What type of fabric should you use to sew menswear? What category of designs should you be looking for? What men’s or unisex styles can you even DIY? Get the answers to these questions and more with Spoonflower Ambassador Meg Fleshman as she guides you through the best material and design choices for menswear such as loose fitting shorts, simple T-shirts and outerwear.
Meg: Do you think Spoonflower’s fun designs are only for women and children? Think again! While we often see Marketplace Designs used for dresses, baby leggings and the like, such prints are also a great fit for individuals who prefer clothing styles typically categorized as menswear.
Today I’m sharing a pair of shorts I made for my partner, plus some tips and pattern suggestions to get you started on your own menswear, too!
The Perfect Pair of Printed Shorts
When it comes to his personal style, my husband, Joey, is definitely a solids and neutrals kind of guy. However, as the weather has warmed he’s been interested in incorporating more prints into his closet. We decided to try a simple floral paired with an elastic waist short—perfect for warm, sunny days here in the US.
Speaking of warm weather, summer is actually a great time to dive into patterned clothing! Beach/resort clothing featuring popular motifs like palms, birds and sailboats are already trendy in menswear this time of year, making it an easier jump to prints in your own handmade wardrobe.
These shorts turned out to be a great fit for Joey and his style preferences. The Men’s Summer Pants pattern from Wardrobe by Me features slant pockets, multiple back pocket options, a faux fly and elastic waistband—all awesome features for a comfortable pair of warm weather shorts. The elastic waistband means easier sewing and fitting for beginner sewists too.
Another plus for beginners? Sewing these up in Lightweight Cotton Twill. This cotton twill is easy to work with and a perfect weight for summer shorts and pants. We also both love the floral print he chose for his shorts. Tiny Neutral Flowers designed by michelle_parascandolo is a simple ditsy-style print with just the right amount of color for someone like Joey who trends toward neutrals and solids. This design looks so good as shorts, I’m seriously considering making my own pair as well!
Choosing Menswear Fabric Designs
Want to incorporate more Spoonflower designs into your menswear style but not sure how to start? Here are a couple tips to get you going:
- Pick designs from the Spoonflower Marketplace that feature a smaller scale. Larger designs sometimes seem “loud” or “bold,” so if that’s not your thing or you’re new to wearing prints, go for designs noted as “small” or “micro.” These designs will appear more subtle or resemble more traditional patterns like polka dots or checks from a distance.
- Choose a design with a subdued or neutral color palette. Even the funkiest print can be tamed with neutral colors. Used to wearing denim bottoms? Try a design in muted blues or grays. A fan of simple striped tees? Look for designs with a black and white palette or another monochrome color scheme.
- Pair a patterned item with a solid item. Choose a favorite solid tee to go with patterned shorts, or vice versa. Wearing a new printed item with a go-to solid staple will help you try out a style that is both adventurous and familiar.
Meg’s Top Pattern Picks for Menswear
In addition to my fave Lightweight Cotton Twill Fabric, I’ve picked out a few other fabric types and matched them with some menswear or unisex patterns so you can outfit your closet in all of your favorite Spoonflower designs! This list flows from easier to more complex patterns, so if you’re a beginner I recommend starting out with a pair of cotton twill bottoms or a T-shirt, while more experienced sewists might want to try out a neat chore jacket in Dogwood Denim.
Thank you for checking out this post! I hope it has inspired you to incorporate more Spoonflower fabrics into your handmade menswear. And as always, I’d love to see what you create! Feel free to share your Spoonflower menswear projects on Instagram by tagging us with #spoonflower and #megmadesewing.