Book Report: Patternmaking for Menswear!

Oooh, you guys– I have a super fun book to show you today!  It’s Patternmaking for Menswear by Gareth Kershaw, sent to me by my friends at Laurence King Publishing.

I was really excited to see this in my mailbox for two reasons– firstly, because I’m suddenly feeling comfortable enough with my sewing skills to want to sew for my fella, and secondly, because I’m about three-quarters of the way through my first patternmaking course at FIT and ready to delve more deeply into that world.  Folks, this puppy does NOT disappoint!

The book draws inspiration from the world of fashion, but the pieces are classic and wearable.

To make the projects in the book, you create basic pattern blocks, then use them as a jumping-off point to create patterns for different looks.   (I have to say, after spending a semester drafting for women, the lovely straight lines and dart-free lines of menswear really appeal to me!).

At the beginning of each project, the author lists the changes you need to make to the block and the techniques you need to learn.  It’s all laid out in a simple and straightforward fashion, which I appreciate.  The drawings and instructions are much clearer than the textbook my patternmaking teacher references (an older, out-of-print book with small, hard-to-see illustrations).

There are enough patterns and variations in the book to dress a dude really well.  Also, not to be TOO much of a superbrat, but lots of the details and skills included in the book translate to women’s sewing, too.  I would TOTALLY wear this shirt (I KNOW, I KNOW, I’LL MAKE SOMETHING FOR MY DUDE FIRST).  In the project shows above, you need to create cuffs, yokes, plackets, a curved hem– all kinds of things that would come in handy for guys and gals alike!  Did I mention that I would TOTALLY wear this shirt?

There are twenty patterns included in the book, and they’re a great mix of basics and hipper garments.  For example, there’s a basic buttondown and basic pants, but there are also cargo pants, a hooded sweatshirt, a henley, and a lovely trench coat.  This is about as much bang for your buck as you could possibly get sewing for guys– I don’t think you could buy 20 patterns on sale for the amount this book retails for on Amazon ($38!!!)!  I should also mention that I think this book would come in handy even if you’re not interested in drafting patterns from scratch.  If you want to change up favorite commercial patterns, there’s lots in here to help you update basic patterns and turn them into new looks.  Also, in case you were wondering, the book uses the imperial system– no metric measurements.

If I sound really excited about this book, it’s because I am!  And, the good news is that I have a copy to give away!  Sadly, I can only send it to U.S. residents, but I will plan a giveaway soon for international readers.  I’ll choose a winner at random one week from today, at 10P EST on Thurs., Nov. 21st.  If you’re interested, leave a comment below!  I’d love to know what you’d be most excited about making from this book!

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Filed under boy stuff

96 responses to “Book Report: Patternmaking for Menswear!

  1. Ooh, I’d love to win this! I really want to start making stuff for my husband. I think I’d start with the peacoat, it looks stylish and comfy!

    • Joe Smoe

      I can tell you with certainty that the author of this book doesn’t know anything about menswear pattern making to begin the layout of the pattern is wrong in menswear we work the opposite meaning the back first
      than the front but this is just basic knowledge.
      Then I see other things LOL that don’t make sense.
      Don’t waste your money on it

  2. Since I make my hubby’s entire business casual wardrobe, something like this would be awesome! And while he doesn’t wear them often, I think it would be cool to try out the jacket pattern (especially because RTW ones don’t fit him and are expensive). :-)

    And yes, sewing for men is much easier than sewing for women! Seriously, just go for it, it’s a lot of fun, and a good way to practice some of the techniques without all the crazy fitting. Have fun! :-)

  3. Ooh congrats on nearing the end of your course! I’m so excited to see how that knowledge translates to your blog makes. I’d love to try out this book!

  4. Oh my how exciting! I’m always telling my husband that the big 3 pattern companies have lame patterns – mostly pajamas and vests. So I’d really like to make him a shirt from this book.

  5. I just told my boyfriend that making him a button down shirt was on my bucket list, but I wouldn’t subject him to anything I made until I was thoroughly practiced on my own clothes! So I guess my answer is a shirt, but a lot of these pics you are sharing are tempting “someday” projects. :)

  6. Ohhhh shit I want to make everything in that book! I’m sure my husband would love that book because he’s usually saying if I’m spending so much time not paying attention to him then I should at least be making something for him.

