There’s a wealth of wonderful patterns out there for women, teens and even children, but sadly fashion as a whole seems to ignore part of the population. Male and masculine bodies still need clothing, so why are there less options for making clothes to suit them than there are for female and feminine bodies? Making menswear isn’t any more or less difficult than making clothes for women – and to help you on your way to finding the perfect pattern, I’ve found some great companies and designers for you. All this in time for Father’s Day later this month too (20th June, in case you weren’t sure when it is).
While some companies have the occasional menswear pattern, they tend to be quite old fashioned and not particularly inkeeping with the style or needs of modern guys (I’m looking at the big four pattern companies here). Luckily, there’s some great menswear specific pattern companies and designers, plus many more pattern designers are adding to their menswear lines. All of this is great news for the growing community of guys of making their own clothes, plus the crafters wanting to make for their family and friends.
Sewing pattern brands making menswear and unisex patterns
For those who sew, Thread Theory is the go-to menswear specific pattern company. They have a range of different patterns: from coats, to trousers, tops, and even underwear. What’s more is they also sell patterns from other designers on their site. This is great because there are loads of small pattern designers out there you may never otherwise hear about who design clothes for all the family, so even if you don’t get along with Thread Theory’s patterns or styles, you’re likely to find something to suit the person you’re making for.
Some pattern companies which are better known for their feminine patterns also have unisex and patterns for guys. The most well known of these are:
- Hudson pants by True Bias
- Jackson tee and pullover by Helen’s Closet
- Hackney shirt by Sew Over It
- Joe pyjama bottoms by Tilly and the Buttons
- Arlo track and Ilford jackets by Friday Pattern Company
- Jaques raincoat by I AM Patterns
5 out of 4 patterns is perhaps the most well loved of the smaller pattern companies. They create patterns for all the family – including hoodies, boxer and swim shorts, joggers and t-shirts. There’s also Toby K Patterns producing interesting patterns for men and boys.
Knitting and crochet designers creating designs for all genders
Searching the pattern catalogues of some knitting and crochet sites for interesting patterns for men can be a bit difficult to say the least. Many are matching patterns with a female version, which is fine if you’re a matchy-matchy couple, but I’m definitely not into that – in fact I don’t think I know anyone who is. Knitwits & Yarns are perhaps the only pattern designer producing menswear specific designs – and one of the few male knitting designers.
While there are lots of scarves, gloves, hat and sock patterns, most of the more interesting ones designed for guys or as unisex patterns are sweaters. Some of my favourites are as follows –
- Julio sweater by Creaciones Ananda (crochet)
- Workwear jumper by Nomad Stitches (crochet)
- It’s Just Not Cricket sweater by Dora Does (crochet)
- Sherrod sweater by Jen Hagan Design (knitting)
- Banff jumper by Judy Furlong (knitting)
- Edward jumper by Willow and Lark (knitting)
Sadly there just aren’t as many types of garments you can knit or crochet for men, which perhaps explains why the main concentration of patterns for them are socks, scarves, hats and gloves. It is good to see more designers working on sweater patterns though, this is a nice step in the right direction.
Making a gift for someone else
Given that I’ve written this post with Father’s Day in mind, I thought it best to add in this section.
If you’re going to make something for someone else and it’s your first time doing so, it can be a little scary. There’s all the normal gift-giving anxieties, plus it’s really disappointing if something goes wrong or it doesn’t fit. It’s therefore best to give yourself time to get things right. If, like me, you’re already a slow knitter or crocheter, it might not be enough time to start tackling a project and get it finished ready for Father’s Day, but perhaps you could make it for a birthday, Christmas or another celebration instead. Depending on the pattern, sewists should have enough time to make a gift, but remember not to rush.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone of a similar height and size to the person you’re making for, then you can use them as a tester. My husband kindly stepped in as a body double for me whilst I made the Workwear jumper by Nomad Stitches for my dad’s Christmas present (he actually got it in February) and it was incredibly useful.
Hopefully this post has given you lots of ideas and you can make some great stuff for the guys in your life, or even yourself.