Drafted to the Rebel Alliance

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.

Vogue 8964 men's pyjama shorts sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Drafted for intergalactic rebellion!

*Obligatory legalese: These are not official licensed shorts, and are not for sale. These are just fan art.


Pattern: Vogue 8964 (view E).

Fabric: Dark navy fleece interlock.

Size: 42.

Cost: Fabric: $8 for 1.5m. Pattern: free (I have used it before). Total: $8.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Added pockets, and omitted the drawstring and fly.

Results: Quick, and easy.

Cozy for Christmas

Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men's pyjamas and robe
Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men’s pyjamas and robe

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.

Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men's pyjamas and robe
These pjs have a slightly tapered leg.

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.

Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men's pyjamas and robe
Button fly on Vogue 8964

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.

Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men's pyjamas and robe
The fabric is a super soft plaid flannel.

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.

Vogue 8964 Sewing Pattern for men's pyjamas and robe
What do you think? Do they look home-sewn?


Pattern Review: Vogue 8964.

Fabric: Flannel.

Size: 42.

Cost: Fabric: $11 for 2m. Pattern: $3.99. Total: $15.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Added pockets and omitted the drawstring.

Results: Quick, with nice finishing details. I would make it again.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

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.

Vogue 8889 (men's shirt) and Vogue 8890 (men's pants and jacket)
Vogue 8889 (men’s shirt) and Vogue 8890 (men’s pants and jacket)

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.

The second one is the grey that Mr Garment did not care for. The other three are his choices.
The second one is the grey that Mr Garment did not care for. The other three are his choices.

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.

A close up so you can see the fabrics a little better.
A close up so you can see the fabrics a little better.

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.

My muslin. Anyone in the mood to watch a musical about a coat?
My crazy muslin. Anyone in the mood to watch a musical about a coat?

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.

My Imaginary Life Through Vintage Pattern Illustrations

My mother recently cleaned up all her patterns and gave me all the ones she wasn’t going to sew again. I am so psyched about all the retro things these new patterns say I can now do.

I can attend a 1960’s cocktail party.

Simplicity 7129
Simplicity 7129 Jiffy – Juniors Simple to Sew Jiffy Dress: The A-line dress with back zipper and collar has slightly lowered round neckline in front tapering to “V” neckline in back. V 1 has short set-in sleeves. Sleeveless V 2 has tie collar.

I can go to the beach. (I am totally making view A, by the way.)

Style 2442
Style 2442; ©1969; Misses’ Beach Robe in Two Lengths, Bikini and Skirt: The beachrobe with stand collar has front zip fastening. View A has long set-in sleeves. View B shorter length is sleeveless. The lined bikini has top with tie front fastening, inside bust shapes and elastic casing at back lower edge. The pants have waist darts and back zip fastening. The A-line skirt has side zip fastening, self fabric carriers and cord tie.

I can go to various mod-themed events.

McCall's 2438
McCall’s 2438; ©1970; Misses’ Dress in Three Versions. Dress has concealed left front zipper closing. Dress may have buttoned collar. View C has button trimmed, tab pocket.

Me having dinner out with the Mr. (Is this Yé-yé?)

Simplicity 8181
Simplicity 8181; ©1969; Simple-To-Sew Misses’ Jiffy Dress: The dress with back zipper and lowered round neckline has slightly dropped shoulders and optional tie belt. V. 1 has long, set-in sleeves. V. 2 is sleeveless.

I just don’t know here. Fabulousness just can’t be limited to time and place sometimes. Love that collar! I must make that red cape. I just need to decide between a zipper or leather buckles.

Simplicity 7866
Simplicity 7866; ©1968; Misses’ Cape in Two Length, Skirt and Pants: The top-stitched, long or short lined cape with collar and openings for arms in front seams may be made with either front zipper closing or with leather tab and buckle trim. The A-line skirt without waistband has buttoned trimmed lined yoke and side zipper. The pants without waistband have side zipper.

Hello Studio 54!

Simplicity 7383
Simplicity 7383. The sleeveless dress with flared skirt stitched to bodice at normal waistline has back zipper, flared cape type collar, bias bound low round neckline and self fabric tie belt. V. 1 with contrasting collar is regular length. V. 2 is floor length.

I can also be Mary Tyler Moore.

Style 4744
Style 4744; copyright 1974; Dress with centre back seam has collar, front zipper, set-in sleeves and top-stitched trim. View 1 and 2 have front inverted pleat. View 1 and 3 have purchased belt. V1 has long sleeves gathered into buttoned cuffs. V2 and 3 have short sleeves. V3 has patch pockets.

Or Rhoda.

Simplicity 5247
Simplicity 5247; ©1972; Shirt-Jacket and Pants in Misses’ and Half-Sizes: The shirt-jacket with long or short sleeves has front button closing, yoke, notched collar, patch pockets, set-in sleeves, slits in side seams, and optional top-stitching and purchased belt. The pants with back zipper have waistband and optional purchased belt.

And I can do whatever Jerry Hall was doing in the late 1970s.

Vogue 7098
Vogue 7098 Misses’ blouse. Loose-fitting, slightly below-hip length blouse (may be worn in or out) with back tucked into one pice self-lined yoke. Has round neckline, pin tucks on front inset, front-buttoned band closing, with turn-back cuffs.

Oh, and best yet, I get to be married to Steve McQueen!

Vogue 9308
Vogue 9308 Loose-fitting, slightly shaped double breasted coat (tailored) in mid-knee or finger-tip length has self fabric or imitation fur collar on partial band and lapels. Upper welt pockets and lower pockets have flaps. Three-piece detachable belt with loop. Full-length sleeves have tab and button trim and purchased knitted wrist cuffs attached to lining. Flat imitation fur lining for coat body and sateen quilting for sleeve lining. Topstitch trim.

Seriously, these patterns are amazing. And there are more! I can’t wait to sew some of these up! Thanks Mum!