Archive for the ‘sewing’ category

Speedy Patterns – to sew in 3 hours or less – 2016

November 19, 2016

These are patterns which the pattern companies claim you can sew in 3 hours or less. Mainly a list of all the timed patterns I found in print in November 2016. Since then I’ve been adding individual patterns when I’ve come across them.
These times assume you’re an experienced sewer !
And they usually only mean sewing time, not including preparation and cutting time.

I’ve posted several times on the topic of quick-make patterns, starting in 2010. My last post (March 2016) has now expanded so much it was getting unwieldy. So I’ve divided it in two :
– this post, on patterns the companies claim a sewing time for,
– a second post on patterns that are also very quick and easy, though no one makes any claims about how long you’ll need : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed.

Obviously these patterns have to avoid any technique that takes time. So they’re very simple, with few added design features and little shaping. But there are designers who manage to respond to this need by providing interesting shapes and design features that don’t need much work.

It’s also helpful to know which sewing techniques you’re relaxed about. For example, most quick patterns avoid zips and buttonholes, collars and set-in sleeves, any hand sewing. But if you’re a sewist who can do those in a whizz, then why not.

Fabric choice can be crucial. Quality fabrics can give a luxury look to even the simplest of styles. Choose wovens with a bit of body, so they don’t need much support from interfacing and don’t change shape while you’re sewing them. Not slippery, don’t fray easily. Similarly with knits – choose stable ones, that aren’t too floppy. Knits have the advantage they don’t fray, so no need for seam finishing. And there are non-knit fabrics like this too.

– – –

Big 4 timed patterns

These are the Big 4 time-limited patterns available in November 2016.
Most Simplicity-New Look patterns have a download option.

New Look 6816 capsule of knit top, skirt, pants.

Tops, Dresses, Shirts

All the dress patterns can be shortened to tops and tunics.

New Look 6483 sleeveless and sleeved woven tops.

Butterick 5948 Butterick used to claim these classic tops could be made in 2 hours, but they’ve changed the envelope.

New Look 6892 peasant style tops.

McCall’s 6558 peasant style tops and dresses.

New Look 6347 sleeveless dresses.

McCall’s 6102 short sleeved dresses with 3 cup sizes.

New Look 6936 cut on short sleeve knit dresses.

New Look 6889 sleeveless and short sleeved dresses.

New Look 6352 sleeveless and short sleeved dresses.

McCall’s 5893 sleeveless and short sleeved empire waist dresses.

McCall’s 6465 sleeveless and sleeved dresses.

Also for men :

Simplicity 8180 1-piece collar shirt, tie, shorts.

For previous editions of these patterns, Palmer-Pletsch claimed their unisex camp shirt and banded collar shirt patterns took 2 or 3 hours. They’re now not so optimistic !
McCall’s 6932 1-piece collar camp shirt (3 hours).
McCall’s 6613 band collar shirt (no time given).

Skirts and Pants

New Look 6399 woven skirts and pants.

Simplicity 1068 knit skirts and pants.

Simplicity 2414 tiered skirts and pants.

New Look 6843 skirts with zip.

McCall’s 5430 wrap skirts.

Butterick 5153 shorts and pants (also for men).

McCall’s 6568 slimmer shorts and pants.

Layers

McCall’s 2260 unlined vests.

McCall’s 6084 shawl collar cardigans, woven.

McCall’s 6209 ponchos.

Butterick used to have a quick pattern for waterfall front jackets, Butterick 4989, which is now out of print.

And they had an unlined blazer pattern that Butterick claimed you could sew in 2 hours ! but sadly that has disappeared from their catalogue 😀 Look for Butterick 4138 dated 2004.

McCall’s 6172, the famous Palmer-Pletsch 8-hour lined blazer pattern which sold over a million copies, is now also out of print.

Costumes for men and women

McCall’s 7229 nativity.

McCall’s 6142 clown.

– – –

Independent pattern companies

Again these are just a few patterns I’ve found which claim specific making times.
There are many more independent pattern companies mentioned in my other post on quick patterns : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed.

