For Men Who Love to Sew

men who love to sew

Sewing is one of those rare fields where women dominate the scene –but there are surely a few men out there who would love to learn to sew at home.  So why don’t we see more guys famously sewing when we have many male fashion designers who have made names for themselves and nearly almost all tailors are men?

The main reason is perhaps the widely held, but fixed and oversimplified, idea that sewing is a task fit only for women. Alas, sewing was on the standard curriculum for girls in high school while the boys were usually taught some kind of industrial arts like carpentry or car repair, weren’t they?  As a result, sewing became something that a woman was expected to know, which she can use as her contribution to her future family.  This was especially true during the time when not so many women worked outside the home.  As a result, sewing was never considered a masculine job or hobby, so much so that men who pick up a needle or work with a sewing machine might even put themselves at the risk of being teased or made fun of.

men who love to sewToday, nearly all books and magazines about sewing are geared almost exclusively to the female audience. These reading materials mostly contain illustrations of the female form and the garments being written about are usually the female wardrobe. Alas, you will be lucky to find a chapter or topic focussed on sewing for men and boys.  Also, marketing for the home sewing industry has almost always exclusively aimed at the female population and this includes advertising for sewing machines, pattern, fabrics, and other promotional ads for sewing materials.

Against all these odds, there are men who love to sew and their message to other men who wants to give it a try is to go ahead, pick up a vintage mechanical sewing machine and give it a whirl, so to speak.  Although it is often not encouraged by our culture, we're fortunate now that a man who wants to sew can now much more easily find a community who shares his interest on the internet.  Indeed, there are a number of male bloggers talking about home sewing and some of them are getting quite popular.

men who love to sew

I think that any man who wants to learn sewing should forget about the stereotype and pursue his interest. Men can take advantage of the information available online and they can even get an online sewing buddy if they like. The truth of the matter is the mechanics of sewing is not so much different from carpentry because sewing is also about measuring, cutting, and construction. In short, sewing is also for you guys to enjoy and should I say: Welcome to the club!

In the world of the internet and blogs, the online system seems to know an awful lot about you. One of the good aspects of that, however, is we can know a lot about our audience and what interests them. It might surprise you to know that around 6-8% of So Sew Easy readers are men. That may not sound like a lot, but considering that So Sew Easy serves around 500,000 users per month, that means that we probably have around 40,000 male readers around the world!

Are you one of our male readers or do you know a man who sews?  Please share this article with him and let us know your comments below.

Sewing ideas for men

For a few good sewing ideas for men who love to sew, please check out the sewing for men roundup we did a year or so ago at:  Sewing for men

Fathers Day sewing ideas – sewing for men

men who love to sew

Bookmark the permalink.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

107 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Greg Kimsey
Greg Kimsey

I have been sewing now for about six years, give or take. I began sewing to make my own costumes for Free Comic Book Day to wear at my comic store. To date, I have made many costumes for many people. I have since sold the store but still sew and have ventured into “real” clothes for my grandchildren, wife, daughter, and friends. Fit is my biggest nemesis. The clothes for the 3 and 5 year old’s fit well enough, and they love them because Papa made them, and they don’t care. I can make pretty much anything LOL, but will it fit an adult? Probably not. Or at least not perfectly. Costumes usually fit, since spandex is very forgiving. But, I made a pair of blue jeans for my wife and her first exclamation was “OMG, they look store bought!”, and they look great on her but she won’t wear them because they are too tight since the denim I bought has no give. The mock up fit perfectly but was made from broadcloth. I don’t get it… All of my mock ups/muslin’s fit decently after alterations, then …IDK, not so much. It’s a journey, one that I am happy traversing, and eventually I will get close to where I want to be; making clothes that fit AND look great. Your site is flatting the curve for me and I have learned a lot here, so I thank you for that! Sorry for rambling on…

0324181932.png
Alan woodier
Alan woodier

Male who’s just retired, needed a hobby and have always loved clothes
So away i went, first thing was a waistcoat which went ok, after some messing with the pattern I’ve got a reasonable fitting pattern

Matthew McFadden
Matthew McFadden

I’m a guy just trying to figure out where I start. I’ve seen on patches with a sewing machine, but nothing else.

Richard Cook
Richard Cook

My mother was a professional dress maker and made my shirts and suits for many years. Sadly I left home before I was wise enough to ask her to teach me to sew, consequently I’ve only been using a sewing machine for the past four years since I retired. Apart from making bow ties I quilt (I have no idea where to start on a sewing pattern). I do so much quilting that I now volunteer at local classes to help quilters learn. Predictably the classes are exclusively female, (not by choice), but those who attend classes are very welcoming of me and the help I give them.

David Aguilar
David Aguilar

Mayra, I started sewing not as a hobby but out of necessity. When my ex-wife left my daughter and I to follow her passions I was suddenly cast into the world of a single parent. My daughter’s clothes were always too long so I was constantly having to raise the hems and cuffs on the clothes by hand. I bought my first used sewing machine when my daughter was 4 and that was 23 years ago. I now have two simple sewing machines, a quilter, a serger and my latest addition is my Embroidery machine. I need a bigger house! I have gone from sewing as a necessity to sewing as my passion. Thanks for bringing awareness to the fact that sewing is blind to sexual orientation and caters to all who share the passion for creativity.

