Product: Download M. Müller & Sohn - Pattern Making - Mens - Shirts
Download M. Müller & Sohn - Pattern Making - Mens - Shirts
In this e-dossier, you will find the instruction on pattern construction for four shirts for men.

The Manufacture of a Bespoke Shirt

Wiener Hemdenmacher Gino Venturini in der eigenen Werkstatt.(Photo Credit: ERILL FRITZ)


Like all traditional shirtmakers, Viennese Gino Venturini also makes shirts in his own workshop. This gives him 100% control over the product. Most suppliers of shirts work together with factory-based suppliers, they have little influence on the production of their orders, which often takes place hundreds of kilometres away. To what extent the shirts are actually sewn by hand in the shirt craftsmen’s workshops is another question.

An extract from the book “Der Gentleman nach Maß: Maßgeschneiderte Herrenkleidung” by fashion expert and style consultant Bernhard Roetzel

Shirt tailoring

The shirt comes closer to the body than any other garment that is tailored to the body. Strictly speaking, it is actually only the bespoke shirt that is tailored to the body, as it is often worn directly on the skin without an undershirt. How close it fits to the body is irrelevant. We feel the fabric very intensively.  If the shirt is tailored very close to the body, then all the more so.  That’s why real shirt tailors, i.e. craftsmen who sew the shirt according to an individual pattern in their own workshop, always work with try-ons. However, the final fabric is not cut for the fit test; the trial shirt is rather sewn from a cheaper residual material or from linen.

Anfertigung eines Maßhemds
The shirt tailor constructs a pattern based on the customer’s measurements and transfers it to paper with pencil, ruler and angle. From this she then cuts out the templates. The template is measured again and again so that everything really corresponds to the customer’s measurements. In factories the pattern is created on the screen and then cut out by a plotter.


Maßhemd nähen
The paper template of the bespoke shirt is first placed on the desired fabric. Then the required amount is cut off the roll. Venturini has standard fabrics in stock in large quantities. For striped fabrics, the template must be positioned very accurately so that the pattern continues over the seams in the finished shirt. This is important, for example, at the transition from shoulder yoke to sleeve. A piece of paper sewn to the fabric with the inscription “right side” reminds the cutter which is the front of the fabric. This is especially important for single-coloured fabrics, as the front and back do not differ that much. After the outline of the pattern has been drawn on the fabric, the cutter checks the dotted outline.

Bespoke Shirts

The majority of the so-called custom-made shirts come from factories, so they are made-to-measure shirts. This is not a defect – however, the difference to the shirt from the underwear tailor is not insignificant. To get to know this difference is a special pleasure. Because the real shirt tailor will also take into account the irregularities of the figure, for example the widespread one-sided hanging shoulder or the inclined posture. He will try to eliminate or at least minimise wrinkles, which otherwise appear on the shirt due to these figurative deviations. Unlike the suit tailor, he must do without inserts and padding, i.e. he must work purely “over the pattern”.

Herstellung eines Maßhemds
The height of the armhole on the back section is determined. With the traditional bespoke shirt, as Venturini does, body irregularities are compensated, e.g. shoulders of different heights. To do this, the armhole must be cut deeper on one side. The shirt fabric is cut along the marked outline with large scissors. In factories, electric knives are used. A breast pocket is marked on the fabric. Classic suit shirts are usually made without a pocket, but many customers like to have some “storage space”. The cut parts such as front parts, back, back yoke, sleeves, collar and other small parts are now ready to be sewn together.

Made-to-measure shirts

Even the made-to-measure shirt can theoretically be adapted to special features of the growth.  However, many sellers do not see these deviations from the norm at all or do not know how to handle them.  The craftsman also offers maximum design freedom with the collar shape. With the try-on shirt, the collar can be cut to size or you can redraw its contour with a pencil. Custom-made clothing manufacturers often offer a very large number of collar shapes, but absolutely individual shaping is not possible. How much manual work goes into a custom-made shirt depends very much on where it is sewn. In Italy, at least hand-sewn buttonholes are a minimum standard, but often the sleeves, shoulder fits, collar and sleeve slits are also stitched by hand.

Herrstellung eines Maßhemds
The interlinings, which should give the cuffs and collar more stability, are connected to the fabric. In most shirts they are then fixed, i.e. glued to the fabric. This results in very smooth collars and cuffs. Interlinings can also be processed unfixed. The finished collar is connected to the body of the shirt. The sewing machine helps with this. In the southern Italian tradition it is common to sew the collar by hand. The buttonholes on the double cuff of the shirt are hemmed with the machine. They are then cut open. The holes of the button facing are sewn. In the Neapolitan shirt tailoring it is common to hem them by hand. In other countries machine-made buttonholes are preferred.


Handmade = made by hand?

Parisian studios also often rely on manual processing. In London, however, it is absolutely unusual, even for the most renowned suppliers, where only cutting is done by hand. This and the operation of the sewing machine by the seamstresses is then considered as “handmade”. Those who got a taste for italian made-to-measure shirts and are now looking for a studio for the individual production have to ask first exactly how it is worked there. Otherwise the tailor-made shirt will end up being more factory-made than the shirts previously worn off the peg or from the made-to-measure production. Even try-on shirts are not considered necessary everywhere in England, for example: Those who inquire about the working methods beforehand avoid disappointment.


Herstellung eines Maßhemds
The buttonholes are cut open by hand with small scissors. Hand sewn buttonholes are first cut open and then hemmed. The buttons are sewn on a handle to make buttoning easier. This is a detail that machines cannot achieve. The button at the sleeve slit is sewn on. Venturini uses only buttons made of mother-of-pearl. They are a feature of the quality shirt. The finished shirt is expertly ironed after the extensive final inspection. Only then can it be folded. The shirt is finished folded. It is also tucked together so that it cannot slip in the cover. Since the fabrics are washed before processing, the customer can wear the shirt immediately.


PDF Download: Pattern Making Collar Variations for Suit Jackets and Shirts

Instructions for the pattern construction of collar variations

15,80 €




Product: Download Pattern Construction Men Swimwear
Download Pattern Construction Men Swimwear
Instruction for pattern construction of three different swim pants for men

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