Sewing Patterns for Men’s Clothes
Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee 2015, I’ve been looking for men’s patterns.
You might think there’s nothing for men learning to sew for themselves, between making a cushion cover and tailoring a suit, but in fact there are many options.
Learning to sew menswear
If you’re looking for a “learn to sew” project book for men, the Merchant & Mills Sewing Book has a sequence of bags and home dec all suitable for both men and women (clothes patterns in this book are small sized and difficult to understand, M&M single patterns are good).
Even the simplest modern sewing machine is a complex machine tool. (Here are links to information about the mechanisms.) And it’s surprising how many different techniques are involved in making the simplest sewing project. Some people love challenges, some people prefer to learn one new technique at a time.
‘Learn to Sew’ clothes patterns for men
There is a shirt pattern labelled Learn to Sew by McCall’s, which is best avoided as it is definitely not easy, McCall’s 6972. For some reason they chose the most difficult way of attaching a collar.
Burda patterns labelled Super Easy (tissue patterns with seam allowances, very easy but no special instructions for beginners).
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When you’ve learned the basics of how to sew, where can you go ?
I haven’t linked to individual patterns here, as there are 100s of them ! These are just links to pattern sources.
Sections here for :
Activewear and Outdoor gear
Suits, vests, coats.
These are all paper patterns unless noted.
Plus a final section on making your own patterns.
There are about a dozen quick-sew patterns for men in this list.
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Some of these sites as not sorted for men/women.
Burda tissue patterns (search for men)
Burda Style download patterns
Colette Patterns – Walden for men
Green Style Creations
Jennifer Lauren Handmade
Knipmode (in Dutch)
Make My Pattern (Belgium)
Merchant & Mills
Stof & Stil (Denmark)
Wardrobe By Me
5 out of 4 patterns
Many of the download patterns at Burda Style previously appeared in Burda Style pattern magazine.
Occasionally there are stylish patterns for men in Italian pattern magazine La Mia Boutique
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Most of these sites aren’t pre-sorted for men/ women.
There are several specialist pattern companies for historic styles.
Such as (sorted for men) :
The Recollections of J.P.Ryan
Nehelenia (not sorted for men-women, and not only their own patterns)
Here’s a page of free download historic patterns.
The Great Pattern Review site also has a ‘futuristic-fantasy’ section.
For cosplay costumes for specific characters, you can usually find ideas on specialist sites for the character.
There are some ‘online only’ cosplay costume patterns from McCall’s : Cosplay by McCall’s.
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Here’s a guide to tips on sewing outdoor gear which aren’t in most conventional sewing books.
Pennine Outdoor (mainly tents and sleeping bags)
Quest Outfitters (tents, bivy bags, backpacks)
Rainshed (mainly special purpose bags)
Suitability (fabric gear for horses)
Many free patterns for bike bags available on-line.
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Moving on to shirts and suits (if you want to)
Video courses on technique
David Page Coffin, noted for his books and DVDs on shirts and pants, has video classes at Craftsy, David Page Coffin.
Burda Academy have an on-line video course on making menswear, which includes download patterns for notched collar and barbour jackets, pants.
The Sewing Guru is a tailor who has many video courses on making shirts and suits.
Kenneth King has video tailoring class at Taunton Workshops, Smart Tailoring.
Suits, Vests, Coats
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Make your own clothes patterns
Ready-made full size basic pattern blocks for men (average body shape) from Shoben Media :
hoodie, shirt, pants, vest, jacket, coat.
Custom fit patterns
Don’t expect a perfect fit from these tools unless you’re lucky. They only cover about a quarter of all fitting issues. But they may give you a better fit than patterns for ‘average’ body shape.
Pattern making software
Wild Ginger PatternMaster Tailor Made
Formal Pattern Drafting books
Patternmaking for Menswear : classic to contemporary by Kim & Kim
Metric pattern cutting for menswear by Winifred Aldrich
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Other options :
The Japanese produce marvellous pattern books, with full size traceable pattern sheets. So long as you don’t mind they’re in Japanese ! with many good line drawings of construction. A fun challenge, but not for beginners. Sizes are small. Body sizes are given with the book information, in cm. Multi-size patterns, so they may be quite easy to grade up.
These are the books for men’s clothes at my favourite source, which shows many sample pages.
Free patterns – with very variable quality of pattern drafting and instructions.
Sadly there’s no obvious good source focussed on men’s patterns.
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It’s worth checking a pattern at Pattern Review, to see if anyone has helpful advice. (I find it quickest to search by pattern number.)
Man’s clothing may not show the almost infinite variations in style elements that there are in women’s clothes. The differences are more in subtle details.
You do have to search thoroughly if you want something stylish, but there is a lifetime of possibilities to explore !
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Links available April 2015
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