Pattern Making for Maille
There are multiple ways to form a pattern for maille shirts. Here we list a few.
The weave is the main thing. The garment can be made any shape you want.
Just keep adding rings where you need them. Basically it just has to fit
you, and too big is better than too small. (Mail gathers itself in by its
When it gets below the armpits, join the sides together, so that each row of rings goes all the way around the body. For a short-sleeved shirt like this, just extend the shoulders and body to make the sleeves, close them up under the arm, and then finagle the armpit however it works (no real pattern for that).
You will find that mail is much more forgiving than fabric--you can open it up and change things and add things and expand or contract, and the joints and seams don't show!
== Matthew A
There are many ways you could approach the problem of maille pattern. One of the "simplest" ways, it is said, is to take a measurement of how long you want the shirt, double it, and make a sheet of maille that size, "cutting out" a neck hole as you go. I personally find this tedious, moreso than most maille.
Another option is to take that measurement, and make two sheets, front and back.
The most popular, however, is to cut a paper grocery sack or butcher's paper, or even muslin, to the pattern that you want, neckhole and all. Then divide this into rectangles (i.e., one rectangle for the front, one for the back, and one for each shoulder piece, like the straps on a tank top). make each of these rectangles as flat sheets, then "continue" the weave to "sew" them together. This is done in the same manner as adding a row of rings.
You can tinker with this basic design to get it perfected (the neck hole, for example, is much more anatomically correct and comfortable if it's a bit more forward, instead of in the center of the top).
For the sleeves, you'll need the measurement of the length you want, and
then proceed in myriad ways, the easiest being to make a rectangle of
maille, and "sew" it together, to form a cylinder or tube. then attach this
to the sleeves. Sleeves, however, tend not to be perfectly rectangular, so
you might consult a seamstress on that subject. Usually, sleeves are
attached as a cross-bar on the "T", straight onto the top of the body. "Sew"
up the sides before this step if you're sure of your measurement, or
afterward if you'd like to make sure.
More pattern info...
This page was last updated 04/22/08