Frank
Frank

My wife wanted to start sewing last June, now i sew all her cloth, bags…. Great article and if you got lost just come to #thedarksideofthehem and may the hem be with you.

Jeanne Draper
Jeanne Draper

I taught all three of my boys to sew because of the numerous badges and patches on their Scout uniforms. Only one still does on a regular basis, having made curtains for his room and skirts for his girl. He bought her a sewing machine and they come ‘shop’ in my stash. He’s going to love this boxer pattern, as I use to sew their boxers for all three and my husband. They love the fun fabrics.

lifegetsinthewayofliving
lifegetsinthewayofliving

I am glad to say that my son grew up with me doing things like mending and crochet (I wasn’t a sewist until he was an adult). In college he took sewing courses and can sew just about anything – reupholstering furniture and even intricate winter coats. I’m not at that point yet but am striving to get there.

John D. Maybee
John D. Maybee

I was walking by a sewing shop back in 2015 and I walked in and bought a sewing machine. I’d been looking for a hobby that kept me interested and that I could do in an apartment. Since then I’ve gone through nine machines and all kinds of material. My main focus has been on men’s shirts but I haven’t been able to find a pattern for a button down collar shirt that was designed after the 1950’s. I’m after a pattern that will produce something that looks like the shirt the guy in the picture above in the “For Men Who Love To Sew” is wearing. It’s like looking for a chicken with lips. In the mean time I’m enjoying the near misses I’ve produced.

John
John
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I tried to cut and paste but it doesn’t want to work. It is the guy with the green and purple checked shirt that is stitching a large purple piece with five pleats that looks like it might become a curtain. There is also a pair of silver pinking shears lying on the table between the curtain and an undefinable piece of black fabric.

John D. Maybee
John D. Maybee
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

15/33

C. Blais
C. Blais
Reply to  John D. Maybee

Ron Collins probably has a shirt pattern for you – he is sometimes working with Sandra Bettzina and may even have some patterns through Vogue – if you can’t contact Ron directly Sandra has a site and you can probably connect with him through her ????

C Hartlen
C Hartlen

Welcome to all. My daughter is a fine sewist. While my son did not sew, he very competently guided his newish bride through her first trip to the fabric store, as he had spent some considerable time there while choosing pattern and fabric for clothes that I would sew for him. Sewing is not only a most pleasurable hobby, but can be considered an important survival skill. Think of how much money one can save by repairing linens, towels and clothing instead of adding to the garbage dump.

Pat
Pat

Mayra, this is a great post and I read all the comments and started remembering how it was when I was young. I think this is great about men sewing. Why should there have to be a difference between what you do for a living or a hobby as long as you can physically do it and want to do it. I’ve always felt that women that wanted construction jobs should be able to have them if they could do the job and why not. Same thing with sewing. And almost every other thing in the world. When I was in high school, small town CA, I learned to sew, self taught. and sewed a lot of my clothes because I wanted to look like the rest of the girls and the family couldn’t afford it. While there, there was a guy who was part of the theater crowd and also a cheer leader. A really good looking guy, he was or still is. This guy became a world famous Hollywood costume designer and I know he must be an avid sewist. He designed gowns for “A” list performers and you would know his name right away if I said it. Now that was in the 50’s and there was a definite line between the genders then. Now not so much. Who knew? I just cleaned this comment up as I had used their names and realized I’m not a name dropper so I changed part of this comment so there are no names but it still is a true story. Mayra,if you want to know who it was, please send me a private email and I’ll tell you.

Anne Evans
Anne Evans

I love all these comments from guys who sew. Great stuff 🙂

Matt Hutchinson
Matt Hutchinson

I just came across your site. I love this article. Thank you for writing it.
I grew up in a small Midwestern town and took Home Ec because I loved to cook, but I also learned to sew. I received no end of grief for sitting in English class (the class following Home Ec) and working on sewing on buttons and hand-closing seams. Even my parents had very gendered views of household responsibilities.

I’ve recently just pulled out the sewing machine my mom gave me years ago (a trusty Kenmore) and started taking classes and making some smaller projects, but just tried my hand at quilting just before the pandemic hit, and I have not been able to finish them. But being able to work on several other sewing projects has kept me sane during the lockdown.

lifegetsinthewayofliving
lifegetsinthewayofliving
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I take umbrage in what you said. Most women sewists I know pay attention to detail. I’m not one that follows the adage of ‘being done is better than being perfect’ and it’s not about being perfect – it’s about paying attention to the details and getting things just right.

But I do agree that things men sew are more rare than things women sew.

Brian
Brian

If u can use a band saw u already can use a sewing machine. I’ve made curtains cushion covers pelmets, bags, saw cases (for my hand saws) face masks, and altered trousers. Next project will be a waistcoat so that will be fun.

