Choosing a Pattern for Your First Project

by | May 31, 2021

Choosing a pattern for your first garment making project can be overwhelming, I’ll help you to decide what to make.

So you’ve decided you’d like to give making clothes a go! Amazing! Go for it! It’s a fantastic hobby to have and a very rewarding thing to do. Especially when you start getting compliments from strangers on the clothes you’ve made.

But you don’t know where to start?

I get it! There’s a lot of information out there and it can get a little overwhelming when you are choosing a pattern for your first make!

If you’re coming to Sewing School (5 week dressmaking course) these tips will help you pick a pattern for your project.

Choose Something You Love

I want you to fall in love with dressmaking, and the fastest way for you to do that is to make clothes you love to wear!

If you don’t love something before you start, you’re unlikely to grow to love it once you’ve made it.

I always suggest that you make something that you would actually wear. I’ve had students come to classes and say that they’ve decided to make something that they would never wear just because it looks easy.

Choosing a Pattern for your Skill Level

Although you want to make something you’ll love, you will want to make something that’s aimed at your current skill level. Making clothes is a skill that takes time and experience to master. There are trickier styles and techniques that would discourage a beginner to attempt.

Patterns designed for beginners usually have more comprehensive and detailed instructions. Patterns designed for more experienced sewists tend to assume a certain level of knowledge which can leave newbies totally scratching their heads in confusion.

The Fold Line Pattern Finder is a great resource because you can filter their database of patterns based on Sewing Level. As well as a number of other search filters that can help you to find something that you’ll love to wear that is designed for a beginner.

Another website I use for buying patterns is Jaycotts.

Choosing a Pattern in the Right Size

Pattern sizing is completely different to shop sizing, so DO NOT assume that because you wear a size 16 in the shops that you will need a size 16 pattern.

To determine the correct size, you will use your body measurements (bust, waist & hip).

This video explains more…

Choose Suitable Fabric

This is a biggie! Selecting a suitable fabric can make or break your project. But you’re just starting out, so you don’t know what is suitable. And you probably didn’t know there are so many different types of fabrics.

One of the biggest and best resources available to you are the lovely people who work in fabric shops. Most of them got into the job they’re doing because they love sewing and they love fabrics. In my experience they will be more than happy to spend time with you and give freely of their wealth of knowledge to help you to make your project a success.

During the pandemic we’ve mostly been restricted to shopping online, but the fabric shops are open again and are welcoming customers back through their doors with open arms.

If you need help choosing your fabric – Read this Post.

I also advise that you start your own “Know Your Fabrics” Library to help build and grow your knowledge.

You can find out more about creating a Know your Fabrics file here.

Love & Stitches

Alison xx

The Love & Stitches Club

An exclusive membership club where you can learn to sew and create your own handmade clothes, from the comfort of your own home

Learn to create an entire wardrobe of wonderful, stylish outfits. Whatever your personal style, size and tastes, you’ll learn to make beautiful clothes that will last for years and gain compliments wherever you go.