Not many. Simplicity used to have some, but they weren't well drafted,
imo; I've given up on most commercial patterns and haven't checked their
stock for awhile. Kwiksew goes up to 2x. Connie Crawford
has a very good shirt pattern up to 6x (raise the CF neck 1/2", swap the button and buttonhole sides for guys), and a t-shirt pattern that can be modified fairly easily into a men's shirt, and some scrubs that tend to work for both genders.
There are not many around..
You have to hunt them up, and unfortunately the plus size patterns
also tend to get discontinued quicker than regular size patterns...
As Kay stated, the patterns from the big pattern houses (when you can
find them) have problems. Shirts are generally not as problimatic as
the slacks patterns, which tend to be far too short in the torso area,
and way too tight in the crotch. I use a now discontinued Simplicity
pattern (9477) for slacks, but do I modify it so that it fits, (I add
length to the torso, and add a 12"x6" diamond gusset in the crotch).
Shirt patterns tend to be too short, which is easily remedied by
simply adding length to you pattern. I almost always add 6 to 8 inches
length to a shirt pattern., so that the wearer can sit and/or reach
without exposing his waist.
This page has a few casual patterns you might find useful:
210, 220, and 230 you might find useful, as they have sizingup to 4x. (which I have successfully expanded to 6x without pulling myhair out)
Mary has a page of big & tall mens patterns:
word of caution about her page, many of the patterns listed are nowdiscontinued, and the majority of them only go up to 2x...
Note: Polar Bear is no longer on the net. (Which is a real shame..)
That exactly matches my experience. I discovered the utility of adding the
gusset when I made a pair of knee breeches that required adjustment just
about everywhere. I did not buy enough fabric (I bought more than the
pattern required) but I was able to make the gusset with a closely matching
fabric. After I got it right, I put the pattern on brown wrapping paper.
Fortunately I did the first fitting with a muslin, so I was able to plan the
I'll buy at least 30% more fabric than the pattern calls for if I'm making
trousers from a new pattern. I find it also helps to have an old pair of
properly fitted trousers that can be dismantled and used as a model or
...it also helps to avoid "plumber's rear."
I have tested pattern software in the past (including wild ginger),
and unfortunately their big mens slopers do indeed suffer from the
same problems that the big pattern companies slopers do.. On top of
the slopers not being correct, you now have patterns that you have to
try and print on dozens of sheets of paper, and then put together...
On Sun, 04 Jun 2006 17:20:51 -0700, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
>> Does anyone know of a source for plus sized patterns for men?
Nonsense, Kate. It takes less than 10 minutes to piece most patterns
together, which is far less time than it takes to slice and dice
Today is the day!! :)
Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati
> My only fight with that is that if they only have a standard A4 printer,
> it takes longer to piece the pattern together than it does to make the
> garment afterwards!
I don't see how they could since you put in the specific measurements.
And as far as taping paper together, you can make that easier by either
taping them to your sliding glass door, setting the program up to print
on banner paper, or taking the .dxf file to a drafting shop to print it
for you on wide paper.
> I have tested pattern software in the past (including wild ginger),
> and unfortunately their big mens slopers do indeed suffer from the
> same problems that the big pattern companies slopers do.. On top of
> the slopers not being correct, you now have patterns that you have to
> try and print on dozens of sheets of paper, and then put together... > Yuck. >
>>> Does anyone know of a source for plus sized patterns for men?
>>>> Does anyone know of a source for plus sized patterns for men? >>> >>>
*best innocent look*>> >>
>> My only fight with that is that if they only have a standard A4
>> printer, it takes longer to piece the pattern together than it does to
>> make the garment afterwards!
Nah... That's a thing I do so often that most pattern pieces take only
moments! Carefully gluing 43 A4 sheets of bridal skirt together doesn't
strike me as a good use of my time or the customer's money. With a 36"
plotter I'd be quids in! Mind you, that's not counting the best part of
£500 it would cost for a pre-loved one, plus the floor space it would
Since I don't own the software, I shan't bother right now. I quite like
skiddling about with bits of paper, mind...
Counting: seven days... ;)
Ah well. I only sew for me, and I am not about to make wedding dresses
so the gluing takes only moments. I clip the corners of each sheet of
paper as it comes out of the printer, then flip up a leaf on the dining
table, spread them out and reach for my trusty glue pen. As Karen says,
it doesn't take more than five or ten minutes to have it all together -
very little more than it takes me to unfold and iron a commercial
pattern ...................... and I don't have to do all the abstruse
calculations to see where I am going to have to alter same.
Mind you, I still make a trial garment if the pattern is new, just in
case some adjustments are needed, but once it works I use it, then hang
all the parts on a skirt hanger in the studio closet ready for re-use.
