Men’s Shirt Pattern and Tutorial

Blank Slate Patterns Free Men's Shirt Pattern and Tutorial on Melly Sews
Today I’m going to share a free men’s shirt pattern and tutorial. A while back you may remember that I guest posted on The Train to Crazy in her Sewing for Men series.  I sewed a shirt for my hot Hubby, and then people wanted me to share the pattern and my cool brother said he would model a shirt made from the same pattern in Robert Kaufmen Architextures fabric that I fell in love with, and this post came together.
So, before we get to the men’s shirt pattern and tutorial I give you the Math gEEk shirt. The EE is because li’l bro is finishing his degree in Electrical Engineering (aka EE or double E) and all the math on this fabric made me think of him (and my dad, who is also a double E). This shirt is made from the same pattern I originally used to make Hubby’s shirt, which you’ll be able to download below.
I got li’l bro to help me recreate the formulas on glass from A Beautiful Mind, as well as capturing him where he actually works/studies right now – on the computer.
Men's Shirt from Architextures fabric by Melly Sews
Men's Shirt Pattern and Tutorial
Men's Shirt Tutorial and Pattern
As you can see, the quilting cotton shirt drapes a little differently than the rayon shirt, but it’s still cool.
I do a lot of boy sewing. But not so much MAN sewing. Before this shirt, I had made Hubby a grand total of two items – some mesh reversible gym shorts and a bathrobe. He wears them both, but never outside the house. And I hadn’t made anything for li’l bros since…never, I think.
Sew a Men's Short Sleeve Shirt
Let’s just say Hubby is picky about his clothing. And he is a guy’s guy – I mean, he’s a football coach – that means his job is a lot like hanging out in a frat house all day and talking sports with other guys (really, there’s probably more to it than that. He puts in tons of hours. But for the 6 months of the year that I’m a football widow, I like to pretend he’s just playing around – it makes me sound like more of a martyr).
So, the first challenge in sewing for men is patterns. There aren’t a whole lot of them. The ones that are on the market often stink and/or aren’t fashionable and/or are way too oversized. And since Hubby is so picky, I just had him try on a few non-sporting apparel shirts he owns and tell me what he did or didn’t like about the fit. Then I took two that were closest to being his favorite and used the rub-off method to make a pattern.
Men's Button Up Shirt by Melly Sews - Novella Rayon Rain Aqua by Free Spirit

The next challenge in sewing for men is fabric. I had picked up this Free Spirit Novella Rayon in Rain Aqua at my local quilting shop intending to make something for a boy with it. To my surprise, when I showed it to Hubby, he said he’d wear it. Another trip to the store (men’s clothing needs more fabric than boys’, after all) and muslining my pattern with an old bedsheet, I whipped up this shirt.

Men's Shirt Pattern by Blank Slate Patterns

The fabric is just the right lightweight drape for this, and despite the bright colors, has a kind of hipster feel that works well in Austin. I left the hem straight because Hubby prefers it that way (no tucking required) and resisted the urge to put on pearl snaps instead of buttons (too far over the hipster line).

And the final challenge? Getting a good picture. He’s not used to being in front of the camera for my blog like the boys and I am.

Men's Shirt by Melly Sews

Wanna make your own? You’ll need:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • The pattern, which is available through subscribing to my weekly email list.  If you are a subscriber and can’t find your link, it is included in the weekly emails that go out on Fridays – look at the very bottom of the email. If you aren’t a subscriber you can fix that by subscribing here.  The pattern link will be in the SECOND email you get – the one after you confirm your subscription. Please note that this pattern is licensed for personal, not commercial use, so if you’d like to make items to sell from this you’ll need to buy a limited production license. By downloading you are agreeing to this license. Thanks! This is a men’s size small/medium (somewhere on the small side of medium – finished chest measurement is 43″ and this needs at least 3 inches of ease over the chest measurement of the guy in question.)If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
  • 1 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Buttons or snaps
  • Thread

Start by printing out the pattern, using Adobe Reader with scaling set to “Actual Size”. Trim around the outside of the gray boxes and tape together at the circles. Cut your fabric according to the cutting instructions on the pattern. Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of one collar piece, and the shirt facings.

1/2″ seams are allowed on this pattern.

I’ve used pictures from both shirts in this tutorial, don’t let the changing fabric throw you.

