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How many of you sew for men? Or are men sewing for yourselves? When it comes to fashion design and the sewing world, menswear tends to take a back seat to womenswear— why do you think that is? Well I haven’t forgotten about menswear and the patterns listed in the post are sure to inspire. Read on + get the pattern downloads.

Above: If Shipley + Halmos can have this much fun with menswear so can you!

A classic button down shirt seems to land in every man’s wardrobe. The shape has remained quite the same for decades, and the fun lies in the details. Mixing up thread colors for the buttons + button holes, adding piping, or finding a great plaid can make this classic modern.

Another staple, the vest, has only changed slightly throughout history. By changing the button count, deepness of the “v” and pocket placement can put a fun twist on this pattern. And don’t forget about linings— I love putting a quirky surprise lining in a men’s vest.

If you have a great knit, some Pendleton wool or a chunky knit this cardigan is the perfect template for showing off a bold knit, like the Missoni menswear looks above. Keep out the sleeves and you have a nice knit vest for in-between seasons.

I love menswear with a pop of color and this double breasted coat is another great template for making just that. Cut it from a lighter-weight sueded cotton, plaid or canvas for spring. Or combine complimentary colors like Timo Wieland did with his beige + aqua barn jacket.

It’s tough for anyone to find a go-to trousers pattern, but this is a good starting point. Before cutting into fabric, always test your trousers in muslin and adjust any ill-fitting areas. Once you alter a pattern to make it work for you, you’ve got a treasure trove of possible creations.

The icing on the cake, and beginner friendly projects, are the tie and the bow tie. Test run these patterns on scrap fabric— even girls can combine these into their wardrobes!

More Menswear

Learn to draft the Men’s Basic Shirt Block.

Learn to draft the Men’s Basic Shirt Collar.

Tips on spicing up a men’s shirt.


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    Jun 3, 2015, 06.45 PMby olivefran

    Oh! by the way I am Woman.

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    Jun 3, 2015, 06.42 PMby olivefran

    The pattern companies are very disappointing when it comes to men’s fashioned. They are outdated, same old same old patterns. They are boring. There are so many designers of booth sexes, why can’t someone create fashionable patterns for men. Lets take mens shirt, there is an entire front to work with we are tired with just the button down front shirt. How about neck and collar variation. I am not a designer, I sew with patterns, I see so much that can be done with the front, common. I see Our species of men on this planet as being far more interesting than we make them out to be. After all besides women They are one of our most wonderful species to grace Mother Earth. Well that is when a man knows himself.

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    May 9, 2011, 09.50 PMby tambasmall

    I am making a custom linen button up men’s shirt for my cousin Tony. I have to create a custom pattern for him. But I am excited to get the chance to make something for a man. My cousin paid me 90 bucks to do this for him. I was just researching men’s sizing charts when I ran into this entry in the burda blog. Heterosexual Men like my cousin truly enjoy and are into mens fashion. The focus is like 95% on women, nothing wrong with that, but men’s fashions are cool.

    1 Reply
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      May 9, 2011, 09.56 PMby alisondahl

      Cool— Share it with us when you are done!

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    May 6, 2011, 10.25 PMby cantare

    Menswear is a returning “new” frontier. They have been forgotten not just due to fashion trends but a complicated web of social expectations, education, access, and other parts that make up what fashion reflects: people. I think we can expect some nice influences in the mens’ realm in the near future both designer and mass sides. I’m VERY interested in what men who sew and men who want more styled clothing have to say about their expectations of clothing. Thanks Burda for the articles on men’s!

    1 Reply
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      May 15, 2011, 07.48 PMby gedwoods

      I agree, cantare, that some new things are coming in the menswear area – already we are beginning to see some things. Alison’s post shows some interesting and traditionally unusual combinations of casual and chic, but I think there’s more variety and innovation coming, and perhaps more openess on the part of buyers, although that remains to be fully tested!

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    May 5, 2011, 10.18 PMby ali0423

    I sewed a button down shirt for my husband and I wished there were more patterns out there for men. I have another pattern I will be doing for him (lounge pants and pjs). He absolutely loves the shirt and I will be sewing him another one using the same pattern.

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    May 5, 2011, 02.49 PMby fashionfreek

    I have in past made a few tops for my husband. I am finishing off a shirt for him at present.

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    May 4, 2011, 08.45 PMby lila-1

    what would be REALLY REALLY useful is if someone could provide a mens sloper, or basic block (hint* hint* BURDASTYLE!) i’d totally pay for one of those

    2 Replies
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    May 4, 2011, 01.40 PMby urbandon

    Actually there are some amazing men’s fashion designers- Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Barbara Gongini, Damir Doma- men have not been left behind by the fashion houses- only pattern companies.