For modern casuals, try Seamwork download patterns from Colette Patterns – supposed to take less than 3 hours in total (a few for men).

Seamingly Smitten claims most of their download patterns can be made in an afternoon.

For more formal modern classics in less than 3 hours, see Textile Studio Patterns. Shorten the skirts and dresses to transform the look. Or try the jackets at thigh, knee, or low calf length.

With a little more time – Decades of Style ‘Everyday’ patterns are supposed to be sewable in a day. Most are also rated ‘easy’.

Some individual patterns :

Fancy Tiger Crafts free pattern for a One Hour Top is a simple dolman shape knit top. They have a video class for it at Creative Bug showing how to make it on a serger/overlocker and a sewing machine.

And if you enjoy self-drafted patterns from a book there’s the 1920s One Hour dress by Mary Brooks Picken.

Sew Over It says an Intermediate sewer can sew their Ultimate Shift dress (download option) in 3 hours.

Silhouette patterns
600 classic blouse with 1-hour sew-along webcasts.
85 sweater wrap, basically a knit circle with added sleeves.

CNT jackets
‘A little somethin’ 3 hour shawl collar jacket.
‘Start after breakfast finish before lunch’ jacket with raglan sleeves.

Christine Jonson Studio Collection draped vest and jacket download patterns for knits.
She says the vest can be sewn in 5 minutes !

These free download patterns from Camelot Fabrics are said to take an afternoon :
boxy dress – for variations : shorten to top / tunic, change neckline shape or finish.
cropped jacket – for variations : lengthen, change front shape.
pyjama pants – with elastic waist and side seams. Make a size smaller for a daywear version ?

Sewlidarity says she made 2 pairs of Sew Over It Ultimate Pyjamas (download) in 5 hours (vlog starts at 1.50).

– – –

Of course you may well have your own patterns which you can whip up in a short time. I’ve just been talking about patterns which the pattern companies are willing to make a commitment about. They show that everyone can make a garment quickly, not just people who have a serger/overlocker and are making a tee 😀

Incidentally you may have wondered why there are so few knit patterns in this post. There are many knit patterns in the next post, on quick but not timed patterns : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed. Perhaps there are so many techniques / tools / notions for making knit garments, the pattern companies don’t want to guess the time you might need.

Whether you enjoy using these fast patterns may depend on your sewing style. I’m not a quick sewer, and I don’t do well under pressure. I need to spend time developing the fit of a pattern and getting secure about the techniques used before I can be sure of making it more quickly.
But there are many people who love to jump straight in for a quick reward to their sewing.

So Good Luck with developing a range of speedy Tried ’N True patterns, if that’s what you enjoy.

– – –

Patterns and links available November 2016

= = =

Very Quick and Easy patterns which are not timed

November 19, 2016

My previous post was on patterns which the pattern companies claim you can sew in 3 hours or less. The 2019 version is here : Sew a garment in less than 3 hours.

The patterns in this post are obviously quick and simple, but the publishers are not actually committing themselves about how long you need to make them !
(2019 – I have not yet checked if these links still work – I know Simplicity/New Look urls have all changed.)

The same comments about fabrics apply :
Quality fabrics can give a luxury look to even the simplest of styles. Choose wovens with a bit of body, so they don’t need much support from interfacing and don’t change shape while you’re sewing them. Not slippery, doesn’t fray easily. Similarly with knits – choose stable ones, that aren’t too floppy. Knits have the advantage they don’t fray, so no need for seam finishing. And there are non-knit fabrics like this too.

Some of these patterns may use less than ideal sewing processes to speed up the make. You can always choose to take a bit longer on better techniques, though it may take some thought.

(The patterns are tissue unless download is mentioned.)

– – –

Some patterns for quick casual outfits

Here’s a very simple pattern for skirts and pants :
Butterick 3460.

