How to Sew a Men's Suit

By Kate Lee

Suits can range from the most formal outfits, including a jacket, pants, vest, dress shirt and tie, to relatively casual sport jackets and slacks. Either way, suits are a project for those experienced in sewing clothing. You can choose to sew all of the pieces of the suit, or just parts of it, such as the jacket and pants, and purchase the rest. You might find all the pieces you want for the suit in one pattern, or you may need to buy several patterns. You might also choose to mix and match patterns for the various pieces to get the styles you like.

Sew a Men’s Suit

Choose a pattern, or patterns, for the suit jacket and pants, and the shirt, vest and tie, if you plan on making them. Many pattern catalogs have a fairly limited selection of men’s wear, so you may need to look through several catalogs at the fabric store or online to find what you need.

Pick out wool, gabardine or other suiting fabrics for the jacket and pants, using the guidelines on the pattern envelope. Select cotton, polyester blends or linen for the shirt, if you’re making one. Silk, satin or polyester blends work well for ties. Vests can match the suit jacket or the tie.

Buy fabric for the lining of the jacket, pants and vest if needed. Most lining fabrics are polyester or satin, but you may need stiffer fabrics for some parts of the suit lining. Avoid very cheap, flimsy lining fabrics, such as acetate.

Buy any notions you need listed on the pattern envelope, such as matching thread, interfacing, buttons, a pants zipper and felt for the collar lining.

Cut out the patterns for suit using the line for the size you need. If you’re making several different pieces of the suit, you may want to cut out the patterns for just one item before starting the next one. You may also want to leave the patterns pinned to the fabric until you’re ready to sew them, so that each piece of fabric is labeled.

Smooth out any wrinkles in the patterns. To make the patterns as accurate as possible, press them gently with a very low-temperature iron.

Adjust the patterns as needed to make them taller or shorter. Most patterns include lengthening or shortening lines where you can add or remove extra paper.

Follow the guidelines in the pattern directions to pin the patterns to the fabric and cut out the pieces. If the patterns you’ve chosen have several style options (such as a shirt with long or short sleeves, or different lapel styles for the suit), make sure to cut out only the pieces you need.

Follow the pattern directions to sew each piece of the suit. You may want to complete one piece of the suit before starting on the next one.

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