“Sewing is the Queen of the world.”
- Pindare

And those who practise sewing, with their clever hands, are the princes and princesses of the human world.

You have already taken sewing lessons - from your mother, from friends, from online sewing classes or official sewing courses London?

Wonderful! But knowing how to hand sew, stick, knit or use a sewing machine is of little use if you don’t have any sewing patterns to copy or adapt - it’s very hard to sew without plan, improvising as you go along.

Now is the time to go look for good sewing patterns at various difficulty levels.

We have tried to gather here for you the main categories of free sewing patterns: the Web is a true treasure trove for patterns (patterns found in paying magazines, sewing books or online sewing classes can hardly be called “free” since you are paying for the medium they are found in.)

We won’t be covering how to read and adapt sewing patterns - this is part of learning how to sew. If you’re unsure how to use a specific pattern, some sites offer them as part of a sewing tutorial. Otherwise, search for sew-along videos such as this one.

Why Do You Need to Use Sewing Patterns?

According to Wikipedia: “In sewing and fashion design, a pattern is the template from which the parts of a garment are traced onto fabric before being cut out and assembled.”

Now you understand why it’s possible to download patterns as JPGs, PDFs etc. and print them out yourself.

The big companies offer a variety of patterns.
Buying patterns from the big patternmakers will cost money. So why not look online for free sewing pattern downloads? Photo by M.P.N.texan on Visualhunt

There are three kinds of sewing patterns: basic patterns, retail patterns and industrial patterns for mass-produced clothes.

Various companies make patterns. Burda is the best-known, but there are also Butterick, McCall’s or Simplicity (among others). But patterns by the big firms all cost money - and when you have to buy sewing supplies and fabric, every penny counts.

There are a lot of good sites for free sewing patterns - which is why we had to pick and choose a bit for you. But no matter what pattern you choose, theory is not enough: you will have to study your new sewing pattern carefully - whether you are making a skirt, a shirt or a patchwork cushion - and bring all the skills you have learned in your sewing lessons to play.

Would you like to find more sewing tutorials online?

Transfer your sewing pattern accurately
Remember not to skip steps when transfering your new free sewing pattern! Photo by kellyhogaboom on Visualhunt

A quick reminder: don’t skip any steps when adapting and cutting your patterns. Sewing is easy, but you have to go at your own rhythm and remember not to rush things. And if you’re not sure how to proceed, why not take some sewing classes near me or sewing lessons with a private tutor here on Superprof?

Where Can You Find Beginner Sewing Patterns?

Beginner sewing skills include hemming, setting in sleeves, sewing on a zipper or adding snap buttons.

But a good seamstress can, after taking a good sewing course, go further than that: learning to sew also means learning to use a sewing pattern properly to make a nice summer dress - with the help of a few sewing accessories.

Before setting out with a cry of “hurrah!”, make sure you have your sewing kit ready, all the measurements you need from the person you are making the clothing for, and of course sewing thread on your bobbins. There is nothing more frustrating than starting to sew your new skirt only to have to go out and buy additional sewing supplies mid-project.

From tops to circle skirts to bibs with a deer on it to a little black dress; from A-line skirts to cushions to a tote or a pair of trousers: anything is possible when you know how to sew!

Take a look at our expanded selection of reading materials for learning how to sew!

Tote bags are great beginner sewing projects
Tote bags make good beginner sewing projects - with the right sewing pattern you can make them really creative. Photo by 190.arch (aka bymamma190) on VisualHunt

So grab your sewing scissors and pinking shears for these beginner sewing patterns. And why not bring them to your sewing class for live advice on how to sew them?

  • So Sew Easy includes both simple crafts projects such as bags and pillow and several different kinds of skirts, trousers, dresses and tunics.
  • Craftsy  has a series of skirts and tops in various shapes to help you learn how to sew, not to mention the obligatory pouches and bags.
  • Allfree Sewing has a variety of projects including maxi dresses, aprons, shorts, Christmas ornaments, coasters etc.


Website to Find Free Sewing Patterns

Want to sew a skirt or a pair of trousers? Whether you are a beginner sewing enthusiast or a professional, want to sew children’s clothing, menswear or women’s garments, there are a lot of online sites offering free sewing patterns at various levels:

  • Sew, by its own voice the “UK’s Bestselling Sewing Mag” has a variety of free online sewing patterns ranging from ties to footstools to maternity wear.
  • Sew Can She offers craft patterns, bags and various items of apparel from leggings to infinity scarves, as well as quilting blocks, home dec and various fat quarter projects.
  • Sewing Support offers hundreds of free patterns thankfully organised by type: from mittens to skirts to lingerie to slippers to baby clothes.
Sewing patterns for dresses are popular
Dress patterns are common sewing patterns. Browse the Net for cute or unusual creations! Photo by loopsandlife on Visual hunt

Don’t hesitate to use social media, either. Anyone having elaborated their own sewing pattern can share the pictures over Pinterest and its equivalents.

And searching google pictures for the type of pattern you want (”tank top pattern”, “cushion pattern” or “summer dress pattern”) will turn up free downloadable patterns as well as the usual big pattern firms. And you can immediately compare to see which ones please you the most!

Discover our picks for the best online sewing patterns...

Is There Any Point in Actually Buying Sewing Patterns?

As we have seen, free sewing patterns offer a lot of variety and some real treasures, so that it seems pointless to even think about paying for patterns.

However, there are situations in which you might want to spend money for a pattern.

Why? Because that pattern right there - yes, that one - is exactly what you are looking for: that cute summer maxi dress with smocking and ribbon ties in just the style you want and which you haven’t found anywhere else.

It’s that sort of chance encounter that can push you to turn to paying alternatives - often haute couture patterns for advanced seamstresses and tailors.

The more skillful amongst you might even want to try and elaborate your own pattern - and the height of generosity would be, of course, to share it on the Web yourself as a free sewing pattern… Or build up a patter store and make a living out of selling them…

Indie Patterns You Don't Want to Miss Out On

And if you don’t want to turn to Burda, Butterick’s, McCall’s or Vogue for your patterns, why not try out indie pattern makers? This site sells patterns from several indie makers; and here are a few more:

  • Tilly and the Buttons has all sorts of shirts, skirts, dresses and maternity wear in a slightly rockabilly look.
  • Cashmerette specialises in plus-size patterns.
  • Simple Sew patterns are specifically designed to be easy to make - and thus ideal for your next beginner sewing lesson.
  • Named Clothing offers a very wide range of patterns from bathrobes to business suits - you can be sure to find what you are looking for there.
  • Oliver & S specialises in children’s clothing - from onesies to adorable little dresses.
  • The Fabric Godmother stocks a number of different patternmakers - and you can buy the fabrics for your next sewing project there, too!

And don’t forget to be on the lookout for your online haberdashery’s special sales on sewing patterns to get more value for your money on the big brands.

Discover now a treasure trove of resources for learning how to sew!

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.