Olwyn Mary in New Orleans
Well, I am sorry that you don't see how, but the computer program does
in fact use slopers, which key off the measurements you can enter into
it. These slopers are "off" on big mens sizing, just as the commercial
patterns are... Believe me, I DID try this, as I thought I had found
something that was going to be really great, and I was sadly
If you make a lot of big men's clothes, you would see how the slopers
become more and more incorrect the larger the size is. By the time
you hit a big men's 5x or 6x, the slopers are just a mess.
Slack patterning is a bigger problem than shirt patterning, imho, as
the corrections needed for the shirts slopers are usually easier to
I might mention that big mens RTW is also made incorrectly in the same
areas that the slopers are traditionally incorrect.
Trust me, If I could draft a remotely correct pattern with computer
software, I would be the first in line to buy said software.
Also, please remember that these are very BIG patterns (example - big
men's 6x is a 68 inch waist), and the piecing of them is not remotely
comparable to a size 8-10 dress, so to go thru all of that piecing
only to have to cut the pattern apart, and make major changes to the
pattern invalidates whatever worth you might derive from the program.
Please note I do not have a sliding glass door (not everyone does). I
also live out in the country, and I have never seen a drafting shop
within 100 miles, and I certainly would not be able to justify the
expense in time or money for an end result of an incorrect pattern.
On Mon, 05 Jun 2006 11:26:11 -0700, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
>I don't see how they could since you put in the specific measurements. >
>And as far as taping paper together, you can make that easier by either
>taping them to your sliding glass door, setting the program up to print
>on banner paper, or taking the .dxf file to a drafting shop to print it
>for you on wide paper.
>> I have tested pattern software in the past (including wild ginger),
>> and unfortunately their big mens slopers do indeed suffer from the
>> same problems that the big pattern companies slopers do.. On top of
>> the slopers not being correct, you now have patterns that you have to
>> try and print on dozens of sheets of paper, and then put together... >> Yuck. >>
>>>> Does anyone know of a source for plus sized patterns for men?
I am just posting this to share my experience -- I understand you are
not going to try the program again, but I know that some people give up
before they should.
Well, I have 62-inch hips, a 4-cesarean stomach that makes me look 78-
months pregnant, and an extremely large busted, extremely pear shaped
figure, and they fit me fine, so although I use the ladies' version, I'm
really not *that* far off from the example you gave. I found that they
key was putting in the measurements that the program actually wanted and
not just the ones that I thought it wanted.
Now, my first sloper had some very noticeable problems, but when I sent
my measurements to the Wild Ginger ladies for them to review, they found
the problems. The second shoulder was just a skosh tight in the armhole
due to the extrapolations I had to make to get the measurements the
program wanted due to my figure anomalies. The third one had a perfect
And you may not have a sliding glass door, but you might have a 2- or
3-foot wide window, and all I have are little tiny panes with aluminum
framing around them on my windows (except the one over the kitchen sink,
which we replaced), so you might have something that would work.
P.S. If you make a sloper using the correct measurements, how can it be
off? That's what is making me totally befuddled. For example, if I
enter my correct shoulder length (not what another method wants for the
shoulder length), then the sloper will have the correct sloper length.
If I give it my correct bust and underbust measurement, it will
calculate the correct bra cup size and include the appropriate dart and
extra front length in the bodice front.
From reading what you are saying, I get the impression that you are
looking at a piece of software that just generates the nearest standard
sized pattern. A sloper is only as good as the measurements used to
create it, and if you have 100% accurate measurements, you will have a
100% accurate sloper that will only need fitting (not alteration) to be
a 100% accurate pattern.
This is all why I have yet to bother with any of the pattern software
available at present. Just because you have a 52" bust doesn't mean you
have a 22" neck, a shoulder length of 14", and are 7 feet tall with arms
None of it seems to cope with people of significantly more or less than
average height, either. Nor with folk who have one hip or shoulder
higher than the other, boobs at slightly different heights, or very
curved spines due to spinal degeneration... All this leads me to
calculate that at present I am better buying a pattern and altering it
to fit as this takes less time than printing one out in tiny bits and
gluing them together only to find that they need the same alterations as
I'd have to do for the commercial pattern.
For something that was more difficult to draft than my usual alteration
stuff, I'd sent off a complete set of measurements to a specialist
pattern drafter and pay them to do it: it would cost about the same as
doing it myself and charging the customer for the hours, and be much
better as it would allow me to get on with other projects.
I recently bought a pattern from Australia. It cost £45 plus post and
packing, and I added 2" in the bodice and 2" in the skirt to make it the
right length for my 6'2" customer. That took all of 15 minutes... This
worked out at a better costing and MUCH better use of my time than
drafting it myself.
Most people come to me because they have fitting issues (short waists
and big busts are common, as is being taller than average, and having a
significant difference between top and bottom sizes). Some also want
historical clothing. Paying all that money out for a 36" plotter and
set of software that didn't do EXACTLY what I wanted is a waste of time
Something I'd find a great deal more use would be a program that drew
accurate slopers. If I could take the tedium out of THAT process by
feeding in a complete set of measurements, and be able to include
differences in shoulder height and width, shoulder slope, and stance
(which makes a huge difference to the way clothes fit!), I'd be on it
like a shot! Taking a good sloper and manipulating it for style is easy
for me compared with getting the sloper correct in the first place!