Mike
Mike

I’m 62, got my first sewing machine two months ago. My wife took up knitting recently and I felt like I needed to try something new. So far I’ve only made masks for family and friends and made dog toys out of some scraps for our three pooches, but every time I sit down in front of my machine I learn something new about it. It’s awesome !!
It also embroiders but I have not attempted that yet.

bjeppson
bjeppson

I learned to sew when I took a theater costuming class in college. I got hooked and ended up with a BA and MA in design. I went on to teach many other students to sew and proudly know several men who still sew. That first class was 50 years ago. I still sew every day.

G. W. Grant
G. W. Grant
Reply to  bjeppson

I’m 65 years old and first became interested in sewing when I was around 12 years old. I bought my first sewing machine (Kenmore) when I was 16. I’m largely self-taught although I remember watching my two Grandmothers. It’s remarkable how sewing machines have evolved since then to the computer controlled marvels of today. Not only has making apparel been my passion, I’m hooked on machine embroidery and plan to give quilting a try.

Colin H
Colin H

I started sewing to ‘help’ my wife, with larger projects! Then my new daughter-in-law asked me to make curtains – how could I refuse! Now, about 20 years on, I’m hooked. I love making all sorts of things from mens shirts, clothes for my wife. Household stuff, even covers for trailers. I find it very like woodworking skills learned at school. It’s relaxing therapeutic, love it. I was a bit embarrassed when first ‘outed’ by my sister-in-law, but now – now I really don’t care what others think. However to my surprise and pleasure the reaction has been 100% positive and supportive, usually followed by “could you just . . . !” I’d encourage any guy to give it a go – what’s the worst that could happen?

Cindy
Cindy

I am a woman that was taught sewing at a young age by my mother. I am an aircraft mechanic by trade, and when I realized that repairing aircraft was very much like sewing. Just follow the rules. I think of the similarities when I am working. I don’t see why it is a girl or guy thing. It just makes me happy. Taught my son to sew.

G. Grant
G. Grant

I’m a guy that’s been sewing on and off for 35 years. Constructing a sewing project gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. It’s gratifying when I get a compliment on wearing apparel or other items I made. I recently purchased a Janome sewing/embroidery machine. WOW ! A whole new method to be creative and embellish my sewing projects has opened up. C’mon guys let’s see more of us behind the sewing machine.

Joe A Hendrix
Joe A Hendrix

I am a construction worker of 35 years and I agree that many of the skills for construction apply equally to sewing. My mother had always sewn and taught me some of the skills when I was a child. I have always sewn repairs to my work clothing, my families clothing as well as some of my tool bags throughout my lifetime. I believe that all who subscribe to the ‘Frontier Spirt’ of ‘I’ve got this’ can benefit from knowing how to sew. I am under the conviction that all homes would benefit from have a sewing machine of some type.

Ted
Ted

My mom was an avid seamstress and still is, my father even knew how to use a sewing machine of which he used often to alter his military uniforms etc. I was taught basics by my folks and in my adult life I have made a few things, mostly girls clothing, swim suits etc and have taught both my kids, I feel there should be no line between these skills with boys and girls as the intent is to teach basic self reliance. It’s an interesting process when you sit and begin to think about the order of operations, not mention how lost you can get in the process.

Michaun
Michaun

I have 2 girls and 2 boys. I practically forced my girls to learn the basics in their early teens. They still don’t care too much for sewing, but at least they know how. My oldest son, however, loves to sew. He has made quilts and dresses for his sisters. He now sews for a living. He is truly amazing! He can hand embroider better than anyone. I’ve tried to teach my son’s and daughter’s a variety of things. I’ve tried not to have separate girl and boy “things “. They are all well rounded adults.
I teach sewing in my home. I have taught about 4-5 boys how to sew. They are so much fun to teach! Yes, I’ve had them learn right along with the girls.

Sew4Pleasure
Sew4Pleasure

My son who is now 13, asked me to teach him how to sew two years ago . He was simply watching me sew various gifts for everyone, and that peaked his interest. I gave him basic instructions, then let him figure it out, always close by to trouble shoot. Since then he has made several projects and next, he plans to make a sweater for his friend, as an end-of the year present. He loves coming up with new ideas and it’s great to watch him go.

CS
CS

Both my children had the opportunity to learn to sew in school. My son took advantage of it, my daughter did not. My son is still interested and sews covers and things for his woodworking and metal working shop and my daughter hand sews lots of household items (blankets, curtains, purses, etc.) I’ve sewn for over 55 years. It is very calming for me to sew.

Bonnie Gudaitis
Bonnie Gudaitis

I teach a sewing class and currently have a full enrollment of teen boys and a waiting list of 50 more waiting to learn this skill!

Sew4Pleasure
Sew4Pleasure

That is so cool! I would love to hear which kind of sewing projects are most popular with boys. Most patterns and books are geared towards girls, so I am running out of ideas. Any input you can share would be appreciated.

Merci!

Jamie Kemp

Great post. I am a male sewer and sew every day. I even blog about it and get around 30k visits a month so must be doing something right! Learnt the skills from my Gran some 40 yrs ago and just keep sewing. Moved into more tailoring in the last few years and was a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee in the UK.