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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
Date: 11-07-2006, 12:10 AM (1 of 9)
I'm looking to be pointed in the right direction. I plan on making mens trousers and unmentionables (AKA Boxer-Briefs). The under garments would be made out of cotton jersey. Trousers, denim to start with.

Yes I feel slightly embarrassed about talking to a board full of women about mens underwear, but the need outweighs the fear. For me it is getting more and more difficult to find mens briefs that are for tall men; especially the way I want them to fit. I like my briefs to extend down to my nees, and to have a long enough rise so that they come well up to my mid torso.

Blue jeans: Trying to find loose fitting blue jeans with a long rise, is difficult at best. Plus the current fad of guys wearing their jeans way low on their waste doesn't help either.

I'm guessing that cotton under garments are made using a serging machine; is this true? Also, can denim trousers be made with a serging machine of would you use another kind of machine?

Thankyou for your patience.
Member since: 11-06-2006
Total posts: 2
From: DorothyL
Date: 11-07-2006, 08:15 AM (2 of 9)
You will need a regular sewing machine even if you get a serger.
Sergers are nice but don't replace sewing machines.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: esrun3
Date: 11-07-2006, 08:26 AM (3 of 9)

My suggestion would be to test drive machines in your price range at a dealer. You will get a million & one answers about machines here, I love my Singer-it's a 9940 and works really well, altho if I were sewing denim a lot I don't know how well it would hold up-that wasn't what I bought it for. Occasional denim, does a great job on. I know machines are often priced lower in dept. stores but you won't get the service or help you need from a dept store-you really need a dealer so shop for the dealer as well as the machine. Be sure to test the machines yourself, don't just let them demonstrate. Buying a machine is like test driving a car-has to feel right to you and do what you want it to do.

Good luck-keep us posted.
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 11-08-2006, 05:28 PM (4 of 9)
A serger would be great for constructing your underwear, but you have to have a regular sewing machine for the trousers, denim or otherwise.. Sergers are a great asset to any sewist and I love mine for all knits.. I make lots of t-shirts with mine.. You should check out a good medium duty or heavy duty machine if you plan to do the flat fell seams on the denims.. My Singer featherweight portable (circa 1955) sews jeans like a dream, but my Janome memoryCraft 4000 (circa 1995) has trouble sewing a doubled flat fell surface.. It will go over the one layer just fine but not a doubled one. (like at the hemline)..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: paroper
Date: 11-08-2006, 08:28 PM (5 of 9)
Be sure and check the Bernina machines. They are wonderful and sew denium very well. Don't look at the first few machines. Those are not made by Bernina. Go to the line that starts about 230, 240, etc. Anything from that line up should do well. I would, however stay with a 5.5 mm machine rather than the 9 mm machines. Part of the reason is price, part is because I think the 5's have a little more power (may seem silly but the hook system is different on the 9's).

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Pudge99
Date: 11-09-2006, 12:31 PM (6 of 9)
OK not exactly the advice that you are looking for but.... I think since you have never sewn before you should sign up for some beginner classes before thinking about throwing $100's or $1000's of dollars into a machine. Making under garments and jeans is not really beginner sewing. Just like you needed to learn to walk before you could run. You need to learn a lot of basics before you can jump right in and sew a pair of good fitting pants. Going by your description of how you want your pants to fit I can almost guarantee that you will need to learn pattern alteration too. You will find that the pattern companies follow the trends of the RTW clothing. Now mind you I am not trying to scare you off sewing but you need to realize that there is a lot more to sewing than the average eye sees. It has taken some of us many years to get to the level of sewing you are planning to undertake. Some of us are still not there after years of sewing.
So my suggestion to you is to sign up for some classes where they provide the machines. Some dealers do this or sometimes your local community college will have adult ed. classes. Then you will get some experience on a machine and learn what you like and don't like before you invest your hard earned money.
Oh yeah and on the serger thing. Yes they are nice to have for sewing knits but my MIL can sew anything on her old Pfaff it sews straight and zig zag. It is a true workhorse.
But if you are going to jump right in and get a machine I would suggest that you buy a piece of denim the weight you like your pants and fold it at least six times then take this with you and test drive the machines on the fabric you will be sewing. Most machines will do fine with the knit so you really only need to be concerned that the machine you buy will be able to sew through the layers of denim.
Pictures of my successes and failures
Pfaff 2040
Janome Mylock 134D
Singer Futura CE-100 w/ Autopunch
Husqvarna Viking 3D Sketch
User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: LegalDealer
Date: 11-24-2006, 08:52 PM (7 of 9)
I just wanted to add my 2 cents: Some sewing machines have "serger like" programmed stiches. I recently used my Janome 10001 to overlock the raw edges on an apron. Although it wont cut the edge and wrap it with the thread at the same time, that stich came in handy.

I can't help but everytime I read on these posts of a man sewing...I get happy! There is just something really cool about men sewing...hey girls don't you agree?!! Must be quite rare still even in year 2006 because I haven't seen a willing man in a fabric store-ever!
Good luck
User: LegalDealer
Member since: 10-19-2006
Total posts: 27
From: Sancin
Date: 11-25-2006, 02:19 AM (8 of 9)
I wouldn't worry about discussing men's underwear here. There are more than a few of us who have ended up making underwear out of poorly sewn outerwear. I agree with test driving sewing machines before buying - and to buy a sewing machine vs a serger - perhaps even rent one or two if possible. Take the denim as suggested with you (they will have material that they know will sew perfectly) and also take underwear weight material and shirt types of material to try on the machine. You know best how you learn. I know how I learn and I don't like taking classes. I would learn how the machine works from the seller - all features of the machine and ensure I had a detailed machine manual, then purchase a 'learning to sew' book with lots of pictures and progressive 'lessons' and work through the book (or get from the library). I am afraid I can't recommend such a book as I don't use that type of book any longer, but perhaps someone here can. There was a discussion sometime ago on learning to sew / basic sewing books. I just bet Andrea Sews would know how to find the discussion and leave you the site reference. :re:
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: paroper
Date: 11-25-2006, 04:46 PM (9 of 9)
Most machine brands have an optional cut and sew foot. Although I've never used one, I have many friends that use it in place of a serger. My concern would be what happens when the blade of the foot gets dull. If it is replaceable, that is a possible option.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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