  7. Ali

    Oooo! The book sounds fab, can’t wait to see your creations from it. I’d love to win it to make things for my hubby whose 6ft3 with ridiculously long arms and legs! He struggles to get a good fit with RTW, unless he’s buying shorts and sleeveless tops! I have an 11 year old soon too whose now and big as me I’m having to pay men’s prices for his clothes so would like to try making things for him too. 😀✂️😀
    I’m in England, but my buddy at work goes to America every 3 months to see his partner so he could bring it back for me if I was lucky enough to win

  8. Can’t enter unfortunately but I certainly could do with it as my husband is 6 foot 6 with looooong arms and legs. It’s rate anything fits him properly. Kinda terrified to cut into the wool fabric to start pattern testing the Thread Theory peacoat!!

  9. I would love to receive that book and if I win, I’ll give you a Stateside address.

  10. I’m international so please don’t include me in the giveaway. But thanks for the review. I’ve been looking for a patternmaking book for menswear but didn’t like the Winifred Aldrich (which I have for women and childrenswear) or any of the others available. This looks great!

  11. Hmm, interesting. I have the Winnie Aldrich book, and it’s ok, but not great! I’ll look out for this book on Amazon, because I really do want to make a shirt for the other half. No worries about putting me inthe giveaway, international fan here! :)

  12. Ooh…I could definitely use this book. I know this sounds boring, but I would make chinos. My husband could use some new pants for work, and he asked me to make him some!

  13. I would love to win this book. I have been thinking about making a man’s dress shirt for a while!

  14. Elizabeth C

    I’d love it! The styles look great, and completely adaptable to women’s wear!

  15. Great review! I’ve always wanted to make a wool coat for my honey.

  16. Rosalie

    I would love to try the shirt pattern

  17. Thanks for a great review. If you do get around to a giveaway for international followers ………

  18. Wow! I would LOVE to win this book! I would love to try the chinos!!!

  19. Louise

    I would very much love a copy of this book. I make my husband’s clothes and it’s tough to find good patterns. The chance to have some more patterns for guys *and* the chance to learn more about making more patterns would be really awesome!

  20. thephoebs

    This book looks so amazing. Just in time to start making Man Friend clothes for Christmas. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  21. I would love love a copy of this book! My fiancé bugs me daily to start sewing for him but he doesn’t really fit into the typical pattern sizes….and what can I say – I already have a long list of things to make for myself! :)
    I’d love to draft the perfect button-up shirt for him so I can make it in every color for him for work!

  22. lori

    I would love to try making another shirt for my husband!

  23. Ken Revell

    I could really use the help as I’m just starting to sew menswear. It’s time to move away from drapes and placemats.

  24. sizzle04

    This book sounds pretty awesome! I would make a duffel style coat with long enough sleeves for my husband’s super arms. Most sleeves in the coats he tries on end before his wrist. I also promised him pants a while ago…

  25. Janice Westbrook

    the lumber jack shirt. start simple to learn more, then I would love to make the coat.

  26. This looks like an amazing book. I’d love to add it to my sewing library.

  27. I’d really like to start sewing for my husband. I’d start with the lumber jack shirt and work my way up to the jacket. I’d like to also modify the pea coat for myself!

  28. Yesss! I would make ALLTHETHINGS! Also, I would force The Boy to coordinate better with me when we go out by making his everyday shirts & pants out of fabric of my choosing! *SELFISH* =D

  29. This looks dope and is only make me KEEN IN ANTICIPATION for the pattern making for women book they are sending me. I LOVE LAWRENCE KING.

  30. Woah, this book looks awesome! And your review and giveaway couldn’t be better timed – I am forever suggesting the manfriend sport more casual button-down shirts (he’s a t-shirt lover, but looks so good in a button-down), and last night he *finally* expressed some interest in having me make one for him. He even suggested, “maybe with some pointy things at the shoulder? You know, like those kind of v-shaped panels?” So clearly, the lumberjack shirt would be first on the list!

  31. The book looks fantastic! My husband is thin and often complains that shirts that fit him otherwise have sleeves that are too short, so I’d start there.

  32. Suzanne

    Definitely men’s shirts.

  33. lindseystrange

    I would love to build up a few basic patterns for my husband. Especially pants – he’s a bicycle mechanic and wears through pants every year!

  34. I would love to win this! My husband’s wardrobe is looking a little sparse!

  35. This would be an awesome reference for me since my husband is beyond normal pattern sizing. I’d love to make him pants.

  36. Naia

    Work shirt and long underwear are on the top of my menswear “to-make” list. I’ve made a commitment to make all of out clothes for the next year so a one-stop resource like this would be wonderful.

  37. Heather

    So exciting! I’ve made rub offs of a few of my husband’s favorites, but would love to try pants for him, using this book.

  38. LSV

    I have it on my Amazon wish list….. My husband loves it when I make him stuff!

