The Measure Of A Man

In my travels through the halls of the venerable Fashion Institute of Technology, a sad truth became apparent. I suspected that the corporate committee decisions regarding fit on a man were, and are, almost criminal. Mannekins are in abundance, all in womans size 6 or men's 40. The patternmakers will circle the wagons, claiming that a man's pattern is so simple, so uniform, so incomparible to the complexities of a woman's fit.

"Nonsense!", I hear you all muttering. I have come to understand that men are guite different in sizes. One FIT adjunct professor put it in crisp, crinoline terms...

"But Honey, you want a tailor or dress form in y'ur size??!!?? I don't think so. Not in these shoes."

So, another sartorial adventure.

I discovered a cheap, easy and relatively painless method of making a paperboard clone of myself, to knit to size and test muslins for leather work. But rather than tell all here, buy or borrow this book, "How To Make Sewing Patterns "by Donald H. McCunn. It will improve your garment knitting, guaranteed. If you sew, it will be life changing. Many men I know in NYC who sew found this book useful...even the most experienced. It neither assumes or pretends that the reader is female and hapless. It is genderless, and in my book, a treasure.

How so? In the rear of this very slim yet comprehensive tome is a simple step-by-step method to make a paper form of you or anyone else for about $10 or less. Expensive book, right? Wrong., Amazon, where ever you want. And the creation of your own personal pattern or for a loved one or a hated client will make all the difference...including modifying all the knitting patterns for woman into stuff for you.


Bill's picture

Highly recommended!
Don is a personal friend...lives in San Francisco.
His book is probably the most clearly written book about pattern drafting and alteration, that you will find.
He has a yahoo group "How To Make Sewing Patterns ".
...but he's planning to retire at the end of the year...and personal help will stop.
His instructions for making a body double of cardboard are pretty straight forward.

New York Built's picture

You surround yourself with talented and gifted people. I hope someone jumps to stand on his shoulders.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Thunderhorse54's picture

For what it's worth my friend, I always enjoy reading your posts.

New York Built's picture

Thank you Terry. I enjoy writing for men. No reckless bullying, no wretched excess, no feckless children... here. But elsewhere...not.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

mrossnyc's picture

On your suggestion I picked up a copy of this book and like it. I'll delve into it a bit once I finish my final projects. Another pattern making book you may like to consider is Fundamentals of Men's Fashion Design: A Guide to Casual Clothes by Edmund B. Roberts. There are some used copies on Amazon and it's also available in the FIT library (and probably others) if you are still on campus. It includes 'standard' measurements to use for the patterns, but custom measurements can be substituted without too much difficulty. Also, if you have any interest in outerwear or jackets there are two books by Kawashima that have helped with some garments I've had to make over the past couple of years. They are out of print but also in the FIT library.

New York Built's picture

Thanks Michael...also congrats on your internship at The Knit Resource Center!

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

mrossnyc's picture

Sure Mark happy to help, and thanks for the well wishes. The internship is all machine knitting but I'm learning a ton about the business side of things, meeting a lot of designers around town and the things I'm seeing will have a great impact on my hand knitting.

Nehkhasi's picture

Sounds good! Made a note to pick this up!