Thursday, September 4, 2014

sew it all series - choosing patterns


Just in case you missed any of the other planning posts in the Sew It All series, you can find them here:



Today, I am going to focus on patterns.  In my experience, for the average home sewer, this means first figuring out which patterns (either printed or pdf) you already own and matching them to your needs.  It seems that anyone who has been sewing for a while has amassed quite a collection of patterns, and often those patterns will work with little or no modifications.  I am not one to buy a ton of new patterns (unless they are Japanese Sewing books which I love!) when I can easily make a few changes to patterns I already own, or even draft my own pattern if my modest collection comes up short.  I realize that not everyone has the desire to modify or draft patterns, and if that is the case, so you may want to take a look at this post to find a pattern - if you can't find a pattern from the links in that list, then it probably doesn't exist!

If you are new to sewing and just starting to collect patterns - and collect is the right word since they tend to accumulate quite quickly :) - here is a (surprisingly short) list of what I would consider to be basic patterns:
  • Pants - Bonus points if there are directions for shorts also
  • Basic Knit Top - Should include both long and short sleeves
  • (Girl) Basic Bodice Dress - Try to find one that includes sleeves and possibly a few variations
  • (Boy) Button up shirt - One of the best boy sewing projects
  • Hoodie/Cardigan/Sweatshirt - Not entirely necessary but very satisfying to sew
  • (Girl) Gathered Skirt - A great beginner project that doesn't really require a pattern; there are lots of free tutorials for this one
If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few of my favorite patterns that I have featured on the blog in the past. Click on the pictures if you would like to read the original posts :)  And the pattern links are in the captions under the pictures.

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/06/pdf-pattern-designers-mostly.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/06/pdf-pattern-designers-mostly.html
Hosh Pants - Great unisex basic pull-on pants pattern by LouBee Clothing


http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/05/vintage-geranium-dress.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/09/pattern-review-friday-lotus-actually.html
Geranium Dress - Lovely & versatile dress pattern by Made by Rae (shown with modifications)


http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/05/pattern-review-friday-japanese-pattern.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/11/pattern-review-japanese-pattern-book.html
Japanese Sewing Books - I love the variety of patterns available in these books.  I currently own 12 of them and plan on sewing from them quite a bit through this series


http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/04/lotta-dress-pattern-tour-on-compagniem.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/08/pattern-review-compagniem-mara-blouse.html
CompagnieM. Patterns - High quality, timeless & classic patterns


http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/03/my-little-disney-girl.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/10/kcw-day-7-izzy-dress.html
My own Izzy Top - After all, I wouldn't have bothered to draft the pattern and sew several variations if it wasn't a favorite :)


I can't possibly list all the patterns I like in this post, but you can see more of my pattern reviews here.  There are also quite a few patterns that I've sewn but haven't blogged about yet.  I will add reviews for some of them over the next few months including:

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