You get it by now. Learning a new skill isn’t always a walk in the park, but it’s worth the time and effort. In this beginner series, we have already covered how to select the right fabric, so what’s next? You probably guessed it: It’s time to tackle which pattern to use. Picking fabric takes a lot of balance between what’s practical to tackle and what’s beautiful. In the beginning, it’s best to pick simple silhouettes so let me explain what that means and give some recommendations.
Let’s do it!
When Picking a Pattern:
- Avoid patterns that involve darts, closures, and sleeves
- Look for patterns with less than five pattern pieces to keep the chaos low
- Pick loose-fitting silhouettes which will require less attention to the perfect measurements
- Avoid patterns that recommend or require a lining
- Commercial patterns often provide the skill level on the front of the pattern envelope like McCalls. These patterns will be simple to construct with little fitting and construction details required.
Things to Note:
- Start with small projects (examples provided later in the post)
- Bottoms with a simple silhouette are a great place to start (especially if they have an elastic waistband)
- Choose simple garments that don’t require notions like zippers or buttons
- Patterns come in paper and pdf forms (Mood offers free sewing patterns) with pdf downloads and paper patterns for sale at moodfabrics.com)
- Use a measuring tape to take your upper bust, bust, waist, and hip measurements to select the pattern size that you need (this is not the same as your RTW clothing size, so don’t skip this step)
- Commercial patterns will include notions needed and the fabric requirements for each style (some patterns include several different styles within the same envelope)
- Read your pattern instructions entirely before you begin sewing
Pattern Suggestions for Beginners
Each pattern has a beginner sewist in mind. Some have elements (sleeves, pockets, etc.) that are easy to omit during the cutting and sewing process. If you see a step that seems advanced, you can likely skip that step or implement another technique that’s easier to complete.
- Molina Tunic
- Marigold Camisole
- Wandflower Blouse
- Lavender Tee (This one has stretch, so try out a few wovens first!)
With your fabric selected and your measuring tape in hand, you’re one step closer to selecting the perfect pattern for you! The patterns suggested above are beginner-friendly, but many others on our blog can be simplified when slightly modified, so browse basic sewing patterns here.
I love laying out my pattern pieces to find the best way to cut the fabric. Leave a comment below telling me what part you’re looking forward to during the construction process!