Panda Print Comox Trunks
Posted on Saturday the 24th March 2018 by Wanderstitch
Hey guys! Welcome to my March Minerva make - a bit of selfless sewing for the husband (isn't he lucky?)
I'm trying to expand on the things that I make for the Mister - to date, it's been a whole lot of shirts and the occasional jacket. After an unsuccessful January sales shopping trip where he searched for some new underwear and came away empty-handed, I decided I'd have a stab at making some for him. I knew the Comox Trunks Pattern by Thread Theory was a popular pattern so I chose these, and some awesome panda print Jersey Fabric to make them from!
Thread Theory actually produce some really modern patterns for men, so if you're struggling to find decent designs for men it's definitely worth checking them out!
The Comox Trunks use just half a metre of fabric (and I actually have a bit left over from my half metre) so they would be PERFECT for using up scraps from other projects. The bear print jersey I used was the perfect weight to make underwear with, and cotton is really comfortable. There's a little stretch guide printed on the pattern so that you can test whether your fabric is stretchy enough - mine contained 95% cotton and 5% lycra, and it was perfect.
It's really quick to cut out the pieces, as there aren't many of them - and no zips, buttons, or anything else fiddly to deal with. I chose this Plush Back Elastic (in the 32mm size) for the waistband, which is nice and soft against the skin.
I was unsure whether I would need a coverstitch machine or if I could get away with my overlocker and regular sewing machine - I think a coverstitch would give a better finish, and be quicker, but I got along just fine without it. I would prefer to use a coverstitch machine to get the seams flat rather than have the overlocked bit flapping around, as I was worried it would irritate or be scratchy. The pattern does suggest that you could topstitch the seam allowance down, but I didn't really want to put *another* line of stitching in so I just left it how it was. So far there have been no complaints, but I discovered while reading other blog posts from people who have made these that there's such a thing as soft, stretchy thread for overlockers, especially for sewing stuff that will be close to the skin. Yes, I had no idea that this existed. I'm going to invest in some of this to make the next pair with, for sure!
Size-wise, the husband actually measured as a 30 but I decided to make the 28 because my gut feeling told me that the 30 would be too big. He does have a big bum, bless him. You don't get a measurement for the elastic, because all elastic stretches differently and it's down to personal preference as to how tight you want it. It's up to you to cut it to the length that you think is best, and then ease the top edge of the trunks into it. I didn't want to cut the elastic too short and give him muffin top, but I think I might have been a little *too* cautious* as it's just a smidge too big, and he's requested that the next pair be made with the elastic a little smaller.
The pattern as written has the flap opening on the front, but I wanted to make mine without as per the request from the husband. There is a step by step guide to doing this on the Thread Theory blog, but it's super easy - you just cut out four of piece number three instead of two of them, and you don't need to cut piece number two. This also means that you don't need to cut (or sew) the bias binding for the edge - win!
You can use either a zig zag stitch or a twin needle for the hems - I went with the twin needle option as I thought it might give a neater finish on the inside. One thing I found out, after hemming the first leg, is that I needed to stretch the fabric as it went through the machine - otherwise, the seam was too tight and put under too much strain whilst the trunks were being worn, and it was at risk of snapping (I think he might have chunky thighs as well as a big bum lol). So I unpicked that leg and redid it, stretching the fabric as I sewed it. Much better.
Overall this pattern has been a success - more pairs have been requested. I'll probably try some of the nice Art Gallery Jersey Fabrics for the next lot. The only change for the next pair (apart from making the elastic a little bit shorter) is to raise the height of the back piece a little bit - he feels like they sit a little bit low and he wants to keep pulling them up. Whether this is to do with the stretch factor of the fabric compared to his store-bought ones, or just the cut of the trunks I'm not sure - but for the next one I'll probably raise the back by a half-inch or so and taper it at the sides back down to the level of the front.
Thread Theory is an awesome brand if you're looking for menswear sewing patterns - I do actually also have the pattern for their Jedediah Trousers but have never made them - perhaps these should be bumped up the sewing list! Their Fairfield shirt is also quite a popular pattern so I may give that a try as well! At this rate I'm not going to have time to sew anything for myself... :)
I hope you've enjoyed reading about the trunks - if your guy has been asking for you to sew him something, these trunks could be the answer!
See you next month!
Sarah // Wanderstitch