For casual outfits, combine those with these free slouchy top download patterns from Tessuti :
Cut on sleeves, straight sides (sheers)
Cut-on sleeves with added length, straight sides (wovens)
Cut-on sleeve, a-line (knits)
Boxy with separate sleeves (knits)
There’s also the free MariaDenmark kimono tee (link in right menu).

Pattern companies and special pattern lines

All the patterns from 100 Acts of Sewing are ultra simple.

And the ePatterns among the download patterns from Sewing Workshop. Add quick elastic waist skirts and pants for a complete wardrobe.

I don’t sew knits myself so I’m not very aware of patterns for them, but I know many people like Pamela’s Patterns and find them quick to sew.

If you like a flouncy / lagenlook style, and have tried the pattern so you’ve found the pitfalls, a few of Tina Givens patterns use simple shapes and techniques, and most are downloads. Though ‘buyer beware’, you do need to know enough to correct any gaps in the patterns and instructions. If you like a softer look but don’t want to go completely lagenlook, many of these can be shortened to thigh length and worn with other skirts, pants or jeans.

If you don’t need good instructions, there are the ‘one figure’ styles from Hot Patterns. Some are available as downloads.

And it’s worth searching for the gems among the dross in the free download patterns from fabric.com (many of these are from Hot Patterns).

Also most of the styleARC patterns suitable for beginners are quick and easy.

Yet more simple tops and bottoms among the Sure Fit Designs Made in a Day styles. Most of these can be made starting from any basic top and pants fitting slopers, not just the SFD ones. Though you do need to do a bit of pattern work the first time you use them.

Quick and easy jackets are usually loose fitting with no collar. Maybe no closure, or use snaps, clasps, frogs, ties, cord loops instead of buttonholes. Often with cut-on sleeves. Or made from rectangles with square armholes. Sometimes raglan sleeves. There are patterns for these from many companies. Here’s my post from 2011 listing quick jackets from independent designers – most are still available.

MacPhee Workshop It’s Magic and World’s Easiest are ingenious simple casual patterns, though for my taste the techniques are sometimes over simplified. As they’re in Canada, there are many warm jackets and coats – not usual in quick pattern collections.
A couple of those are versions of the one-fabric-piece bog coat. Here’s Shirley Adams’ video about making a bog coat without a pattern.

I now have a pinterest board of patterns for very easy jackets and vests.

For a slight increase in skills and time needed, there’s a large range of Fast and Easy patterns from Butterick.

Very easy wardrobe patterns

Make the co-ordination decisions quick and easy by using a wardrobe pattern. Many easy New Look patterns for 2 or 3 items (most both tissue and printable on-line, see size menu), such as :

for knits :
New Look 6762, New Look 6735 (‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants), New Look 6730, New Look 6461, New Look 6458, New Look 6420, New Look 6403, New Look 6402, New Look 6384, New Look 6216.

for wovens :
New Look 6428, New Look 6292.
This one isn’t labelled ‘easy’ (skirt and pants have darts and zips), but is nearly and has a ‘Core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants : New Look 6217.

‘Learn to Sew’ pattern ranges

If you’re an experienced sewer, then you’ll probably find these patterns easy to make.

Kwik Sew Kwik Start
Simplicity Learn to sew
McCall’s Learn to sew (avoid the camp shirt 6972, or add a neck facing so you can sew the collar quickly and easily).

Although these are ‘Learn to Sew’ patterns, many of them would be challenging as a first project for most complete beginners. But they do usually use simple techniques and clear instructions. I think the Simplicity and Kwik Start instructions are better for beginners, but that won’t matter so much for an experienced sewer.

Beware patterns labelled Easy or Beginner by many of the pattern companies, which may not be at all quick or even simple. Assess these patterns carefully for whether they use techniques that are trouble free and quick for you.
I think the Very Easy Vogue label is especially mis-leading for beginners, these patterns often use techniques which would be called ‘intermediate’ by anyone else 😀

– – –

Lots of good options. But we do need to allow for our own way of working. People who often sew quickly will go “oh good, 1 hour. . . whizz. . .done”. Meanwhile I’m saying “hmm, I do need to make samples of that stitch on my new machine. . . hmm, I need to adapt that pattern for my x, y, z fitting issues. . . hmm, that style element may be quick to sew but often doesn’t look good on me, I’d better make a test garment. . .”. I can take months to make a 1-hour pattern 😀 I can’t happily sew quickly a pattern that’s new to me. If I want some quick sewing, it has to be a Tried ‘N True pattern, one on which all the testing and development work has already been done.