  39. Looks like a great book! I’m obsessed with outerwear right now, so I’m definitely all about the coats :)

  40. Szarka

    My poor darling is 6’2″, but with a 28″ inseam and no butt to hold his pants up! I alter many of his store-bought things, but it would be so nice to be able to make jackets that are long enough in the torso, fit his broken shoulders right, have the desired arrangement of pockets, etc. Please enter me in the drawing!

  41. dietcouture

    This looks amazing! I am disappointed by the lack of commercial patterns available for men. My husband has been working out like crazy and in the past 2 years has lost over 100lbs. Now that he can actually have the pick of anything in the store, he has gotten very picky about what he wears. Most RTW doesn’t get worn because he has a lot of the same issues that cause so many of us to sew for ourselves! I would love to be able to make more RTW-looking garments for him!

  42. Carol Carrier

    Really need this for a London overdue project for my brother

  43. Ooh ooh me me!! I would like to have this book. I have difficulty finding patterns for my sweetheart that fit him well and that are styles he likes. This book could solve those issues.

  44. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with testing out the patterns for yourself before you make it for the Guy. That’s why I told my friend.

    • Theresa in Tucson

      About time menswear got some ink. Good review. I will have to check and see if our college library has a copy to thumb through. I’m very picky about sewing/pattern books but there’s a dearth of menswear books and patterns. Put me down for the drawing, please.

  45. Lola

    Three of my four sons are now too big to sew for with child size patterns and have been begging me to make them custom clothes. I miss sewing for them. This book looks like it would give me the confidence I need to try something. (They’ve been spoiled with made to fit perfectly clothing and custom ties.)

  46. Marchelle

    Oooooh. I wanna make all of it. I iron all of my husband’s shirts and it takes me hours because I spend so much trying to figure out how they’re put together. This would be such an awesome book to have just to learn that.

  47. Jessica

    This book looks fantastic! I would totally make that lumberjack shirt for myself (probably first, I’m not as nice as you are :-)). From the Amazon preview, I’m really liking the look of the bomber, too. Really, it would just be great to learn more about menswear–it seems like there aren’t nearly as many good resources on it, and I’d love to learn more about making it well.

  48. This does look like a great book. Do they have a dressy jacket in there cause that’s what my husband wants?

  49. This book looks great, I would love to win it! The only thing I have really made from scratch for my hubby is a couple of shirts that I copied from one of his. I’d love to try some more options for shirts for him, and maybe he would even get interested in the technical details. He’s gone as far as embellishing/repairing his own jeans . . . I agree it’s great to see more resources for menswear, both for those who sew for men, and maybe even for more men to sew for themselves!

  50. Dude, I have been TOTALLY bitten by the menswear bug & now you’ve just gone and given it another hit!

  51. This looks amazing! I’ve just started dipping my toes into the world of menswear sewing, and I’m really liking it so far. I think my boyfriend would really like that lumberjack shirt. :)

  52. This book looks excellent, and I like your thinking on”straight lines and no darts” menswear sewing… I would probably start with the basic shirt or pants, but tackling a coat would not be far behind :)

  53. I am in the thick of sewing some dude pants as we speak!! Would love a copy of this, and I’m pretty sure my dude wouldn’t be to sad about it either!! This looks great!

  54. Marsha

    I have a husband and two sons that I sew for. They’re all hard to fit. Love to have a better idea of how to make patterns for them.

  55. Oh wow, thanks for the awesome review!
    I could see myself making my father and grandfather some nice shirts, and maybe a pair of trousers.

  56. Seattlerain

    Chinos and a bomber, for sure! These Laurence King books are killin’ it! If only my budget allowed!

  57. I can’t enter, but I just wanted to say how much I love this book! I spent many happy hours gazing at it in our local bookshop & it’s definitely on my Christmas list! Excited to see what you make!

  58. Honora

    I am really excited by this book too! Before I even reached the end of your post, it was in my Amazon cart. The Lumberjack shirt is very much like Collette patterns men’s shirt. As you mentioned, I too want it for myself! How adorable would it be in a child’s cowboy flannel for a PJ top?

  59. Wow, I hadn’t heard of this book. It looks like such a great resource! I would be really interested in learning more about fitting for men – my guy likes everything to be really slim. Out of the styles in your post, I would definitely try the lumberjack shirt first!

  60. Erin

    Love it! I think it’d be great to make some shirts my other half would actually like to wear!

  61. Kathleen

    What an awesome giveaway! Thank you! I’d love to win because my husband is a big (tall) guy and doesn’t have a lot of choices when he shops. And finding patterns to fit him- yeah right! Thanks so much for sharing this book it is going on my wishlist!

