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Forum > Men Who Sew > Pattern altering/fitting books for Men ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Pattern altering/fitting books for Men
Is there a fitting resource aimed for men?
mportuesisf
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mportuesisf
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Date: 11/10/12 2:23 PM

I'm a self-taught sewer nearly a year into the craft. I'm just now getting to the point where I'd like to know more about altering patterns for better fit. I've tweaked patterns at the lengthen/shorten lines, but would like to do more.

I know in other threads, "Fit for Real People" is a book that is frequently mentioned. I checked that book out of the library. While it's a great resource for background info on patterns and fitting, it's really aimed at helping full-figured gals, and other women with specific fit issues, adjust patterns to their specific needs. I'm a guy with an average build and I don't identify with anyone in that book.

I purchased Nancy Zieman's "Pattern Fitting with Confidence" along with its companion DVD. Her system makes sense, and it's based mainly off comparing your measurements with those on the pattern. Even though it's easier to "put a man into woman's shoes" with this book, I'd still like to find a fitting resource for which I don't have to mentally adapt.

Can anyone recommend a good resource for pattern fitting and alteration that's aimed specifically for men?
-- Edited on 11/10/12 2:33 PM --
-- Edited on 11/10/12 2:34 PM --

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Lena Merrin
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Lena Merrin
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Date: 11/10/12 5:33 PM

There are books for drafting menswear, but fit problems and solutions are the same for men and women. Is there a specific problem you are trying to solve?

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mportuesisf
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mportuesisf
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Date: 11/10/12 9:09 PM

Right now, I'm working with some patterns for a knit top and pajamas that are just plain too large, even at the smallest pattern draft. The pajamas are in a sense okay because they're supposed to have a lot of ease, but the shoulders are too broad and the crotch depth in the pants is way too deep.

The knit top is just way too large in general, as well has having super-wide shoulders and a huge collar. I'm trying to figure out if the pattern vendor (Simplicity in both cases) simply wants us to sew up a tent to wear along with our garment.

The knit top has a faux raglan sleeve, meaning it has a regular sleeve/armscye but has a specially shaped yoke that forms a raglan shape where it joins the front pieces. I think I know what to do to update the pattern.

I guess you are right that fitting is basically the same for men and women. But in order to understand the instructions in the fitting books I come across, I pretty much have to assume I'm a flat-chested woman with non-descript waistline and hips, and that I never wear a dress or a skirt (making those chapters wasted pages to me). It seems like the discussion could be a lot simpler if it focused solely on men's physique.

-- Edited on 11/10/12 9:09 PM --
-- Edited on 11/10/12 9:10 PM --

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Lena Merrin
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Date: 11/10/12 10:54 PM

As you said, fitting women's clothes is much more complex than menswear, I guess that's why there are not many books specifically for men?

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sewme47
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Date: 11/10/12 10:57 PM

mp,
I sew a lot for my husband and have given up using the "big 4" patterns for him--they don't fit him well at all. When a pattern is too big "all over," you don't really need a fitting book, you need a smaller pattern.

I use Jalie and some Kwik Sew patterns. Jalie are the best! They include a huge range of sizes in every pattern and they run true to size. You might find that using a different brand of sewing pattern solves most of your fitting issues.

Edit: Thought I'd add that if you haven't already visited "Male Pattern Boldness, The blog for men who sew" you might find some info on fitting from a male perspective. Good luck!
-- Edited on 11/10/12 11:15 PM --

WTG
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Date: 11/10/12 11:28 PM

Don McGunn's book has the most information I've seen for men. It's called "How To Make Sewing Patterns". I'd take a look at it at the library first because it is from the 1970's. That said I checked it out a few years ago and found it very interesting. It is for women and men.

Another book I recall seeing men's fitting addressed is David Coffin's "Shirtmaking". This is another book I checked out at the library. The books is mostly about sewing techniques for shirtmaking but there was some discussion on fitting shirts for men.

Tall Mary

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Date: 11/10/12 11:34 PM

Hi,
I was teaching some men how to garment sew recently. We all used and loved Kwik Sew patterns. They are printed on sturdy paper which you can trace onto examining table paper or plain newsprint or dotted tracing fabric (in Joann's it is in the interfacing area). I cut the pattern out. Anyway, Kwik Sew are multi-sized patterns which vary from small to XXL. The directions are very clear as are the diagrams. The guys and I used 2935 to make Hawaiian sport shirts. I had them use muslin fabric first to adjust for alterations. They basted the fronts, back, yoke together and then added the sleeves. We altered the muslin mock-ups and then they transferred the changes onto their pattern pieces, using scrap paper taped in for length or width adjustments. One of the men was around 5' 6" so we shortened his shirt. "The Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing" which can be found used on Amazon is a very helpful book for garment sewers.
Good luck.
Kathy

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SheBear0320
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Date: 11/11/12 0:45 AM

The Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing has a section on sewing for men and boys as Tall Mary noted.

I have David Coffin's book on Making Trousers for Men and Women but it deals mostly with construction with only a little info on fitting. I believe his shirtmaking book is structured similarly.

I also recommend Jalie, Kwik Sew and Burda for men's patterns -- way better than the Big 4.


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Pamela R
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Date: 11/11/12 8:38 AM

I have 2 books that I have used over the years for mens fitting, and alterations.
Guide to sewing knit slacks for men, by Joyce LeClaire (1971)
Also
Professional Pattern Alterations Made Easy by Kerstin Martensson (1976 The Kwik-sew Pattern Company ) pages 83 - 128 are all mens alterations.
-- Edited on 11/11/12 8:44 AM --

mportuesisf
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Date: 11/11/12 11:30 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions

I mainly have experience so far with Simplicity patterns, which have been huge on me, including some boxers I made from a Simplicity pattern at size "M".

I have David Coffin's "Shirtmaking" (I want to try making a dress shirt next) and I also have the Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing. Unfortunately, my copy of "Reader's" is a newer edition that completely omits the chapter on men and boys. Which is probably a shame, since it's chapter on pattern fitting for women seems pretty good. (The Reader's guide was my first book on sewing, and it left me completely overwhelmed. Only now, several months in, am I starting to get value from this book).

Coffin's "Shirtmaking" does have some discussion on fitting/drafting for shirts, but it didn't seem in-depth enough for me. I plan to re-read that book very soon - perhaps I can digest more this time.

I'll check in the library for the Don McGunn pattern book, and I'll also look out for the Kerstin Martensson book as well. Thanks for the suggestions!

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