the very important world of underwear. In my house, we know these as “chonies” which is a common word used by Latino families. In my case, I learned it from my mother who is Mexican. What do you prefer to call your underpants? I know I cringe at the word panties. Ok, so on to the important stuff. What is the purpose of Pattern Exam? We, as bloggers and PDF pattern consumers, wanted to provide a place where we could basically make a checklist of what similar patterns include or do not include. We are trying our best to provide an unbiased review of the patterns we are using. Please make sure to comment with what is important to see covered on a checklist if you think we are missing anything.
So let the Underwear Games commence! I tested out the boy patterns in a size 10. There were 4 PDF patterns that I reviewed: Peekaboo Patterns Classic Briefs and Boxer Briefs, Patterns for Pirates Pirate Booty Boxer Briefs, A Sparkly Baby Lil Bug Undies, and Little Kiwi’s Closet Kiwiana Undies. The first thing that I noticed when I got the patterns was that Sparkly Baby and Little Kiwi did not have a fly option. Since I am sewing for an 11 year old, that was something that seemed rather important in patterns that go up to this size. I am interested to see the reason why a pattern is marketed as unisex, but did not have an option for a fly option.
A: Peekaboo Patterns Classic Briefs and Boxer Briefs
Material used: old t shirts (I have no good “boy” knit fabrics)
What I Liked:
- The fit was perfect. Waist and leg bands fit my son perfectly. Bum coverage was spot on
- There is both a faux fly and functional fly option.
- No elastic and all knit bands= extra comfortable
- Sizes 12 months to 12 years
- Most of the instructions were very clear and easy to understand
- The pattern has the option of a classic brief or the modern boxer brief
- Pattern assembly is an older style so it can be confusing to new PDF users
- Since there are 2 types of briefs, a table of contents would help navigate the tutorial better
- The fly option is a bit more advanced with cutting and assembly. It should be noted at beginning of pattern as a tip in preparation for cutting out pattern pieces
- There is not a trainer insert or additional instructions how to adjust as trainer briefs
B: Patterns for Pirates Pirates Booty Boxer Brief
Material used: old t-shirts
What I Liked:
- Multiple options for waistband, leg bands or hemming options
- Has a functional fly and trainer instructions
- Pattern piece is cut on fold and length make similar to favorite store brand
- Lots of tips regarding pattern piece cutting, knit choices and options
- Seamless option for those fussy kids who don’t like raw fabric edges
- No trim pattern pages and only 4 pages to print
- The pattern was very forgiving, and I had to adjust my waistband by 2 more inches.
- Can be confusing to beginners: used photos in tutorial of older version of pattern pieces and shape appears different.
- Personal for me: I have issues when pieces say “cut on FOLD” but multiple sizes are on the fold. My eye just tends to see it as a cut line.
C: Sparkly Baby Lil Bug Undies
Materials used: T-shirt and black lycra knit
What I Liked:
- The fit was good. Nice bum coverage and comfort in legs and waist
- The pattern contains a knit guide that goes over different types of knit and stretch
- The tutorial on cutting the waistband and legband is not beginner friendly and is confusing.
- There are layers, however, there is no printing guide to say what pages to print for each size
- There is no fly option, and no instructions on making a trainer option.
- The interface of the tutorial layout is large and not well organized. There is a table or contents so that makes it a little easier to navigate.
D: Little Kiwi’s Closet Kiwiana Undies
Materials used: Old t-shirts
What I Liked:
- The fit was great. Very comfortable. Bands fit nicely.
- Organized tutorial and clear photos.
- If you print in grayscale like I do, the inner lining could get confusing because there is a line to transfer
- No fly option
- No notes on customizing fit, only to size up if unsure.
- Pattern uses seat measurements, which is not standard sizing for USA so that can be confusing trying to figure out correct sizing.
Overall, I only had fit issues with one pattern which was Pattern for Pirates Pirate Booty Boxer Brief. I went based on my son’s RTW size and should have customized between his waist and hips for that one. The length, bum fit and closest appearance to store brand underwear made that a favorite. There are notes on how to customize fit so I will try that on the next pair to see if it fits better.
Peekaboo Patterns Boxer Brief was the best fit and best suited for an older boy. I felt that everything was well explained, with the exception of the fly option. That can be a confusing element, and should be noted in the beginning of the pattern to read through that part BEFORE cutting out and sewing pattern.
A Sparkly Baby LilBug Undies were a good fit, and a good option for younger boys. However, this is made as a unisex pattern and there is not a fly option. I don’t see this as a unisex pattern past a certain age. This tutorial was the most confusing to understand. I think the tutorial section could also be better organized, even though there is a table of contents to help navigate.
Little Kiwi’s Closet Kiwiana Undies were a great fit, and also another pattern as a good option for younger boys. The lack of a fly option makes this unisex only to a certain age for me. The use of color printing and no change in line styles also makes the pattern hard to read if printing in grayscale. The sizing is not what I am used to, so you do have to measure beforehand to figure out the right size rather than going by a number size. The tutorial was easy to read and navigate.
Here is the detailed checklist: Boys Undies Checklist
Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to comment with any elements you feel should be noted in comparing patterns and look at the checklist to see what the patterns include/ do not offer.