Foreman, for my man

I’ve started the year with an uncharacteristically selfless sew. Well, sort of, since I promised this to Josh before Christmas and it’s only just finished…

Josh had been after a navy twill workman style jacket for ages and couldn’t quite find what he was after in the shops. I showed him the Merchant and Mills Foreman pattern which fitted the bill pretty closely, though I had to make a few adjustments to get it completely on brief.


After making a toile (an essential step in this case) we made a few resulting alterations for fit and preference. I added a little width to the shoulder, took a chunk of ease out of the sleeve cap, and raised up the bottom of the armsyce a little. This was a bit fiddly with the two piece sleeve but I’m super pleased with the resultant hang and range of motion in the arm. We nipped in the waist a touch to make it less boxy and rounded off the collar/straightened the centre front curve too.


I was really happy with the pattern overall (which I bought locally from Ray Stitch); the instructions are particularly great with nice clear diagrams and the drafting is solid. Definitely recommended if you have a man to sew for, and it’s reminded me to re-check out the patterns in their book which I own. It was a very enjoyable sew, quite simple and speedy as outerwear goes even with the alterations and being extra careful with my topstitching and finishing as it was for someone else (I’m much more slapdash when it’s for me, anyone else the same?!).

One big difference from the pattern is that Josh requested a warmer coat, which meant adding a lining. The Foreman pattern is unlined but has straightforward construction and nice deep facings so it was quite easy to draft lining pieces from the existing pattern by subtracting the facings from the front and back pieces, then adding seam allowances. I did a standard machine bagging, turning through a hole left in the sleeve lining.

All the fabrics came from MyFabrics or Stoff and Stil: cotton twill for the outer, faux sheepskin for the body lining and quilted acetate for the sleeve lining. Luckily I’d recently had experience dealing with fluffy faux fur on my own coat so I found it quite easy to use it for the lining. It’s on quite a substantial velour backing so gives the coat plenty of warmth and a bit of nice structure too.


Josh loves the finished coat and was very appreciative. It’s become his everyday coat and has already had a couple of weeks road-testing, so it’s starting to look nice and lived-in. He’s particularly fond of the deep pockets, perfect for stashing his Kindle, wallet and/or booze. He’s been a truly super boyfriend lately so it was nice to do a little thing for him in return. In fact I don’t really need many new clothes for myself at the moment so I’ve offered to make him a couple of shirts and tees, and he’s requested some chinos – so watch this space for more man-sewing.

24 thoughts on “Foreman, for my man

  1. PsychicSewerKathleen

    WOW! All those additional pieces but what a great jacket! My husband would love it too – it’s simple, warm and a colour that goes with everything. Now you have a great pattern to make him more :)

  2. Colleen

    I made this pattern recently for my husband and was really pleased with it. So was he. I used a really cheap moleskin type cotton from Woolcrest which washes well and cost less than a tenner. I lengthened the pattern and skipped the top stitching and breast pocket, so an easy make, especially unlined. He’s a gardener and it’s perfect for working in. In fact I wouldn’t mind one myself.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! I found it really comfy as I was trying it on throughout the making process, I would love a girl version too.

  3. Ashley

    What a beautiful coat! Love that you were able to tailor it to what he wanted. I love sewing for my boyfriend but I’m not quite up to this level yet!

    1. Katie Post author

      I really enjoyed the process. I’ve learned to not sew him surprise things, it’s a lot better when I keep him involved as we go!

  4. Mairead

    A great make! I’ve made my husband the Merchant and Mills Tee Shirt and the All State shirt. Four tees and two shirts. He loves them! Their patterns are good, as you say clear instructions and well drafted patterns. My one nit pick is that when there is a lined yoke the second yoke piece is never included on the cutting layout.

  5. Laur

    Thanks for showing us this jacket. I’ve been thinking about Bill Cunningham’s blue French worker’s jacket and wondering if I could sew myself one. It would be so useful at work. This pattern might be the one to use.

  6. Sarah Turnbull

    Hmm, I’ve read two reviews of this pattern, and you and the other reviewer both raised the armscye. Interesting.

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