But the quick pattern choices are wide. These days the need for speed doesn’t restrict you to making very plain classics. Copy the well known designers who make very simple shapes in very special fabrics.

Good Luck with finding some speedy patterns which suit your clothing and sewing style. Then you can happily build a wardrobe with minimum effort 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available November 2016

= = =

Update on sources of quick-make patterns

March 5, 2016

I added a list of all the timed patterns currently available from the Big 4, and this post got so large I’ve divided it in 2 sections. The more recent posts are :
1. Speedy patterns to make in half a day or less
A list of links to current patterns taking 3 hours or less sewing time.
2. Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed
This is not much changed from the post below.

There are wardrobe sewing contests at both Stitchers Guild and Pattern Review at the moment (March 2016).

Many contestants find themselves doing some speed sewing in the final weeks, to get the full number of garments made. So what are some good sources of quick-make patterns ?

Obviously these patterns have to avoid any technique that takes time. So they’re very simple, with few added design features and little shaping. But there are designers who manage to respond to this need by providing interesting shapes and design features that don’t need much work.

It’s also helpful to know which sewing techniques you’re relaxed about. For example, most quick patterns avoid zips and buttonholes, collars and set-in sleeves, any hand sewing. But if you’re a sewist who can do those in a whizz, then why not.

Fabric choice can be crucial. Quality fabrics can give a luxury look to even the simplest of styles. Choose wovens with a bit of body, so they don’t need much support from interfacing and don’t change shape while you’re sewing them. Not slippery, doesn’t fray easily. Similarly with knits – choose ones that aren’t too floppy. Knits have the advantage they don’t fray, so no need for seam finishing. And there are non-knit fabrics like this too.

Some of these patterns may use less than ideal sewing processes to speed up the make. You can always choose to take a bit longer on better techniques, though it may take some thought.

(The patterns are tissue unless download is mentioned.)

– – –

Patterns which the publishers suggest times for

This is the section replaced by a new post.
These times assume you’re an experienced sewer !

BMV used to give sewing times for several of their patterns, but do it less often now. Some of the timed patterns are still available. For casual classics, see previous posts on speedy patterns from the Big 4 which are supposed to take less than 2 hours sewing time.

Here are some new examples from Simplicity-New Look :
New Look 6816, knit cut-on sleeve tops, elastic-waist skirt and pants.
Simplicity 8180, shirts
Simplicity 2414, elastic waist pants and tiered skirts.
New Look 6399, skirts and pants
Simplicity 1068, knit skirts
Simplicity 8219, lined vests.

For modern casuals, try Seamwork download patterns from Colette Patterns – supposed to take less than 3 hours in total.

For more formal modern classics in less than 3 hours, see Textile Studio Patterns. Shorten the skirts and dresses to transform the look. Or try the jackets at thigh, knee, or low calf length.

Easy patterns which are not timed but only slightly less quick

Here’s a very simple pattern for skirts and pants :
Butterick 3460.

For casual outfits, combine those with these free slouchy top download patterns from Tessuti :
Cut on sleeve, straight sides (sheers)
Cut-on sleeve, a-line (knits)
Boxy with separate sleeves (knits)
There’s also the free MariaDenmark kimono tee (link in right menu).

All the patterns from 100 Acts of Sewing are ultra simple.

And the ePatterns among the download patterns from Sewing Workshop. Add quick elastic waist skirts and pants for a complete wardrobe.

If you like a flouncy / lagenlook style, and have tried the pattern so you’ve found the pitfalls, Tina Givens patterns use simple shapes and techniques, and most are downloads. Though ‘buyer beware’, you do need to know enough to correct any gaps in the patterns and instructions. If you like a softer look but don’t want to go completely lagenlook, many of these can be shortened to thigh length and worn with other skirts, pants or jeans.

