For Valentine’s Day, Mr Garment requested a pair of shorts. So easy! So quick! “Yay,” I thought to myself. “I’m set.”
He picked the fabric – some very dark navy fleece interlock. I didn’t have a shorts pattern for men, but I didn’t want to buy one for something so simple. So I used Vogue 8964, which is a pyjama pattern that I’ve used before. I knew the fit would be good and it was already traced out.
I whipped up a pair of quick shorts in an evening. The only changes I made were to add pockets and skip the fly and drawstring. They were fast, easy, fit well, and yawn, sooooo very boring.
So I asked Mr Garment if he would mind if I painted them. “Um, I guess so. They’re just for working out…,” he said with significant eyebrow raising.
So I made up a quick stencil and got some fabric paint and drafted him to the Rebel Alliance*. Less boring! And still good for just working out.
*Obligatory legalese: These are not official licensed shorts, and are not for sale. These are just fan art.
This fall, Vogue quietly released another men’s pattern – Vogue 8964. It’s a pattern for men’s pyjamas and a matching robe.
“Just what the world needs! Another pattern for men’s pyjamas,” I thought at the time.
Then my husband asked me to make him pyjamas for Christmas and I realized I had no pattern, and so I bought this pattern at the next sale. So, well played, Vogue Patterns. Well, played. And also, I suppose I am proof that total market saturation in men’s pyjama patterns has not yet been achieved.
This is a Christmas gift but not a surprise. My husband is picky, so I made him choose his own fabric. This is a yarn dyed plaid flannel from one of the local chain stores. It looks nice, feels super soft, but ravels like crazy. It’s also extremely forgiving, since the plaid pattern hides any minor errors. On the other hand it is almost impossible to see your stitching.
My husband only wanted the pants. These are elastic waist, with a faux drawstring (which I left out), button fly and slightly tapered leg.
The button fly is really nicely designed. I haven’t done much sewing for men, and I’ve never sewn this type of three-layer fly before, but it wasn’t difficult.
I made some minor changes. I left out the drawstring, since it is decorative. I also added inseam pockets, which are under stitched and attached at the waistband. Because the fabric ravelled so much, and because it looks more professional, I used flat felled seams in most cases.
I only have two complaints. First, the pattern should really include pockets, like ready-to-wear pjs. Second, the instructions advise you to attach the button for the fly, before assembling the rest of the pants. However, the fly hangs from the waistband and the buttonhole position can shift a little, once everything is put together. I had to cut mine off and re-attach it.
The pants are on the long side. My husband is 5’11”, and I still had to cut 3″ off the bottom while hemming.
But why this pattern?
This has to be the only category of patterns for men (except possibly scrubs) where there is an embarrassment of choice. Vogue and Burda have only one men’s or unisex PJ pattern each. Butterick has three. McCalls has five. Simplicity and New Look each have six and Kwik Sew has seven. That’s 29 in-print patterns to choose from, folks. Crazy.
In the end I chose this one because it looked the most finished and comprehensive. The pattern includes piping detail and a real fly, for example. It also includes a robe. It’s a pattern I would use to make pjs for myself. And it was on sale.
I’m really happy with the results. The fit is good. The fly made it slightly longer to make then some of the simpler patterns out there, but it was still a very quick make. The pattern is rated “easy” by Vogue, and that sounds about right. Best of all, it looks like store-bought pjs.
I’ve been tackling the unfinished object (UFO) pile and I’m down to zero UFO quilt projects (woot! woot!), four kids projects (three for Halloween), and let’s just agree not to talk about my pile, shall we? So it was clearly time for a new category of sewing projects: men’s wear!
These are Vogue 8889 and Vogue 8890, which I am making for Mr Garment. I’ll be making the shirt and pants but not the jacket. Well, one day the jacket, but not anytime soon.
I had planned to make this a surprise and had bought some grey shirting, but when I showed it to Mr Garment, he was not too impressed. Not his style it seems. So we all headed out to the fabric store and he chose some plain black shirting, another shirting fabric which is much nicer in a purple stripe and some grey wool for the pants in Vogue 9980 in a (slight) stretch wool.
Mr Garment has a corporate job and likes a nice suit. His style runs conservative, but he likes European-cut clothes, and isn’t afraid of a little colour.
I’m starting with Vogue 8889, which is described as a “loose-fitting shirt has collar, collar band, self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, side front/side back seams, flat-fell seams, shaped hemline and narrow hem.” I will be making version C.
I’ve already made one muslin. I made it out of some stash fabric I had bought years ago for a craft project. It is crazy and I did not insist on photos, because I am not that mean. I used this fabric because I really had no idea what size to start with – I’ve only made Mr Garment Halloween costumes before – and didn’t want to waste good fabric.
I cut a 44, and so far the fit is really nice. Despite being billed as “loose-fitting”, it is actually fairly fitted. The shirt is made with side panels, which resemble princess seams (ahem) manly seams which allow for a really nice shape. Mr Garment likes a fitted, European-style, tailored shirt, so this is good. The sleeves are the right length as well. The shirt length is also good (Mr Garment is 5’11”). But the shoulders are too wide, and Mr Garment is a fairly wide-shouldered guy.
Peter Lapin of Male Pattern Boldness has several blog posts on this particular pattern which are very helpful. He narrowed the yoke by an inch on each side, but I only need to do this by 1/2 an inch per side. He shows his pattern modifications on his blog, so if you are thinking of trying this pattern, it’s definitely worth taking a look. You can see two finished versions of the shirt in this post.
You can also see some nice versions of this shirt, on other blogs, here, here, and here.
Next I’ll have to check the collar, and then I’ll cut out the black shirt.