Boxer Shorts Boxer Shorts for summertime sewing by Judy Newman.

If you’re looking for projects to make for the men in your life, boxer shorts are a great idea. Popular as sleepwear and loungewear, cotton boxers are quick and easy to make. This pattern has no fly so it’s suitable for beginner sewers. Judy drafted the size to fit Medium to Large size (32in – 34in) shorts but you can easily adapt it to make it larger or smaller. “In my house, the funkier the better, so I also created a patchwork stash-buster version by simply stitching up random fat-quarters to make a 1.2metre piece of fabric which I used to cut out the pattern”, says Judy. “Some pieces are on the straight grain and others are on the cross-grain which works fine, but not the bias– you don’t want stretchy parts!” she adds. “Of course if you want to be more precise about where your seams fall on the shorts, you can cut up the paper pattern, add seam allowances on the lines you have cut, then stitch it up that way, but I like the random effect of making the patchwork fabric first.”

Men’s Boxers

Size: M to L (32 – 34) These are loose fitting shorts with long length in the leg. To enlarge for a size bigger (XL (36)) split the pattern along the two lines marked and spread the pattern pieces 2.5cm along each line, adding a total of 5cm, or as required. To decrease for a size smaller (S (30)) fold the pattern along the two lines marked equally to reduce it by a total of 5cm or as required.

Materials needed

  • 1.2m of 115cm-wide fabric. Use non-stretch cotton, fine for sleepwear
  • 24mm-wide non-roll elastic: 90cm or length to fit around waist
  • 1.1m of 10mm-wide ribbon or thin braid for drawstring (optional)
  • Butchers’ paper
  • Pencil, ruler and set square with 90 degree angle to draw up your pattern
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Pins, scissors
  • Sewing machine in good working order

Note: A 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout this project is included in the pattern. Please read the instructions before you begin. *If your fabric has an obvious one-way design or nap, cut the fabric in half across the width and place right sides together with pattern going in the same direction.


Draw a 5cm grid on your paper. Draw up your pattern on the butchers’ paper following the illustration. Fold fabric right sides together along the width of the fabric, or *place two cut pieces right sides together with one-way design facing the same way for both pieces. Place the pattern piece on the double-thickness fabric, pin it in place then cut out two pieces.


Fold one piece together with right sides facing and pin the Inside Leg of Front and Back together; stitch from A to B. Finish seam by overlocking it or trim it then and zigzag. Repeat for other piece. Turn one piece right side out then place it inside the other piece. With right sides together and matching inside leg seams, and placing Centre Back seams together and Centre Front seams together; stitch from C to B to D and finish seam as before. Press under 5mm to wrong side along the top edge of the shorts. Then press under a further 4.5cm. Stitch the casing in place, close to the folded edge and leaving an opening to thread the elastic through. Stitch close to the top edge leaving a casing of 4cm for the elastic. Cut elastic to fit waist, then insert it into casing and overlap ends by 2cm, then stitch elastic together. Stitch casing opening closed. Press under 5mm on each leg edge then a further 2.5cm. Stitch a double row of topstitching. Optional: For drawstring, slit two buttonholes in front on either side of Centre Front Seam at places marked; handstitch the buttonhole. Thread the drawstring through and knot each end. Variation: Create your own fabric by stitching smaller fabric pieces together before cutting out shorts pieces.

Click here for Boxer Short Pattern.    


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