If you don’t need good instructions, there are the ‘one figure’ styles from Hot Patterns. Some are available as downloads.

And it’s worth searching for the gems among the dross in the free download patterns from fabric.com (many of these are from Hot Patterns).

Also most of the styleARC patterns suitable for beginners are quick and easy.

Yet more simple tops and bottoms among the Sure Fit Designs Made in a Day styles. Most of these can be made starting from any basic top and pants fitting slopers, not just the SFD ones. Though you do need to do a bit of pattern work the first time you use them.

Quick and easy jackets are usually loose fitting with no collar. Maybe no closure, or use snaps, clasps, frogs, ties, cord loops instead of buttonholes. Often with cut-on sleeves. Or made from rectangles with square armholes. Sometimes raglan sleeves. There are patterns for these from many companies. Here’s my post from 2011 listing quick jackets from independent designers – most are still available.

MacPhee Workshop It’s Magic and World’s Easiest are ingenious simple casual patterns, though for my taste the techniques are sometimes over simplified. As they’re in Canada, there are many warm jackets and coats – not usual in quick pattern collections.

For a slight increase in skills and time needed, there’s a large range of Fast and Easy patterns from Butterick.

Very easy wardrobe patterns

Make the co-ordination decisions quick and easy by using a wardrobe pattern. Many easy New Look patterns for 2 or 3 items (most both tissue and printable on-line, see size menu), such as :

for knits :
New Look 6762, New Look 6735 (‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants), New Look 6730, New Look 6461, New Look 6458, New Look 6420, New Look 6403, New Look 6402, New Look 6384, New Look 6216.

for wovens :
New Look 6428, New Look 6292.
This one isn’t labelled ‘easy’ (skirt and pants have darts and zips), but is nearly and has a ‘Core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants : New Look 6217.

‘Learn to Sew’ pattern ranges

If you’re an experienced sewer, then you’ll probably find these patterns easy to make.

Kwik Sew Kwik Start
Simplicity Learn to sew
McCall’s Learn to sew (avoid the camp shirt 6972, or add a neck facing so you can sew the collar quickly and easily – video on facing pattern here from Louise Cutting)

Although these are ‘Learn to Sew’ patterns, many of them would be challenging as a first project for most complete beginners. But they do usually use simple techniques and clear instructions. I think the Simplicity and Kwik Start instructions are better for beginners, but that won’t matter so much for an experienced sewer.

Beware patterns labelled Easy or Beginner by many of the pattern companies, which may not be at all quick or even simple. Assess these patterns carefully for whether they use techniques that are trouble free and quick for you.

– – –

Lots of good options. But we do need to allow for our own way of working. People who often sew quickly will go “oh good, 1 hour. . . whizz. . .done”. Meanwhile I’m saying “hmm, I do need to make samples of that stitch on my new machine. . . hmm, I need to adapt that pattern for my x, y, z fitting issues. . . hmm, that style element may be quick to sew but often doesn’t work well on me, I’d better make a test garment. . .”. I can take months to make a 1-hour pattern 😀 I can’t happily sew quickly a pattern that’s new to me. If I want some quick sewing, it has to be a Tried ‘N True pattern, one on which all the testing and development work has already been done.

But the quick pattern choices are wide. These days the need for speed doesn’t restrict you to making very plain classics. There are several designers who make very simple shapes in very special fabrics.

Good Luck with finding some speedy patterns which suit your clothing and sewing style. Then you can happily build a wardrobe with minimum effort 😀

– – –

First published March 2016, links and patterns updated November 2016 (how quickly things change on the web. . .)

= = =

Sewing Patterns for Men’s Clothes

April 12, 2015

Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee 2015, I’ve been looking for men’s patterns. And I’ve been adding to this list when I find a new source.
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.

