Where do you find Patterns for Men?


I've been sewing for a while now, and recently I've noticed that I've been keeping the clothes I made around longer since they're of a higher quality and I've gotten a better understanding of my personal style. There are definitely staples I'm missing (and I hope to fill some wardrobe holes through my classic capsule wardrobe) but in 2018 I'm less interested in "maintenance sewing" for myself and more interested in branching out to things like lingerie and the topic of today's blog post... sewing for men!

It's insanely annoying to find decent men's patterns, so this is meant to be a round up of all the men's pattern companies/patterns I can find, but also a call for y'all's suggestions; if you know of a great men's pattern company I haven't included here, let me know, I'd love to add it!! In the meantime, this is what I've found so far...

Thread Theory - Probably the most well-known indie pattern brand for menswear! Sweaters, tees, underwear, even coats. In addition to their in-house line, their pattern shop also carries some of the other brands mentioned here (Colette, Merchant and Mills, and others) so check here first and save on shipping!
Patterns I've made: The Jedediah pants, which I've made into elastic waist shorts seen here and here. Really lovely wearable pants with clear instructions.

5 Out Of 4 Patterns
 - A rare boxer shorts pattern, among a few other men's patterns.
Patterns I've made: none.

Colette - I had high hopes that Colette's Walden line of men's patterns would take off, but it looks like it has died off instead, with just three patterns: a camp-collar shirt, a duffle coat, and a convertible bag. Their newer offshoot Seamwork does have a few men's patterns as well.
Patterns I've made: The Paxton raglan, which ran super small and fits me rather than Alex, possibly user error.


Burda - As a general rule, it's safe to assume that anything an indie patternmaker puts out has been done by Burda, better, cheaper, and 5 years ago... if you're willing to wade through their website, trace and add seam allowances, and go it alone or wade through minimal/terrible instructions. The same seems to hold true for their men's selection, which is the most varied of this list.
Patterns I've made: none.

Sew Sew Def - Mimi G's magazine has been including a men's pattern in each issue of this magazine and they really vary from a pretty standard tee to skinny jeans with lots of seaming and welt pockets. Not really sure what's going on with Sew Sew Def since it's marketed as monthly a year but there have only been 5 issues in the past 8 months and no sign of a November issue...? If you're into trendier looks, get it while you can!
Patterns I've made: none.

Tailor Taylor - Primarily a menswear sewing blog (sadly not updated for about a year), but Tailor does have a backpack pattern and kit.
Patterns I've made: none.


Jalie - the go-to online shop for activewear/dance/swim has men's patterns as well! Alongside your usual unisex tee shirts and sweatshirts, Jalie has really specific and unusual patterns for men, like singlets, bodyshirts (for dance, I think?), "gymnastic pants"(??), footy pajamas... even a men's thong. You do you, Jalie, you do you.
Patterns I've made: none.

Big 4 - Consisting of McCalls/Butterick/Vogue and Simplicity, the "Big 4" pattern companies provide a consistency often lacking in indie patterns: you basically know what you will get for better or worse. (On a side note, I LOVE this, which is why I make so many big 4 patterns, more than most bloggers I think.) Although they generally only publish one or two new men's patterns a season, they all typically have 4+ pattern releases a year, putting them about on par with a larger indie company as far as men's patterns go. Bonus: a lot of these patterns are technically unisex and have a men's and women's pattern in one envelope so you get a pattern for yourself too!
Patterns I've made: Simplicity 8528.

Hot Patterns - Although none of these are particularly fashion-forward, Hot Patterns has hard-to-find patterns like jeans and coats for men with nice styling. I especially like the H. P. Hemingway Windcheater and the button-fly jeans, though fairly wide-legged, would be perfect for more vintage-inclined men. Raw denim anyone?
Patterns I've made: none.


Wardrobe by Me - A decent selection of men's knitwear--tees, cardigans, sweatpants, etc.
Patterns I've made: Rebel Raglan, made for Alex.

Peekaboo Patterns - A great selection of menswear basics, if a little too basic: pajama pants, tees, robes, etc.
Patterns I've made: none.

Ottobre
 - this beloved Finnish pattern magazine (think Burda) has "Family" issues in addition to the more frequent "Kids" and "Women" publications--these issues have clothes for men and women alike, but have more of an emphasis on men's clothes since they produce women's patterns year round! You can buy a single issue for about 10 euros, and they ship to the US. Not bad considering the most recent family issue included 11 menswear patterns!
Patterns I've made: none.


Merchant and Mills - Alongside women's patterns, M&M offers a tee shirt, a camp collar shirt, and a field-type jacket as well as a tote and rucksack in their signature "heritage" style.
Patterns I've made: none.

Vintage - There are decades of sewing patterns available for men on etsy if you are able to look through the sometimes cringey pattern illustrations! Obviously a 70s bellbottom stretch poly jumpsuit is always going to look like a men's bellbottom jumpsuit, but a collared shirt can only change so much. On the other hand, where else are you going to find a bellbottom jumpsuit pattern or a men's kaftan?
Patterns I've made: none. 

