Pattern Sewing for Beginners — My Favorite Pattern Companies
There are tons of pattern companies out there with lots of great beginner sewing project patterns. I have listed one pattern from a selection of pattern companies for your inspiration. I’ve made many of these patterns and they each have something to teach you as a beginner sewist. So here is my take on pattern sewing for beginners.
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Sewing Pattern Companies
The pattern companies below are listed alphabetically. Each pattern has something to offer beginner and intermediate sewists. You want to look for a pattern that has basic sewing techniques for your first sewing projects. Choosing a commercial printed pattern is a good place to begin your sewing journey.
A word about free sewing patterns. There are some great ones out there, and there are some terrible free sewing patterns out there too. The problem is you don’t know if it’s great or terrible until you try it. You have to invest your time and fashion fabric to find out if it’s a gem or a dud — your time and fabric are too precious to waste on a dud. Tread carefully in the waters of free sewing patterns for beginners.
Types Of Beginner Sewing Projects
Tote bags, baby blankets, aprons, wine bags; items with straight lines and simple instructions. The photo is my Lined Tote Bag Pattern.
Simple tops, skirts, and dresses that don’t have a zipper, buttons, or intricate details. I drafted this simple cape and made it with a cute fabric.
Block quilt patterns (a good use of fabric scraps), table runners, pillow covers; things with simple lines. Pictured is How To Sew An Upcycled T Shirt.
Craft patterns are always a good project for beginners. They allow you to practice basic sewing skills without worrying about fitting a garment. This cute little baby blanket from Burda will charm the tiniest munchkin in your life.
One of the ‘Big 4’ pattern companies (Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity, and Vogue), Butterick patterns are a solid place for beginners to hone their craft. I like this swing dress pattern because it is a fast and easy sewing pattern. Whether you make the sleeveless or cap sleeve version it is a relaxed fit, so there is forgiveness in the garment fitting department.
Fun fact, it was Pattern Of The Day just a few months ago.
My favorite Cashmerette Pattern is the Concord T Shirt. If you follow this link you will be directed to my Concord T Shirt Sew Along where I go step by step constructing this versatile, must have tee. In this video you will tackle knit fabric, but don’t worry, I have lots of sewing tips and tricks to get you through the project with a professional finish.
Closet Core Patterns
The Kalle Shirt from Closet Core Patterns is not a beginner pattern per se, however, it will teach you fabulous shirting techniques. I’ve made several Kalle shirts and love their ease of wearing this fabulous shirt.
With this pattern you will make button holes — be prepared — and tackle a burrito yoke. Their plaquet insertion is one of the best around.
Kwik Sew Patterns
Kwik Sew Patterns are a good choice for the crafter. They offer lots of adorable patterns like this Mom, Me, and Dolly apron pattern. There are a few ruffle pattern pieces that make this more of an advanced beginner sewing project. Taking on one challenging new technique at a time is a great way to slowly increase your skill set.
Another ‘Big 4’ is McCall’s Patterns. I’ve made tons of garments with McCall’s Patterns. Most recently I made 8022 and published a step-by-step Sew Along to make putting this one together easier.
In this pattern there is a cute pouch pocket. So if you want to construct sweatshirts this will be a go to sew along for you.
I am totally a big fan of Silhouette Patterns. In particular, I make Jag’s Woven Pants over and over. I love the ease of the pull on style and the surprisingly great fit.
I love these pants so much I made the Perfect Pajama Pants Class series. The four class, step-by-step videos cover Measuring and Cutting, Pockets and Faux Fly, Waistband and Side Seams, and Hemming and Fancy Finishes. You can preview this members’ only series by clicking on the link.
Everyone loves Simplicity Patterns. They are a staple in the home sewing industry. A good beginner pattern is Simplicity 8657. I love the floaty feel of this dress. However, the side slit and plunging V-neckline was a bit much for me — I’m pretty short.
You can review the edits I made to this cute loungewear piece in my post Simplicity 8657 Caftan. It will walk you through some easy edits to this hackable pattern.
Vogue Patterns is one of my favorite pattern companies. I like the tailoring and modern style of this ‘Big 4’ anchor brand. When you are looking for something that has a high end look, Vogue Patterns is a great place to begin.
Many of their patterns are not meant as beginner sewing projects, however, with guidance, you will sew up a garment that looks custom made and stunning with a tailored professional finish.
I am working on an upcoming project for Minerva with Vogue 1312, a Lynn Mizono design. I love the lines on this modern dress, perfect dressed up for a fancy event, but casually chic enough for a dinner date.
