How to Choose a Pattern

Tips for choosing a pattern

Between Joann’s, Pinterest, and all the indie shop, so many patterns are available everywhere! How can you choose the right one? Especially as a beginner?

First of all, you should know that free patterns you find on pinterest probably aren’t the best for beginners. Many times they’re hand drawings, and sized to the specific blogger. They don’t always have good markings and might be missing important information for construction,on the assumption you know what you’re doing…

But traditional patterns from a big pattern company aren’t always that fun either… the directions can be confusing, and they come with SO MUCH PAPER.

I’ll post about reading patterns another time, but I just want to provide a few tips for looking for patterns, and some reliable sources for patterns.

A few tips for your pattern search

  1. Look for staple patterns that you’ll make again and again… This should go without saying, but sewing is not fast fashion…  I went through my pattern stash from college, and you can totally tell these things were $2 and I just bought everything.
  2. When you’re picking out a pattern look for reusable elements (sleeves, bodice that fits well), and you’ll be able to take those pieces and make other garments. Sort of like drafting your own patterns, but without all the giant pieces of graph paper.
  3. Read the reviews! Especially if you’re buying a pattern online. Sometimes the sizing is off or people give some tips to make it better/faster
  4. Remember: you don’t need a pattern for everything… If it looks really simple, don’t buy the pattern (example: a circle skirt, most maxi dresses can be made from a tshirt/tank pattern, etc).

A few favorite places to shop:

  1. Colette Patterns: I made the Laurel dress, and I want to try the Moneta next. Both are spur versatile and I will make in many different prints! I did need to take in the Laurel quite a bit, and I heard other makers did as well, but it was worth it!
  2. Upcraft Club: this is a start-up which describes itself as the “audible of sewing patterns.” You can sign up for a subscription and pick out a pattern each month. They’re tested many times an the instructions are super clear. I first heard about them on Modern Sewciety, and I can’t wait to pick out a pattern!
  3. I love this site because they have a great community of sewists sharing feedback and photos of what they made

Patterns I’m making soon:

  1. This FREE t-shirt pattern from Deer and Doe. I’m going to lengthen it so it’s more of a swing dress, and I’ve heard good things, so I’m really excited to get started
  2. The Lane Raglan Tee/ Sweatshirt: This pattern has some great variations, and makers have posted even more ideas. I can’t wait to make a sweatshirt with long enough sleeves and torso….
  3. The Inari Tee: Looks like such a good basic to have in your wardrobe!