    1 Reply
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      May 15, 2011, 07.55 PMby gedwoods

      I agree there are some designers, but there is room for a lot more!

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    May 4, 2011, 01.30 PMby urbandon

    Well I think ALL pattern companies have forgotten about men. Sorry, but even the patterns listed here are outdated. The Burda ‘young’ series of patterns come close but all the rest look they are from 1980.

    2 Replies
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      May 4, 2011, 08.49 PMby lila-1

      i agree
      there is also very little variety – not all men want to wear suit-ish stuff. i would love to see some patterns for cool clothing piece for men the way there are for women. i realise most men wont be interested in a dress but there has to be something more than the buttoned shirt, blazer and trousers.

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      May 6, 2011, 08.55 AMby SewJayne

      Oooh, I hate to say it but I totally agree with you! Have a teen son and trying to find patterns for clothes he would consider wearing feels like mission impossible.
      This week I had to trace a pattern from a pair of jeans he likes wearing – he wanted tartan jeans to punk up his look. Come on pattern designers – there’s so much edgy stuff out there. Just look at the catwalk shows on Style.com. Not asking for exact copies, that wouldn’t be fair, but a small tweak must be manageable? Wish I knew how to make patterns from scratch!

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    May 4, 2011, 01.28 PMby laha5822

    I’m going to try my hand at some menswear soon, thanks for the inspiration! I’m definitely going to make my fiance a tie for our wedding, and I’m going to experiment with a button-down with patterns under the collar and cuffs. I should also finish the vest I started making for him 2 years ago, too! (My sewing machine had been in need of repair and wasn’t topstitching well.)

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    May 4, 2011, 03.19 AMby kelepso

    Love the matching plaid pant and vest.

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    May 3, 2011, 10.00 PMby lasusie

    hopefully, there will be more men jacket/coat patterns!

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    May 3, 2011, 06.26 PMby mry

    I’m currently making that button down shirt for my boyfriend (or at least trying to :P ). I have never tried to sew menswear before and it was pretty hard to find light summer fabrics that were affordable and appropriate for men. I would love to see more menswear in Burda magazine!

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    May 3, 2011, 06.24 PMby Natalia *

    I sew for my boyfriend, and now some male friends have requested garments as well. I find I enjoy sewing for men because the construction of the garments is usually very straight forward. With women’s patterns, I find that there are a lot of curves and tricky bits -I’ve never been very good at that. I can sew a mean straight line though, which is pretty much what menswear is.

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    May 3, 2011, 06.21 PMby macatrose

    yep i sew and knit for two men ! many stuff , kimono, skirt (yes !), Jackets, shirts, pants, boxer shorts, trousers …bags ….

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    May 3, 2011, 05.23 PMby FabricUiPhoneApp

    Ralf, funny that you say more men want more Burdastyle patterns. I had one guy knitter leave a comment on my iTunes page for my yarn app that he wanted to see more images of completed projects for guys! Leroy, if you’re out there I hear you. Anyhow, these patterns are good suggestions…I would add some basic t-shirts (what man doesn’t wear a t?) and pants, pants, pants. You couldn’t go wrong sewing a pair of flannel pajamas pants for the man in your life.

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    May 3, 2011, 04.43 PMby Ralf Schmitz

    thank you so much for this great article! i love the vest and trouser combo in big caro! that is exactly what i would love to wear (aside of the yello trench wich is so great too!!)

    i can only repeat myself by saying, that men do sew and do love fashion and do WANT MORE NEW PATTERN from burdastyle :-)

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    May 3, 2011, 03.34 PMby freaky-philomeen

    I think it’s time for burdastylers to unite against this male fashion tragedy. PJs, Espadrilles and knee-high-socks? Which girl or woman would hit the streets dressed like that, so why should men? There are so many fresh patterns and designs for women every single season – for men it’s so often either boring or unwearable.

    By the way, many male burdastylers have shared their fabulous creations here…I understand that you show what’s on the runways but in this case I’d prefer the burdastyle sewing-colleagues featured for inspiration.

    1 Reply
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      May 3, 2011, 03.46 PMby janene

      I might be inclined to agree heartily!

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    May 3, 2011, 03.23 PMby ladyshape

    Love the styling in the Shipley and Halmos pictures at the top. Nice to see some punk rock balloon action. Go menfolk!

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    May 3, 2011, 03.04 PMby cooi

    I want the guy in the yellow trench!!

    But in all seriousness, I don’t sew menswear because I often find the patterns to be out of date. :(

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