Same here! Drafting shop? I'd have to go to London! No thanks!
Adding the cost of the journey plus my time for a pattern that didn't
fit? I'd never have any work at all!
I talked all this through with the customer who bought the Oz pattern,
and she saw the problem immediately. I wish things were different.
Just imagine the joy of feeding in a complete set of measurements and a
picture, and 20 minutes later you have a pattern that fits without
fiddling for whatever style you like!
Kate, pattern-drafting software can draft a pattern as accurately as any
flat drafting method. There was one lady on the Wild Ginger list who
was a theatrical costumer by occupation and who used her pattern
drafting software in her work.
This, of course, is not to say that some people might prefer altering
commercial patterns by hand or just hand-drafting them rather than using
software. Personally, I found it cumbersome and tedious each time I had
to try to get a new pattern to fit. It would take several tries, and
when I became a single parent and had to work full time, I ended up not
sewing at all, because I got tired of the few altered patterns I had and
didn't have the time to go through 3 or 4 iterations until I had
something that fit.
It's not really tiny bits, and I hope you believe me that a
custom-drafted-by-software pattern created with accurate measurements
can come lots closer to a person's measurements than a commercial
pattern. And Dress Shop takes separate measurements for each quadrant,
and doing that can accommodate all the anomalies you mention.
I hope that some day you at least buy a Click and Sew pattern ($25USD as
opposed to $200 USD for the full Pattern Master Boutique program) or a
small "slice of the full program" equivalent from someone else and try
it for yourself so that you see for yourself what pattern-drafting
software is like. I have seen a number of people give up on pattern
drafting software because they had unrealistic expectations or because
they didn't give the program the measurements they wanted.
Then you really need to try some software and see what it does.
Please get out of your mind that pattern drafting software is junk. I
adore WG products and have had a great experience with them. I had an
absolutely wretched experience with Dress Shop, which I was very
surprised at because I expected to love it. But there are ladies who
have had the exact opposite experience.
Well, like I said, pattern drafting software can draft a pattern as
accurately as any flat-pattern drafting method. It cannot, of course,
draft a pattern as accurately as the draping method.
I made a few attempts before I gave up... Believe me, It would have
made my life much easier had it worked. Since we are swapping mini
stories here, I guess I will give a quick rundown of my story...
This is what happened.....My husband wears a big mens size 6x. He has
always been a big person, even as a small child. When we first got
together, he would go to a big men's shop and purchase RTW.. I found I
was spending a great deal of time repairing very, very expensive,
poorly constructed, and poorly fitting** RTW, only to have to repair
it over and over, as it simply did NOT fit correctly.
That is when I started making all his clothes. After he started
wearing the new, correctly fitting clothes, people would stop us in
town and ask us where we bought big mens clothes that actually fit. DH
would tell tham that I made the clothes...
So that was how people started reccommending me to their big friends.
I really did not ask to get this business, and certainly did not go
looking for it. I do it because I feel for the people who cannot find
clothes that they can wear. I too know what it is like to leave the
house with someone, hoping that some crucial seam would not suddenly
let go while you were in town... This is not a pleasant thing to have
nagging at the back of your mind constantly.
(** Big men's clothes universally tend to be way too short in the
slacks rise, and way too tight in the crotch. Shirts tend to be far
too short. These deficencies are 100 percent the fault of incorrect
slopers, which are just enlarged and enlarged from smaller sizes
without making some very necessary, fundamental corrections.)
As an example, all big mens slack patterns I have used callout an 8
inch zip.. I have never made a correctly fitting pair for any big man
with less than a 12 inch zip, and use 14 inch zips most often for
Individuals may have other fitting problems as well, depending on
whether or not they have an "apron", short/long torso, short/long arms
and/or "wings",and "bull" neck... All these are typical fitting
problems I see. These I cannot state as being sloper faults, just
fitting problems, and would have to be corrected no matter what
pattern I would use..
Big men with "aprons" are best fitted with pleated slacks, as the
pleats allow extra material for the "apron" area.
I am now finishing some 100% cotton, pull on, ankle length skirts for
a lady who is a big & tall person, and feels most comfortable in
skirts. These are not fitted, but well gathered at the waist. She
loves these skirts, which we originally tried over a year ago for her
as an experiment. I don't usually make womens clothes, but I
originally started making her husband's clothes (he is a big mens 4x).
Needless to say, I buy a great deal of elastic (I buy better grade
elastic at JoAnns by the box.)
I hunt on the net, and buy any pattern I can find that is big mens 4x
or larger... There are simply not very many of them out there.
On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 00:50:24 -0700, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to