I love sewing patterns! To me, they seem like little envelopes full of possibility. There are times when I make myself a garment almost exactly the same as the one featured on the front of the packaging. Other times I use an unexpected fabric or make a change to the pattern itself. Patterns can be used as inspiration for a creative and custom made wardrobe.
After years of teaching there are a few patterns that really stand out to me. I thought I would share some of my favorites. Of course this list could change as new patterns are produced and I have time to give both new and old patterns a try.
Sew Liberated’s Schoolhouse Tunic
This pattern is fun to make. It has flattering box pleat features and sleeves. I have made several of these. I have made a sleeveless version. I have made it into a top. I have buttoned up the front opening with vintage buttons. I have even given them as gifts. It is a great class to teach students how to set sleeves. I love the designers clear and easy to follow directions.
Amy Butler’s Barcelona Skirt
This is a classic A-line skirt. It is lined and has a zipper. Both great skills for a beginner to learn. Plus the A-line is figure flattering on all body types. I have never made the apron overlay, but I think the possibilities are endless with this pattern.
Simplicity 1609 two Piece Dress
This is a remake of a 60′s vintage Jiffy pattern. I love vintage patterns and bet I even have this original in my stash somewhere. What is great about the big pattern companies reissuing vintage patterns is that the instructions have been updated and are much easier to follow. This particular pattern is only two main pattern pieces with variations for a collar and a bow! This would be so cute for summer in a crisp linen or made in a nice black brocade for a special evening. This is a very versatile pattern.
Heather Ross’s Mendocino Sundress
Not only is this pattern FREE to download it is crazy cute and simple to make. I first saw this when Heather Ross was on the Martha Stewart Show teaching how to make a child’s version of the sundress. . She was wearing a strapless version and looks so freaking cute. This pattern uses elastic thread and is a fun and easy skill to learn with endless possibilities.
Lisette 1878 by Simplicity Patterns
Lisette patterns are designed by the talented Liesl Gibson of Oliver & S. This is another figure flattering a-line dress pattern. It is called the Diplomat. You have the choice of three lengths and three different sleeve options. I have made version B, but I am dying to make the long version out of some Liberty fabric and belt it! Another thing I love about the Lisette pattern line is that they give you accessory styling tips right on the front of the envelope.
Okay, so the Wiksten Tova is marked as an intermediate level pattern. However, I think an advanced beginner would have no problem whipping one of these up. It is lovely in linen and lighter weight woven cottons or blends. The pattern is for a dress or top and prefer this in the top. The dress silhouette is not flattering for my body type. It is fun to make. The pattern is beautifully designed and there is a challenging pleated front feature that makes it unique.
Miz Mozelle by Jamie Christina
Here is a sweet vintage inspired dress pattern. It has a peter pan collar and keyhole neckline. I find this to be a feminine and flattering shape for me. The pattern recommends using a drape fabric, but I have also made it out of cotton and it turns out adorable.
Laurel by Colette Patterns
Here is another simple shift dress. What sets this one apart from others is the beautiful and well written pattern booklet and instructions. Plus all the extra tips, tricks and tutorials you can find on the Colette site. If you are not familiar with Colette Patterns yet, you should be. This pattern is for beginners. However, she offers a free pdf download with nine other variation ideas that make this pattern a great base to add creative ideas.
Socialite Dress by Anna Maria Horner
I love this dress. Yes, I chose another shift. I love them. This one has two things that I love about it. First, it has pockets. Any garment with pockets is better. Second, it has lovely gathered details in the front and back along the yoke. It is flattering and can be work in any season. I have worn layered with sweaters and boots and flip flops.
I hope you find this list helpful and maybe even discovered some patterns you didn’t know about. Please share your favorite patterns and what you love about them. I am always looking for a new project to try.