Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Where are fashion forward men’s patterns

Snash | Posted in General Discussion on

Hey ladies, there is a guy in the room!  I have only been sewing for 6 years, I know not long.  But I am completely consumed by it.  I sew every day.  I am also very disappointed by the lack of men’s patterns out there.  Simplicity, McCalls & Butterick have an extremely lame selection.  Plus the patterns have to be altered so dramatically because they are so big and baggy, you may as well start from scratch without a pattern.  Vogue is ok, still not very fashion forward.  Burda seems to have the best looking and fitting patterns I have found so far, but even then the selection is so limited.  Where do you find contemporary men’s patterns?  I have recently purchased the Wild Ginger Tailor Made program and have been using that, and it’s great.  Still it would be nice to find a pattern company that has already done most of the work for you.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Hi and welcome to the forum!  I'm glad to hear you are enjoying sewing and creating!  My son and 3 grandsons all sew and do machine embroidery, but not as often as you do. 

    The limited availability for men's patterns frustrates us too!  My guys love Hawaiian style shirts for summer and use a Kwik Sew pattern for that.  I'll be keeping an eye on this thread to see what others come up with.  I wish some new designer would come up with thier own mens/boys pattern line!  Mary

    1. Snash | | #2

      Hey Mary, for shirts like the hawaiian short sleeve the Burda 8471 is a great pattern and a great fit.  It's great for long, short or sleeveless.  Thanks for your reply!  Take care...Steven

      1. MaryinColorado | | #4

        I haven't tried Burda patterns in years, I was glad to hear that they've added seam allowances.  Thanks for the suggested pattern, I will check it out.  How is the sizing?  Mary

        1. Snash | | #6

          Mary, I think Burda does the best in sizing for me.  Other company patterns are fairly shapeless and unflattering.  Some appear to make better slip covers for large vehicles than garments!  I like the European fit much better. 

          1. MaryinColorado | | #7

            Thanks, I just went to thier website, they seem to have more current styles so I will be off to the book store today to buy thier magazine.  I do like that pattern you suggested and will pass the info along to the guys, thanks.  Mary

          2. Snash | | #9

            Unfortunately the magazine rarely has anything for men, as usual, but it is still a great resource for current women's design.

  2. GailAnn | | #3

    What sorts of garments are you sewing?

    I've made a few men's work shirts, and short sleeved sweat shirts in my time, but never even thought to try anything else.  Gail

    1. Snash | | #5

      I attend many black tie events throughout the year and do a lot of performing.  Because of the lack of unique men's design, I have been making my own shirts using more creative fabrics for under tuxedos, plus silk brocade tux vests in more contemporary patterns and colors.  That's what got me into sewing in the beginning.  I have also been doing costuming sporadically over the last year.  It's been a lot of fun, but I still have a lot to learn.

      1. GailAnn | | #8

        Fabulous!!!!  What great inspiration!  Silly me, here I was picturing you as working in an office, shop, or factory, and going to the lake on the week-end.  How provincial of me!  Gail

      2. mede8 | | #10

        Welcome ...and I agree with you re Burda patterns.  I'm an "old" gal, but have found Burda to be my favorite pattern company - not only for me (I'm only "old" when it comes to the calendar), and also for the men in my family.

        Now then, as for your vests to wear under your tux:  Have you discovered Barb Randlle's book:  "Crazy Quilting with Attitude"?  It's got some great ideas for adding pizzazz to just about anything.  I'm in the process of making a vest for my grandson who is in college and attending a lot of social events.  These colorful vests, made with piecing wild fabrics and then doing fancy stitches with your machine look absolutely wonderful under a tux.  You could also do more subdued versions to wear under more conservative wool or linen jackets.  Just a thought.

        Take care and keep us posted.  BTW, I like the Burda shirt you suggested too, so I think I'll give it. 

        Edited 6/12/2008 1:21 pm by mede8

        1. Snash | | #12

          I have not heard of Barb's book.  I will research it, thank you for the suggestion.  As for the shirt's what I have been working with is simplifying the shirt design for a more classic, timeless, tailored look trying to avoid the trendy.  But a lot of guys in the 20-40 something age range may want the formal appearance sans the penguin look.  I want the fabric to be what is formal about the shirt.  Then I think the classic design will afford the shirt to be versatile enough to also wear with jeans and a sport jacket for an evening out in addition to under a tuxedo.  What I am doing now is trying different weaves and weights of cottons, rayons & silks for durability and long lasting wear.  It's a process that is constantly evolving, and the journey is always fun.

          1. starzoe | | #13

            May I suggest you look at upholstery and drapery fabric for some of your creations? They come in all weights, and some of them are gorgeous.

          2. Snash | | #15

            Actually, I have been using a lot of drape and upholstery fabrics.  I am currently working on a tux shirt that is a beautiful white silk look with grey & black embroidery that is drapery fabric.  It will also look great with black jeans and a blazer.

          3. mede8 | | #17

            I hear you ...esp. when it comes to "let the fabric to the talking".  LOL!  My son is approaching 50, but one of my grandsons is getting into the college age, and they both appear to have similar tastes to your own.

            That said, one of my favorite fabrics for shirts is a sand-washed silk.  A few of the reasons - for both men and women - is that is is so comfortable to wear, washes beautifully, needs no ironing except for a bit of a touch up if I don't get it out of the drying in time - and is absolutely wonderful to sew.  My guys love to wear these with suits, slacks and sport jackets AND they love to wear them with jeans.  If you haven't tried this fabric yet, I'd really recommend it.  Whatever you do, continue to enjoy your journey.