Sign up for my Barrett’s Custom Design Newsletter to keep up-to-date on when this and other Sew Along projects become available. As an added benefit you will receive my 21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End.
Where To Find Sewing Patterns
We don’t always have time to drive to Joann’s page through the pattern Look Books, and then hope to find the pattern in the cabinet. Ugh! Not a fan. There are so many other ways to search and compare patterns online.
I like to put all the patterns I like into my e-cart, then after I’ve been through the website, I go back and cul down all the options to a few choice ones to actually order. So Much Easier!
Joann’s has hundreds of patterns online. You can take your time sorting through all the great ‘Big 4’ options.
Minerva is also a great starting point for online pattern shopping. They offer a wide variety of indie (independent) pattern company patterns along with the traditional ‘Big 4’ sewing patterns. You can sort by pattern company, by type of garment, or a number of other criteria. Minerva is a great outlet to explore new-to-you pattern makers.
We all love Etsy. It’s the perfect spot to find out of print patterns. I would be delighted if you explored my Etsy shop — Sewing With Sandi. I have hundreds of out of print patterns and am happy to answer any questions you have about a particular pattern or pattern company.
Stop by and visit!
Beginner Sewing Projects
I have lots of other sewing projects perfect for beginners that will take you from never reading a pattern before to getting you up and running. Beginner sewing projects like a tote bag is fun project to start. It has straight lines which will get you familiar with your machine and how to handle stitching. Another easy project is old fashioned apron patterns. I still use one every once in a while. Try your hand at a fashionable accessory for a baby — bibs, blankets, and toys are easy sewing patterns for beginners to tackle.
Simple patterns are best!
Start with a simple, easy sewing project that you can finish successfully. It will go a long way to boosting your confidence. As your sewing chops improve, you can move onto more complicated pieces.
Ultimate List of Sewing Supplies
You will need supplies, of course. You don’t need to get everything all at once. Take your time and purchase the best quality tools your budget will allow.
I’ve curated The Ultimate List of Favorite Sewing Supplies for you. There are asterisks marking the basics you need to get started sewing and then other toy — oops tools — you can add to your collection as you move forward.
Everyone has their favorite sewing machine. Please don’t use your grandmother’s machine, sewing machines have changed and improved over the last 5 decades.
Brother CS6000i and CS7000X Sewing Machine **
The Brother CS6000i (the new generation is CS7000X) is the perfect machine for a beginners. It will stay with you as you progress to intermediate sewing. I recommend this machine to all my students looking for a reasonably priced new machine.
My review of the Brother CS6000i and CS7000X will give you a good overview of the machine.
You can purchase the Brother CS7000X on Amazon.
Bernette 38 Sewing Machine
I recently purchased a new machine, the Bernette 38. I’m working through getting to know this new machine, but you can view my Bernette 38 unboxing for a peak at what’s to come.
You can find the Bernette 38 at Amazon.
Pattern Sewing For Beginners
Pattern sewing for beginners doesn’t have to be overwhelming, a simple sewing project is best. With careful, step-by-step guidance, you can become an accomplished sewist. My heart is in teaching the craft of sewing, it is a fun place to express your personal style while exploring your creative side. Start with an easy sewing pattern and open up a new creative world. You will be making your own clothes before long and loving what you wear.
PS Other Posts You Might Find Helpful:
Simplicity Patterns For Spring
Five Best Books For New Sewists
Love this beginner’s guide to the best sewing pattern companies. And greatly appreciate the different project categories.
I can recognize the more popular brands but there are a few pattern companies I hadn’t heard of!
This is a great and comprehensive list of your favorite sewing pattern companies! I remember McCalls and Simplicity from when I was growing up. I loved going to the fabric store with my mom and grandmother and looking at all of the pattern catalogs!
Some great patterns for beginners here! McCall’s I found were always straight-forward and easy to follow.
When I first started sewing patterns as a beginner for my kids, McCalls had so many quick and easy patterns. As my daughters got older they enjoyed the Kwik Sew patterns for their American Girl dolls.
These are the type of patterns I need! I am still learning. There are so many great projects listed here!
What a great list of companies for sewing patterns! I have always been interested in learning to sew, so I am a true beginner. This list is a huge help. Thank you!
This is a wonderful sewing guide for beginners! I used the “four” as a teenager making my own tops, shorts and dresses.
Simplicity and McCall’s are the patterns that Lisa grew up on! The others look great for beginners!