  62. Hi Ginger. Now if I win this book, please don’t tell my husband until I can fit his sewing queue into mine :))

  63. I would love to win this book! I’m a woman who wears mostly men’s ready-to-wear so this would be super useful to me. This book looks awesome!

  64. Rosanne

    You had me at no darts! I would sew the jacket!

  65. I can’t enter because I’m overseas but it does look like an interesting book. I just bought Thread Theory’s Henley pattern so I’ll start off with that, see if it is received well…

    • That seems like a lovely pattern– I’m interested to know what you think of it! My fella is horribly picky and none of the Thread Theory patterns appeal to him, so hopefully something in this book will pique his interest!

  66. Myra

    I would love to win this and make a few henleys for my significant other.

  67. Bridget

    I have just started sewing for the boy so this would be a great help!

  68. I’ve never sewn menswear, I’d love to give it a shot ! Probably go for a classic button up first, potentially move into jacket territory after that

  69. Sue

    Hubby requested a trench coat. So I am excited to learn to draft one from this book!

  70. Ooh, exciting! You’re right, the straight lines of the menswear patterns are so strikingly different… and refreshing! I need to give it a try one day. :)

  71. Jess

    My excitement for this can only be matched by your excitement. I think starting with menswear pattern making would be the best way to start – and then use those skills to make other aspects of sewing better. Since I’ve been obsessed with button downs lately though, I’d have to say I’d start there!

  72. I too am just finishing up a pattern drafting class and would love to give menswear a try. I would probably start with a shirt for my husband.

  73. Sharon Nichols

    I would love to have this book! My hubby and son-in-law are both hard to fit guys so this would really be a helpful book to have.

  74. Gemma Smith

    Well I’m UK so can’t enter your comp BUT in definitely putting this book on my wish list so thank you so much for sharing! My poor hubby NEVER gets anything from me as I’m so busy all te time making for the kids and me BUT I have promised to start so this would be a great book!

  75. Michael

    Am more than excited to hear of something (pattern making book for men)like this,I am already in drafting men pattern,but need to update and Smoothen my skill,every good book will of course do the training.
    Thanks again for sharing your experience with piece.

  76. jamiedsc

    This looks like a great book, thanks for the review! I’d probably go for the pants considering that’s where my boyfriend differs the most from RTW.

  77. It seems like a great book! There are not enough sewing books for mens wear out there, and this seems perfect. The price is really reasonable too, considering it comes with 20 patterns!!

  78. I’ve made one shirt for my dude and am ready to sew more. I would love a copy of this book. It sounds great.

  79. I’m thrilled to hear about an easy to use patternmaking book for menswear! I would love to make that double-breasted jacket, and perhaps explore redrafting some of my other patterns based on the methods used in this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  80. Anna

    One of my near-term goals is to make a custom-fit button up shirt for my very tall, broad shouldered husband. He’s just between sizes and all his store-bought shirts seem to fit funny… so this book would be perfect! I was just wondering if something like this existed the yesterday.

  81. amber

    I make yearly birthday lists of things I’d like to accomplish and the nagging one for this year is to sew something for my husband. I feel like such a selfish seamstress, but I’ll wear imperfect things. To learn how to make something he would actually like wearing, now that would be awesome! I’d love to make the chinos and learn to master pants since perfect fitting pants are so hard to come by.

  82. First off, I would just like to say, how awesome that you are taking a pattern making class!! I can’t wait to see what you make. What a great book for making clothes for men. I would love to make my man a shirt or a hoodie, I may have to add this one to my Christmas list!

  83. Molly

    This book looks amazing; I love style-conscious pattern books. I have made some shirts for my guy but would really love to try making him some pants and don’t feel confident enough with my pattern making skills to try that quite yet.

  84. megan

    Yeah! Love it. Some chinos with quilted lining are next on my man making list. Would love this book in my reference collection!

  85. I would totally love a copy of this book! It’s already on my wish list. I especially like the drafting diagrams…. technical diagrams are my jam.

  86. It’s great to see a book on menswear that guys would actually wear! I’m studying fashion design & like you I feel the allure of easy to fit straight silhouettes. I’d probably start with a shirt and really focus on sewing techniques instead of fussing over fit.

  87. Ooo! I’m always on the lookout for menswear patternmaking books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  88. Awesome! Looks like one I’ll have to add to my shelves, even if I don’t win the giveaway. It looks really fun!

  89. Ami

    Well this is definitely going on my ever increasing list to Santa!
    I have never found anything that made me excited at the idea of drafting or sewing clothes for men but this looks like a fab book!
    Thanks for sharing :)

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