Patterns for Pirates - This popular PDF pattern company has four men's patterns: a henley, a tank, sport shorts, and joggers.
Patterns I've made: none.


Free Sewing (formerly Made to Measure) - To be quite honest, I'm a bit perplexed at this one as it really seems... too good to be true? Joost de Cock has been hard at work building this site, featuring fully customizable patterns that are all free. You enter in your body measurements (just like Bootstrap/Leko) as well as style preferences (i.e. collar type, placket type, yoke dart, hip flare, omg so many options) and print out a custom pattern... free. You try it and tell me how it goes, okay?
Patterns I've made: none.

Japanese sewing books - I first learned of these types of books through Mainely Dad who made several gorgeous coats out of one. I've just ordered two of these pattern books for men (one on everyday clothes and the coats one as seen on Mainely Dad) and you can read my pre-sewing review here. I will note that the menswear books seem to be more classic styles than the women's fashions are; a lot of the women's patterns are sort of oversized and drapey or look like little kids' clothes in grown up sizes, but the men's patterns are your standard button downs and sweatshirts. (Although a drapey, Yohji Yamomoto style pattern book for men would be amaaaazing right?)
Patterns I've made: none... yet!

Did you notice how many of these pattern companies had "none" after "patterns I've made"? I hope 2018 will be the year I rectify that... but in the meantime, have you made anything by these companies? Which patternmakers am I missing?

xoxo,
allie

ps: a few menswear bloggers it's worth mentioning: Male Pattern Boldness, Mainely Dad, Tailor Taylor (archived?), Mensew.



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14 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm going to purchase that Ottobre issue.

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    1. Yes, that was the best thing I discovered while writing this post--I've never been much of a sewing magazine person (be it a pattern magazine or otherwise) and I've never made anything from Ottobre but I love the variety of patterns available in that one!

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  2. What do you think of the Rebel Raglan? I made my BF the Paxson and he pointed out to me that when he raises his arms the whole thing jumps up his waist by about four inches. I think it's something with the way the sleeves are drafted and Seamwork has pulled the pattern off their site. Looking for a replacement!

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    1. I'll ask my husband but I haven't noticed it from my vantage point! He's been wearing it a lot, but he also wore it backwards for a whole day without noticing so his opinion on fit should maybe be taken with a grain of salt. :) The Rebel is a little bit more expensive but it goes together nicely and I like the way it fits him.

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    2. Oh that really made me laugh, that he wore it backwards! Thanks for your thoughts.

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    3. No tag meant no idea which way round it went! ;)

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  3. I made the men's Tee by Thread Theory for my husband last year and he found it a "little snug" (read REVEALING here :) ) - I made it in an XL too (my husband is 6' 3" 195 lb. which is just about the right weight for him) so I would say they are made a little on the small side - something to keep in mind :) I love Thread Theory (Morgan & Matt live on the same island as me). Thank you for this post Allie - I'm bookmarking this for future reference! So helpful - another pattern co I love is Jalie although I haven't made anything for my husband in their collection it's certainly a go-to for me.

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    1. Oh good to know about the Thread Theory sizing! I've just purchased my first Jalie pattern (for bags!) but they really have a lot of unique options you can't find anywhere else, alongside some good staples for both men and women.

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  4. Men's wear seems of much better quality and more reasonably priced, in general, than women's wear that I don't bother with men's wear.
    I'd like to see a similar roundup of women's patterns--especially those that can be purchased in printed format. I'm tired of printing 40 pages of pattern pieces (and in color no less) and then taping the mess together. And I've never found a copy shop that will do full-size printing as some digital patterns now offer.
    I might use a digital pattern for a small item--tank top-- but not for anything substantial.

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    1. There are SO many that I would never be able to compile them all! But I do like checking Helen's Wednesday Weekly for all the new releases, here's the most recent one, for example: http://helenscloset.ca/2017/12/06/wednesday-weekly-112/ I mostly purchase PDF patterns from indies, although I also prefer printed, and buy a lot of Big 4 patterns because they are printed rather than PDF.

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  5. I have made the Henley and the Button-Down by Thread Theory and I can only recommended them. They have very well thought out pattern pieces (I mean, where do you get a pattern piece for interfacing?) and excellent instructions.
    I also made a Burda Pyjama-Pant in knit. It went spectacularly wrong, but that's not Burdas fault, but my husbands, who wanted them "extra-long" and then they were too long, and now they look hilarious! (Fitting Men is a science in itself...)

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  6. @Sandra W. Here is a German Blogger who tries to keep a list of women's pattern companies:
    https://ellepuls.com/2017/01/liste-schnittdesigner-list-sewing-pattern-designers/

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  7. I've made a few patterns from several of these and had pretty good luck- Thread Theory, Wardrobe by Me, Jalie, McCall's. One you missed: Liesl + Co has two men's patterns, one for a basic t-shirt (made this one; husband liked the fit) and one for a classic buttondown (on my list). https://oliverands.com/shop/liesl-and-co-patterns.html

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    1. I can't believe I missed Liesl + Co--I have their button down shirt (cut out, even!) :)

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