Sections :
– Learning to sew menswear
Learn to sew patterns
– General patterns
Casual wear – including ‘made to measure’ patterns, magazines
Costumes
Activewear and Outdoor gear
Shirts, suits, vests, coats – including video courses on technique
– Make your own patterns
Basic blocks
Custom fit

Learning to sew menswear

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 even the simplest sewing project. Some people love challenges, some people prefer to learn one new technique at a time.

The first step is to learn the basics of using a sewing machine, see side menu at Aim for Quality for many free guides.

Then learn the simplest basics of cutting fabric and constructing something from it.
Do you prefer to learn from video or written instructions ?
There are ‘learn to sew’ bag and home dec patterns at Kwik Sew Kwik Start which can be made in men’s fabrics. This pattern line has good special instructions for early beginners.
There are a couple of free video classes on bag making at Craftsy/Bluprint.

There are some special easy patterns for men’s clothes, see next section.
There are also some special courses :

There’s a subscription service for learning to sew mens’s clothes from complete beginner. Taught by Mimi G, Sew It Academy, about $12 a month – videos with few written instructions.

If you prefer written instructions, here’s a “learn to sew” project book for complete beginners. The Merchant & Mills Sewing Book has a sequence of unisex bags and home dec (clothes patterns in this book are small and difficult to use, M&M single patterns are good).

The Sewing Guru is a trained tailor who has videos for making shirts and suits (and pyjamas), using speed and classical tailoring techniques. Projects vary in difficulty, and there’s no formal sewing school with a suggested sequence for learning sewing skills.

Burda Academy has an online video course for learning to sew menswear, which includes patterns for jacket, pants, and Barbour. This is also not for beginners.

Preferably start early. There’s a Bunkhouse book, Buckles and Bobbins, specifically for teaching boys to sew.

‘Learn to Sew’ clothes patterns for men

These could be ‘early beginner’ projects, a first garment after learning basic cutting out and construction from simpler projects :
Robe : Simplicity 1946.
Tees with V and crew necks : Kwik Sew 3878.
Pyjama pants with fly opening (no closure, add snaps) : Kwik Sew 3793.
Elastic-waist pants, no fly opening : Kwik Sew 3345, Simplicity 2290.
Elastic-waist cargo shorts with ‘mock fly’ (doesn’t open) : McCall’s 6933.

The next I suggest might be ‘extra help for the first time you do this’ patterns – not for a complete beginner at garment sewing, but perhaps for a beginner at sewing these styles :
This shirt pattern is labelled ‘Learn to Sew’ by McCall’s, but definitely not easy, McCall’s 6972. For some reason they chose the most difficult way of attaching a one-piece collar.
And this ‘Learn to Sew’ pattern is for pants with zip fly, McCall’s 7987.
These jumpsuit costumes have zipper closure : McCall’s 7675.

– – –

General Patterns

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 :
Casual wear
Costumes
Activewear and Outdoor gear
Shirts
Suits, vests, coats.
These are all paper patterns unless noted.

Plus a final section on making your own patterns.

There are about a dozen patterns for men in this list of patterns supposed to be sewable in less than 3 hours.

If you’re specifically looking for patterns for larger men, here’s a post from the Curvy Sewing Collective which lists some patterns for men which go up to larger sizes. (See also the ‘make your own patterns’ section below.)

– – –

Casual wear
Some of these sites are not sorted for men/women.
Some are in several languages.

Burda tissue patterns / Simplicity
Burda Style download patterns
Butterick
Colette Patterns – Walden for men
Elbe Textiles
Green Style Creations
Hot Patterns
I Am Patterns
Jalie
Jennifer Lauren Handmade
Knipmode
Kwik Sew
Liesl & Co.
McCall’s
Merchant & Mills
Patterns for Pirates
Patrons les BG
ProperFit Cothing – caps
Rebecca Page
Schnittquelle
Seamwork (download)
Sew Sew Def (download)
Silhouette patterns
Stof & Stil
The Tailoress
Thread Theory
Toby K
Wardrobe By Me
5 out of 4 patterns

’Made to Measure’ pdf download patterns

Most of these only use a few basic measures, such as height, chest, waist, hips.