Start by pinning one of the yokes to the shirt back, right sides together. Stitch across, and the press the seam up towards the neckline.
Sew the yoke
Yoke sewn on
Wrong side of yoke shown.
Next pin the shirt fronts to the shirt back at the shoulders and stitch.
Sew the shoulders
On the other yoke, which we will refer to as the yoke lining, press the straight edge 3/8″ to the wrong side.
Press the yoke edge under
Place the shirt face down and the yoke lining face up. Pin the shirt facings to the yoke shoulders on the side closest to the neck as shown below.
Sew yoke lining
Place the two collar pieces right sides together and stitch around the 3 straight sides. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″ .
Sew collar and trim seams
Turn the collar right side out and press. Topstitch if desired.
Turn collar and press
Pin the collar in place along the neckline, with shirt right side up and collar right side up. Start by matching the center collar to the center back neck, then continue to pin towards the shirt front edge. Your collar should end up about 1.25″ from the fold line of the facings. Check to make sure this is even on both sides, then baste the collar in place.
pin collar in place
Now fold the facing and yoke over so that they are right sides together with the shirt. Pin along the neckline, matching center back and shoulder seams. Stitch. Check for puckers, etc, then trim the collar seam down to 1/4″.
Sew neckline
Match the yoke lining to the shoulder seams of the shirt, and stitch the outside shoulder edges together, stopping where the yoke is sewn to the front facings. In the picture below, the shirt is inside out and the yoke lining is flipped so that the right side of the yoke lining is against the wrong side of the shirt fronts.
Sew yoke shoulders
Turn the yoke lining so that the wrong side of the lining is against the wrong side of the shirt back. This encloses the raw edges of the shoulder seams. Pin the pressed edge of the yoke lining over the seam joining the yoke to the shirt back. Turn the shirt right side up and stitch in the ditch of the yoke/shirt back seam or topstitch just above that seam (whichever you prefer) to secure the yoke lining and enclose the raw edges.
pin yoke lining
Lay the shirt out flat, right side up, and pin the sleeves in. First line up the front and back edges of the sleeve to the edges of the armholes. Pin from the edge toward center, stretching either the sleeve or shirt body as needed to ease the curve. Stitch. The picture below shows the pinned sleeve on the left and the sewn in sleeve on the right. You need to finish this seam using your favorite finishing technique (tips here).
pin in sleeves
Sew the underarm and side seams all in one seam, matching the underarm seams. Finish this seam as well.
Sew underarms and side seams
To finish your shirt, iron the facings on the fold line, then topstitch close to the edge to keep them from rolling out. Hem the bottom and sleeves. 1″ is allowed for hemming on both, so turn under 1/2″ twice.  Sew the buttonholes or apply the snaps and you’re done.
Now go put the shirt on a handsome man ;-)

Hooray - you read the whole post! Wanna hang out more? Check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, join our Facebook discussions, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and your weekly updates/free pattern access through the newsletter

Comments

  1. Donna says

    Thanks so much! It’s about time someone dedicated some thought and time to the men in our lives. Something other then pajama pants or I Pad cases. LOL……. Really I am so going to give this a go. I have wanted to make a shirt for my DH for a long time now. Thanks Again!

  2. lovecraft says

    Hi!

    Thanks for your free pattern and tutorial! is the seam allowances already inside the pattern? thanks!

  3. Asha says

    So my husband decided today that he wanted a button down shirt to match the kid’s 4th of July outfits. I am sooo glad that I found this. Thanks!!!

  4. rebecca sinclair says

    First of all, I want to say thank you for a free pattern for a men’s shirt! Yours is the only one I’ve been able to find on the web. Initially the cutting and taping together was confusing to me…I can see now what I did wrong. I have used printed pdf patterns before, but it was set up differently so I just jumped in without reading or thinking. Now, I’m confused and can’t tell if I’ve done it all correctly. One suggestion I have is to show a photo of what the final pattern pieces look like, all taped together and cut out. Just having a photo to look at and compare the size and shape of the pieces would make a big difference. Thanks again for a wonderful pattern!

    • rebecca Sinclair says

      I finally finished the shirt using your pattern. I am not an experienced seamstress at all, but I followed your instructions and it came out beautifully! The only instruction I never seemed to find was when to sew in the shirt facings…but I just did it before adding the yoke lining and it worked. Thank you again!!

  5. tallowah says

    Tnkx very much am Soo grateful.an realy learning a set of New things
    u.but now I want to sew a 3 piece suit for my man.I can do with the pants and waist coat but.calculating for the jacket is what I need now.kindly help mellisa .Thnk you Soo much

  6. tallowah says

    hello Melissa Thnk you Soo much for the quick reply. but pls can I have a free tutorial on how to make an off shoulder maxi dress.thank you am Soo grateful.I love your teachings.Soo calmin and easy to learn

  7. Carole says

    Hi, just looking through the reviews and would love to make the men’s button up shirt BUT I have lost the pattern don’t know how I managed this but have spent ages going through my downloads, saved e-mails pinterest etc etc and can find just about every other pattern! I have been subscibed for a while and would love to be able to access this and SAVE it again this time where I can easily find it.

    Many thanks for the tutorials you so generously share.
    Yours in anticipation
    Carole

  8. says

    Melly-

    I just subscribed to your newsletter and would like to look at your pattern for the mens aloha style shirt.
    However, I am 45 in the chest and wonder if you have a size XL patter?

    Thanks!

    Pete Bonk
    Beginning Seamster

  9. says

    Hello Melly,
    I find your article really helpful for the ones which are looking for a man’s shirt pattern! Still it seems quite a hard task to me :-) but I’m sure someone else will find useful tips in it!
    bye bye

  10. says

    Hello,

    This looks pretty cool! I would like to try this pattern. I have subscribed. Can you email me this pattern so that I can give it a try?
    Thanks so much! :D

  11. Lisa says

    Thank you for offering the shirt pattern if I subscribe to your site, but the link for the pattern simply back to this page. Where is the actual pattern? Thank you.

  12. says

    Hi, I am a subscriber but I do not find the free pattern for the mens shirt.
    Would you be so kind for helping me out.
    À big thanks.
    Kindly regards, Maureen

  13. glo says

    i love this, it’s helpful, but not reall;y sure how you cut the front of the shirt to get those little flaps. pls help put a pix of the front before it’s folded. thanks

  14. Saeed Aslam says

    Hello,
    I am a Professional Draughter. I have above knowledge on Mechanical, Civil/Architecture and Electrical Drawing. I want to learn Pattern making, Cutting a Men’s Shirt with details drawing.
    Please… can someone help me? It’ll be very helpful.

    Regards,
    Saeed Aslam

  15. kemkeksta says

    Hello Melissa
    I am new to sewing. Dont own a machine yet so need recommendations from what to get to start learning and practicing. Can you get intouch please
    I just want learn how to sew mens shirts and sunsiquently develop that. Please help.

    Thanks

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