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patterns for men

bill_Murphy | Posted in Patterns on


i am a man in the UK i am studying pattern making as the patterns i can find seem to come from the 70’s country and western era and not quite with it enough to wear outside the house in the UK.

does any one know of patterns specialising in mens fashion

i am not a great sewer and trying to improve just need to get motivated.


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Hi Bill, and Welcome!
    Sadly, there seems to be a lack of good men's patterns for everyday wear. There are some good patterns for casual wear and for Dress wear, but not a lot for in between. Vogue have some great ones, and Kwik Sew seem to have the best I have found. Also have a look at Burda Patterns. Many of the Unisex patterns will work well also.
    Your choice of fabric will make a huge difference in how casual a pattern looks. A good basic shirt pattern with a variety of sleeve choices will go a long way to refining your skills as you become more comfortable with the fit and finish if a familiar garment, and the different choices in fabrics. The same garment, remade differently will look different, each time you make it. The same with a basic pant pattern, that can be made into shorts or walking pants. As you become more proficient, you will become more able to tackle the more difficult fabrics and patterns.
    Please post pics of your projects as you go. We'd love to see what you have done. And you will find plenty of encouragement here. Cathy

  2. Palady | | #2

    This might seem like a far fetched thought, but have you looked at men's tailored PJ's?  The tops might work for learning "shirt making" for yourself.  Fabric choice of course is a huge factor in this doing.  Ease comes into play as well.  After a time, you might be able to "design" changes to the basic pattern. 

    Time was PJ patterns came with V necks as well as button fronts.

    A search brought up the following.  perhaps it's a site which will give you additional direction.


    The URL came from this Google page.


    Please keep us psoted on how your effort results.


  3. cafms | | #3

    I would recommend David Coffin's book. http://store.taunton.com/onlinestore/item/shirtmaking-david-page-coffin-070393.html  I have it and have used it a lot to make shirts for my  husband.  I've been making his shirts for 36 years but found a lot of good ideas in the book.



    1. joanier | | #4

      Here is a blog for a lady that makes tailored shirts for men as a business.  Her blog has tutorials and she also sells interfacing, elastic and some other notions.  I have never used her interfacing but I understand from others that it is really top-notch.  Maybe you can pick up some pointers there.


      1. cafms | | #5

        I am familiar with this site and it is a good one.  I think you meant this for BIll Murphy, though, who asked the original question.  I hope he sees it as it is very informative.

  4. cafms | | #6

    joanier sent this link to me but you would find it helpful so I'm passing it on.  



    Edited 10/10/2009 12:11 am by cafms

  5. joanier | | #7

    Thanks CAFMS for correcting my blunder.  :-)  I also just remembered that Margaret Islander is famous for patterns for men.  Here's her website.



    1. bill_Murphy | | #8

      thanks for the warm welcome i have some great sites added to my favourites i will add some photos when i make some of my class samples we worked on a bolero jacket from a photograph we took our jacket block and modified it to be a representative copy of the photo which is the fun art of pattern cutting moving darts out of the way to make the cropped down jacket smoother and real fun trouble is is definitely a summer garment not for the autumn weather we are having now in the UK.

  6. woodruff | | #9

    Burda men's patterns are fashionably current, extraordinarily well cut and flattering--if you follow the measuring instructions inside each envelope. Essentially you will be creating a customized pattern for yourself.The downside is that their instructions are quite poor. When working with Burda, it is useful to have a Big Fat Sewing book on hand, such as the classic by Vogue or even Simplicity's big spiral bound thing.

    1. jennys | | #10

      I use the Burda patterns a lot for my 2 boys ( one 14 and adult sized, the other 11 and also tall). The pants patterns fit them really well, and always look flattering.
      I sometimes use the Kwik Sew for knits - these are also good ( great instructions and methods ) , but the shirts/jackets are often a bit short. I always hold the pattern up against the boys, and add 5-10 centimetres to the bottom of the t-shirts etc. Here in Australia, the boys like their clothes long, partic the tops.
      I hope this is helpful, jennys

  7. gailete | | #11

    You have pointed out a problem with the pattern companies here in the US. Men's patterns are hard to find and they don't make many. Vogue does have some nice men's suit, vest and even a tuxedo pattern. The other companies usually just deal with shirts and occasionally pants and lots of pajamas (as if that is all men wear) and also outdoors jackets. That being said, it you find a pattern that interests you, snap it up while you can and be thankful that men's fashion doesn't change nearly as radically as women's. Many so called men's patterns will also be listed as unisex patterns or as a parent/child pattern-matching shirts for son and dad for example.

    I too suggest David Coffin's book on Shirtmaking. Threads fairly recently had an article on men's shirt collars and increasing their size. You should be able to find it in the main Threads forum index to know which magazine you want to try and track down.

    Very glad to see a man sewing. Once you get a shirt pattern to fit you and get the process of how to make it, with all the fabric choices available, the world will be yours. Then you need basic pants, etc. It is called having a TNT (Tried aNd True) patterns. The ones that you will want to make over and over again. I have one top that I have made about 6 times and I love it. Hope you find some patterns that get you to that point.

  8. jothwade | | #12

    Bill, I get frustrated, too, by the lack of patterns for men.  You can google, there are patterns for historic clothing that can be addapted to today with fabric.   You can make patterns from garments that you have that fit and you like and there are various ways to do that.   I have used duct tape  combined with tissue patters but you can just copy pieces or take the garment apart.  Folkways has some interesting ethnic patterns which I have used, especially indian tops/tunics.

    I have found, in a thrift (op) shop a manequin that is just my size so that I can drape stuff as long as it is not tailored.   

    There are two guys that blog here in the state, one is male pattern boldness and the other is brian sews.com   both have lots of good technique and machine information.

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