      3. sewchris703 | | #23

        For a retro look for a tux shirt, you might look at the Victorian Shirt from Folkwear Patterns.  My dh also loves their western shirts pattern and the Missouri River Boatman shirt.  http://folkwear.com/  


  3. rekha | | #11

    I am intrigued. What got you interested in sewing? I ask because if women can do engineering and nursing so should men.

    I think men are not alone in not being able to find patterns that don't fit. You probably gathered from this forum that a lot of us also have problems with patterns.

    I found two sites that may be of help, but you are using a software to design yours, you needn't look out. Maybe you can start your own line of men's clothing.



    Edited 6/12/2008 1:27 pm ET by rekha

    1. Snash | | #14

      I actually got interest because I have been a perfomer for years.  I do a lot of cabaret shows and theater in large and small venues, and finding interesting shirts & vests isn't only difficult, but very expensive.  I decided I will try making them myself.  Doing theater, I have always had many friends who were costumers, so it was never out of the question to give it a try.  Over the last year I started doing costuming myself, which is a lot of fun, but not my focus.  I'm always up for a new challenge and learning more along the way.  Thank you for the links to the websites, I will certainly research those.

      1. rekha | | #16

        What do you do with the garments after you have used them in a performance?

    2. Snash | | #18

      I had a chance to check out these websites.  I have not seen them before.  I really like the pattern on jalie.com.  I think I'll give that one a try...Thanks

      PS:  After performances, I then use the garments at other social event & fundraisers.  They always get recycled into the regular wardrobe.

      1. rekha | | #19

        I think you may get a lot of help from Kenneth King - he designs all the glamorous attire and is very approachable [email protected]


        1. Snash | | #21

          Thanks for the weblink.  I have his book "Cool Tricks", I just have never been to his website before, nor am I familiar with his other books.  I love his style.  Great fabrics, colors,  & silhouettes.  I need to revisit that.  Thanks again...Steven

  4. meg | | #20

    Have you looked at http://www.folkwear.com patterns? Are there other men/women in your geographic vicinity who sew also, with whom you could collaborate? I've found that Vogue patterns fit my husband pretty well.

    1. Snash | | #22

      Folkwear.com is a very fun website.  Just got done perusing their designs.  Many of the retro and period designs would be very easily applied to modern designs for unique and evening looks.  Thanks for the weblink.

    2. sewchris703 | | #24

      I just posted the same thing.  That's what I get for not reading ahead.


  5. Jumala | | #25


    You may want to give Islander Sewing Systems a try at https://islandersewing.hostasaurus.com/Islander2005/ They have some men's shirts from xs to 4xl using industry sewing techniques. Do not work there, just ran across them last Friday at a sewing show.  They also have sewing instruction videos/books.

    I also use Tailor Made and looking at Garment Designer to see how that works. Did pick up a book on flat pattern making, don't know the title or author at this point. I am over 50 and about 4XL in size. Have fun!


    1. Snash | | #26

      Hey Dennis, thanks for the link.  Have you tried the Garment Design program yet?  How do you think it compares?  I'm always looking for new info.  Thanks...Steven

      1. Jumala | | #32

        No, haven't tried it yet. It uses diff measurements. Some measurements are the same. Have heard it does better tops while Tailor Made does pants better. It will be awhile before trying out GD as I want to make some slacks. Running out of slacks, oh my!

        TM is basically 3 diff programs while GD is 1 program. CAD is avail all the time with menu options to pick & choose diff size tops and features such as sleeves, collars, etc. One can start with a misses size 12 and go from there. These appear on the CAD avail for changing with dimensions. These pieces can then be rearranged on the CAD for determing yardage. No need to save as in TM. You can save anytime and resave diff versions, if desired. GD can be use to create men's, women's, children's, baby's and doll clothes without the need to buy separate versions as with Wild Ginger. GD also gives knitting directions. Knit a pair of pants, perhaps. GD has 2 additional CDs with additional patterns such as collars for women.

        Sometimes between now and fall I plan to put together a sloper to see how it fits.


  6. fiberfan | | #27

    Have you seen Pam Erny's Off The Cuff blog?  She makes custom shirts for men with some interesting details.  The shirt design label is probably the best way to see some of her designs.

    1. Snash | | #30

      Thank you for these web links.  I really like her website, and she has some of the most creative shirt details I have seen in awhile.  I have seen the Pro-Weft interfacing before but have not used it.  I am certainly going to give it a try, I really like the results she has had with it.  I'm curious how it will do with some of my finer, lighter weave fabrics.  I will find out!  Thanks again for that suggestion.   Steven

    2. rekha | | #31

      Thanks for the URL. The site provides exciting new ideas that could be used for the female apparel as well and I have bookmarked the page.

  7. woodruff | | #28

    Do you have 'Shirtmaking,' David Page Coffin's beautiful book on making/drafting men's shirts? He has lovely, subtle, innovative ideas.Like others here, I also lament the scarcity of really nice men's designs. Even if one is lucky enough to find interesting shirts and jackets, perhaps vintage ones, have you noticed that there are no--none, zip--elegant men's pants patterns, nothing from the 1930s or '40s? I think Burda is as good as it gets overall. However, it sounds to me as though you are innovative enough that you are going to do well as a designer yourself!

    1. Snash | | #29

      Thank you for that email.  Someone else was telling me about Coffin's book, but I had forgotten his name and the name of the book (although how easy should that be to remember!)  I'm going to get on Amazon and look for it.  I agree, Burda's slacks are probably as good as it gets.  I try to dress things up with fabrics people may not expect.  At least you know you won't show up at an event and someone is wearing the same thing you are.  Thanks again...Steven

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All