As many of us in the Curvy Sewing Community know, commercial sewing patterns for women sometimes are available in frustratingly small size ranges. Luckily for us, this situation has greatly improved over the past few years with many pattern makers increasing their size ranges to more realistically accommodate women’s measurements. Unfortunately, one category of sewing patterns that still has limited options for those in a larger size range is men’s patterns. If you’ve ever wanted to sew a garment for a “big and tall” man, you’ve probably been frustrated at the lack of selection of patterns available for bigger guys. Not that there’s a lot of variety in men’s patterns to start with, but most stop at the equivalent of a US RTW size XXL. Vogue’s men’s patterns top out at a 46″ chest. Burda is slightly better, with some patterns going up to a 47 1/2″ chest. But what if you sew for a man who’s larger than that?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the men’s sewing patterns that are available for men who have a 50″ chest or larger. Most of the patterns we found are wardrobe basics, which might seem a little boring, but but you can always get creative with whatever details you decide to add.
I was excited with Thread Theory first debuted–the first major indie pattern company to focus on men’s patterns, but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that my husband was way out of their initial size range. Happily, they’ve been gradually increasing the size range of their newer patterns.
The Fairfield is a classic men’s button-up shirt with a variety of options for sleeves, collars, and cuffs that you can download separately. Not only is it available in sizes up to a 4X (50″ chest), but this pattern even includes separate pattern pieces for men with a larger stomach! I’m as thrilled about that as I am any time I encounter a women’s pattern with larger bust cup sizes!
If you’re looking for a peacoat pattern that’ll make a guy look as stylish as Daniel Craig at the end of Skyfall, the Goldstream Peacoat is a good choice. Using a different size chart than some of the other Thread Theory patterns, the size XXL for this pattern accommodates a chest size of 50-52″.
Also available from Thread Theory
Thread Theory also has the following patterns available in larger men’s sizes:
- Jutland Pants (up to a 45″ waist)
- Comox Trunks (up to a 45″ waist)
- Finlayson Sweater (up to a 50″-52″ chest)
Many of you are familiar with HotPatterns for their curve-friendly and fashion-forward women’s sewing patterns. But did you know that they also have a line of sewing patterns for men? The menswear line tends to focus more on classic designs with interesting details over trendy designs. HotPatterns’ men’s patterns are all available in sizes up to a 52″ chest and 50″ waist.
Inspired by RTW work shirts, the Mr. HP Railroad Company shirt is designed for durable fabrics such as chambray, flannel, and lightweight corduroy. It’s got the look of a classic men’s shirt but with some fun details, such as asymmetrical pockets and side seam gussets.
Looking to sew a classic men’s utility jacket? The Mr. HP Hemmingway windcheater has some really cool details–tons of pockets, zippers, and even a zip-away hood.
Also available from HotPatterns
HotPatterns also has the following patterns available in larger men’s sizes:
- Mr. & Mrs. HP Weekender Breton T (includes separate men’s and women’s shaping)
- Mr. HP Workaday pants
- Mr. HP Nice & Easy T’s
- Mr. HP Straight-talking Straight Leg Jeans
Islander Sewing Patterns
These days, Janet Pray is perhaps best known for her Craftsy class and sewing patterns that introduce industrial techniques to home sewists. But did you know that the men’s patterns in her Islander Patterns line (founded by Margaret Islander) go up to a size 4XL (56″-60″ chest)? Janet has just a pattern for nearly every type of men’s shirt imaginable, all available in her wide size range.
If the man you sew for his like my husband, most of his button-up shirts are made out of flannel (unless he’s dressing up for something). Out of Janet’s catalogue of shirt patterns, the Men’s Easy Shirt is most similar to RTW flannel shirts. There’s even an option to replace the collar with a 90’s-inspired hood for this one.
The Shirt Maker Express pattern is the most basic of Janet’s various shirt patterns. It includes basic options typically found in RTW and can be made in a variety of fabrics.
Also available from Islander Sewing
Islander Sewing also has the following patterns available in larger men’s sizes:
- Baja Shirt (up to a 60″ chest)
- Islander Shirt (casual) (up to a 60″ chest)
- Men’s City Western Shirt (up to a 60″ chest)
- Men’s Classic Dress Shirt (up to a 19 1/2″ neck)
- Men’s Classic Sport Shirt (up to a 19 1/2″ neck)
- Men’s Designer Dress Shirt (up to a 19 1/2″ neck)
Also available from Jalie Patterns
Many sewists love Jalie patterns for their extensive size range for women, which often contain toddler sizes up to women’s plus sizes. Jalie’s size range for their men’s patterns is also quite extensive, and with Jalie’s focus on everyday basics and athleticwear, you can often find patterns from the Jalie line that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Jalie’s board shorts pattern looks like RTW and is available for boys and men up to a 47″ waist.
Jalie’s polo shirt pattern for boys and men is available in sizes up to a 50″ chest and includes multiple options for sleeves and pockets.
Also available from Jalie
Jalie Patterns has an entire line of pattern for men and boys. Many of these patterns are available up to a 50″ chest size:
Other Sources of Larger Men’s Patterns
In addition to the pattern companies that were the focus of this post, several other pattern companies also make patterns available in larger men’s sizes:
- Simplicity: Occasionally, Simplicity releases patterns for “husky” boys and “big and tall” men (up to a size 5X). Two of these patterns are available in the current Simplicity catalogue–S1506 (a vest pattern) and S1505 (a pajama pattern).
- Colette Patterns/Seamwork Magazine: Colette and Seamwork have several men’s and unisex patterns available in sizes up to a 52″ chest.
- Lekala: You’ve probably heard of Lekala patterns, which require you to input a number of body measurements and then generates a custom PDF pattern for you. If you are or sew for a hard-to-fit man, Lekala also offers a number of sewing patterns for men.
- Bootstrap Fashion: Similar to Lekala, Bootstrap Fashion also offers made-to-measure custom sewing patterns. Both Lekala and Bootstrap license the same drafting software; however, the designs offered vary slightly between the sites, and Bootstrap tends to have a more user-friendly interface and sewing instructions.
- Make My Pattern/Joost De Cock: Belgian-based pattern designer Joost De Cock has a goal of getting more men to learn to sew. To help make the sewing (and fitting) process easier, he offers a service of hand-drafting custom patterns based on the measurements that you send him.
I hope that this post was able to shed a little light on the availability of sewing patterns for larger men. Have you been struggling trying to find men’s patterns in a decent size range? If so, we’re considering having a “theme week” focused on sewing for big men. Is this subject something that would be of interest to you? Let us know one way or the other in the comments for this post!
Additionally, we found it difficult to find reviews for the various custom patterns for men. Have you tried Lekala, Bootstrap, or Make My Pattern for men? How did your finished garment fit?