Boxer shorts are a relatively easy sewing project, and you can make them for both men and women. A popular alternative to jockey shorts for men and comfortable sleep or athletic apparel for women, boxer shorts can be made by following a simple sewing pattern.

Things You'll Need

Choose your fabric. Popular choices range far beyond regular cotton. Try silk, crepe de chine, flannelette or a silky synthetic fiber.

Purchase a boxer shorts sewing pattern from your local sewing shop or an online retailer of sewing products. You can find a popular variant at Sew Thankful (see Resources below).

Follow the instructions included with your sewing pattern to transfer the outline of the pattern onto the material you’ve chosen to use to make the boxer shorts. Cut the fabric, marking the center-front line on both the left and right sides of the material, since this is where your fly is going to be.

Set the lower portion of the front crotch curve by sewing a line that runs about 5/8 inch from the inside of the leg to 5/8 inch above the front of the fly. Your seam allowance should wind up about 1/4 inch from the stitching that defines your crotch curve.

Choose a side for your fly front to lap over. Usually, men’s boxer shorts have a fly lap that runs left-over-right and vice versa for women. With a colored pencil or piece of chalk, mark the side that’s going to lap over with an “LO” and the side that you plan to lap under with an “LU.”

Use about 1/4 inch of fabric for your lap under. Make sure your lap folds match up with your center-front line, and allow about 1/8 inch of breathing room to either side when you sew the fold.

Use horizontal topstitching across the top and bottom edges of the fly to complete it. The fly’s top edge should be at least 2 inches beneath the eventual location of the elastic waistband.

Join the back to the front at the inner-leg seam of each side of the shorts.

Pin and sew your crotch curves, clip them and finish your seam.

Finish the hem. Each leg will have a raw edge dangling. Fold it under to the desired length, and then pin it down and hold it in place with topstitching.

Add the elastic waistband. Fold the width of the elastic band you’re going to use, plus 1/4 inch of extra fabric, into the “wrong side” of the boxer shorts. This will form the casing, which you will now close with a topstitch.


  • Boxer shorts do not need to be fitted, since they are designed to be loose-fitting items of clothing. You simply need to know the waist size of the wearer, and even then you still have flexibility because of the elasticity of the waistband.

References and Resources

Boxer shorts pattern at Sew Thankful