Sewing patterns can be a mystery when you are first learning to sew. I hope to resolve some, if not all, of the mystery for you. Starting with where to buy patterns, how to buy pattern and so on.
Sewing patterns are easy to find. Your local fabric store will have catalogs featuring the various pattern companies.
Your local fabric store is a good place to start when looking for patterns. You can also shop on line for independent pattern companies as well as the large commercial pattern companies . There are almost endless options for sewing patterns.
An example of an online pattern store is You Can Make This.
You Can Make This website offers a wonderful variety for crafts and children apparel and the patterns are easily down loaded, so you don't pay shipping and handling or wait for your pattern.
The big pattern companies such as Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity to name a few, have user friendly, informative websites, that offers all the categories of patterns available.
I like to go online to see what sewing patterns are coming for the new seasons. Often the fabric stores have not yet received their newest catalogs and shipments of the most updated patterns for sewing styles, which the pattern companies have designed.
Going online and having a look to see what is coming to your local fabric supply stores is fun and gives a look at the newest fashions, decor, and craft patterns, coming ahead of time.
McCalls, Butterick,Vogue, and Kwik Sew patterns.
Simplicity and New Look, and Burda Patterns Websites
Burda patterns for sewing.
If vintage fashion is your thing. There are many sites that help you find vintage patterns.
Amazon is often the place to find reasonably priced vintage sewing patterns. I often find "out of print" and hard to find patterns on Amazon that sellers have in their inventory. If you are looking for something specific try looking here. You may have some luck where you didn't before.
I like Simplicity sewing patterns for many reasons, vintage styles are one of them. They carry a good variety and you can count on the ease of sewing most of their styles. The only one obstacle I'll mention is if your Canadian, you will most likely have a difficult time finding a fabric store or any store that carries Simplicity patterns. This is very disapointing as I am Canadian. However, as I mentioned above, Amazon is a great place to find what you need.
I love Vogue vintage patterns. Vogue carries the classics and they have a good selection. The one thing I will mention as a down fall, they are more expensive than the other vintage patterns available, but if you don't mind paying a bit more, it is well worth it.
Another alternatvie to purchasing sewing patterns would be to draft your own patterns. You can learn "how to" Pattern Construction on your own time, in your own space, at your own pace.
This method allows you to learn to draft your own simple patterns. There are plenty of books that can show you how to do this. The book below is a pattern drafting text book I purchased after taking a pattern drafting course. I highly recommend this book, it was worth putting out the money and has saved me in the long run from having to purchase commercial patterns.
Some of the sewing pattern companies own a number of the pattern brands. McCall’s Patterns company produces Vogue and Butterick patterns for sewing. McCall's online you can now find Kwik Sew patterns.
New Look patterns are produced by The Simplicity Pattern Company.
The Burda Pattern Company is European and offers edgy European styles. Burda is now being offered by Simplicity Patterns. You can purchase Burda Patterns right from Simplicity website.
Vogue sewing patterns tend to be more expensive, but they offer designer fashions as apposed to Butterick and McCall’s that offer main stream, North American styles of fashion.
Simplicity, New Look, and Kwik Sew are wonderful patterns for sewing basic styles in addition, if you are first learning to sew, these patterns are great to start out. However, you will find easy to sew fashions in all the pattern labels.
One more pattern company I would like to mention is Jalie Patterns.
This is a smaller pattern company, and their patterns are a little harder to find, however I like the fashions they offer and I have found the fit of the completed garment is accurate to the pattern cover photo.
You can also find stretch knit patterns and out door apparel that are not always available from other pattern companies.
Now that you have your measurements, you can look through pattern catalogs at your local fabric store or go online. I recommend going onto the websites of some of the major pattern companies to start looking for patterns to sew, especially if you live in a more remote area.
The photos and information is submitted by sewers of all levels. You simply click the pattern review link and type in the pattern company and pattern number and 95% of the time some one has already made the garment for you to see.
You can become a member and this will allow you to add your own reviews of patterns and a lot more or you can just view what others have done. Either way it is worth checking out PatternReview.com.
I once made the mistake of buying a pattern style that would have looked great on a women that is 5' 10" and slim.
I am slim but I am 5'3" and this long flowing gown looked terrible on me. In this case I have the sewing experience to take the dress apart and change the dress to suit me.
I made the dress and it turned out great, but I was in a time crunch and this did not help.
So even someone that has been sewing for many years, should take the time and choose a style that is right for them.
When I am choosing a style, I prefer (although not necessary)to see a photo of the completed garment on the cover of the envelope. It gives a better idea of how the garment will fit and hang.
The front cover gives multiple views so you can see how many options the garment/s has to offer.
It may show trim alternatives, variations of length, fabric choices and degrees of difficulty.
Over view of the front cover:
On the back cover you will find the style number repeated as on the front.
The sewing pattern you choose, will give an over view of the style, fit and what is involved in constructing the garment.
Suggested Fabric Box: This indicates which fabrics are best suited for this style of garment. It is a general guide line, but when your starting out, I would suggest sticking to the suggestions listed. Finished garment measurements are listed to show finished length and width.
Over view of the back cover:
Fabric Calculations section, tells you how much fabric (and or notions and lining if needed) you will need for the garment view and size you are making. It will show you how much fabric you need depending on how wide the fabric is on the bolt.
It is not a hard and fast rule, but fabric generally comes from the factories as 45" (115cm) or 60"(150cm) so the pattern for sewing your project will list the fabric needed according to these two widths. So look for the size you have decided on a follow the chart down to the appropriate fabric suggested for that garment.
At the bottom of the pattern back, you can see how many pieces are in the envelope and a view of the garment to see details.
The number of pieces in the pattern is a good indicator for how difficult the construction will be.
You will find the pattern pieces neatly folded, as well as the instructions that give you a step by step guide to constructing your project or garment.
Open the the instruction sheet and you will see information on, cutting out the pattern for sewing, seam allowances, number of pieces for each view. They have listed tips for, fabric preparation seam finishing, pattern markings, and seam allowances.
Sewing patterns for garments and projects, are readily available and chances are you will find something that appeals to you.
If you read over the pattern envelope and depending on what you choose to make, again, be sure that you have the correct size and read over the sewing pattern front and back before you buy.
A little bit of
effort on your part can assure a smooth and enjoyable result in
the end. I hope this helps.
Share Your Tip or Question With Your Fellow Sewers!
If you have a question, please give as much information as you can.
For example the pattern brand and number of pattern or photos of what your working on. This will make it so much easier for me to help you.