Bootstrap Fashion has patterns for several shirts and jackets.

Freesewing.org (formerly Make My Pattern) has patterns for most garment types.

Lekala patterns include more than 120 patterns for men.

For more detailed personalising of design and fit, see the ‘Make your own patterns’ section below.

Pattern magazines

There is an on-line sewing magazine specifically for menswear, Bartack.
This has been set up by Jamie Kemp, former contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee. Click on the Welcome to read about the content. It’s free to look at the content, subscription for the downloads.
There’s an extensive pattern finder section.

There’s the annual special family issues of Ottobre magazine, 7/2017, 07/2018, which have several traceable patterns for men.

Many of the download patterns at Burda Style previously appeared in Burda Style pattern magazine.

La Maison Victor is a Belgian pattern magazine said to have a pattern for men in each issue.

Occasionally there are stylish patterns for men in Italian pattern magazine La Mia Boutique

– – –

Costumes

Many of these sites aren’t pre-sorted for men/ women.

Burda Style download patterns
Butterick
Folkwear
McCall’s
Simplicity

There are several specialist pattern companies for historic styles.
Such as :
Laughing Moon
Nehelenia
Patterns of Time
Reconstructing History
The Recollections of J.P.Ryan

Choose the era you are interested in at
The Great Pattern Review
That doesn’t link you direct to the pattern.
Here’s their list of links to sources.

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.

– – –

Active wear

Burda Style download patterns
Controlled Exposure
Daisy Kingdom
Fehr Trade
Green Pepper
Jalie
Round Earth Publishing – martial arts
Shelby Kaava
Storm Mountain Designs
Suitability – patterns for riders and horses

Outdoor gear

Here’s a guide to tips on sewing outdoor gear which aren’t in most conventional sewing books.
Many heavy duty sewing projects here, from Sail-rite sewing machines.

Some patterns :
Pennine Outdoor (mainly tents and sleeping bags)
Quest Outfitters (tents, bivy bags, backpacks)
Rainshed (mainly special purpose bags)

Many free patterns for bike bags available on-line.

– – –

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/Bluprint, 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, no shirt.

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.

There are many video courses on making women’s shirts, which use the same techniques. Such as this class from Sew Over It, which includes both men’s and women’s shirts with pdf patterns.

Patterns for Shirts

More than one shirt pattern at each of these sites :
Burda paper, Simplicity
Burda Style download
Islander Sewing Systems – classic shirts
Islander Sewing Systems – modern fit shirts
Kwik Sew
Vogue
(a single shirt pattern also in some of the Casual wear listings)

Patterns for Suits, Vests, Coats

Burda paper, Simplicity
Burda Style download
Vogue

– – –

Make your own clothes patterns

The University of Fashion has on-line video lessons on drafting patterns for men. These are standard industry slopers.

There are ready-made full size basic pattern blocks for men (average body shape) from :
Design Cut and Wear (some up to 46″ chest)
Shoben Media (up to about 110cm / 43” chest).
See below for larger sizes.

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 a better fit than patterns for ‘average’ body shape.

‘Connect the dots’ tracing from a master pattern, by Sure-Fit Designs :
Shirts and casual jackets (easy to make any height-collar-chest combination up to about 157cm/62” chest).
Pants for men instructions used with pants pattern (up to 62″ hips).

Pattern making software :
Wild Ginger PatternMaster Tailor Made (claims no upper size limits)

Formal Pattern Drafting books :
Patternmaking for Menswear : classic to contemporary by Kim & Kim
Metric pattern cutting for menswear by Winifred Aldrich
(There are several other general pattern making books for men, but these get the best reviews.)

– – –

Other options :

Vintage patterns
There are many vintage pattern sites. Good places to start are searches on ebay and Etsy.

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.
Simply Pretty

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.)
Pattern Review

Men’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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First written April 2015, links checked March 2019.
I add a link whenever I come across a new source, but I don’t keep checking whether the links are all still valid.

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