With Sewing Patterns You Can Be Your Own Designer !

Whether it is through making your own wardrobe or making quilts or home décor projects, sewing patterns allow you to create your own unique style.

Patterns can be thought of as a way to customize any sewing experience. They are the heart of any sewing project. They are the guide to getting that special look that you want. Patterns are a great invention that helps the sewer to express their own creativity. Not to mention making it easy to sew just about anything. With a pattern you don’t even have to think about it, just choose the prepackaged project that suits your fancy, choose a fabric that you like, put the two together, cut out the project, sew the pieces together (following the pattern instructions of course and fabric suggestions) and voila, an expression of your personality has been born!

Don’t like what you see in the stores or can’t afford those couture clothes? Want to create a unique look for your home? Then sewing patterns definitely fit the bill.

The flexibility of patterns allows you to customize the length of a skirt for example. By adding or removing inches from a skirt pattern you can lenghten or shorten the skirt to reflect your own taste in skirt lengths. Some of us actually like and prefer longer skirts. So, instead of just accepting the fashion trend that stores may be presenting, you can design clothing that you are comfortable with, all through using patterns.

There are four major pattern companies to choose patterns from, not just for clothing but for home décor as well. These are:

Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity, and Vogue Sewing Patterns

Although one can get some deals on patterns by the major companies online, the best deals that I have found are through the sewing centers like Joann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics.

These centers have sales on patterns from the four major companies just about every month. Patterns can be expensive, but for example, Butterick, McCall’s and Simplicity patterns at these sewing centers are often sold for $.99 Or $1.99 each. There once was no limit on the number of patterns that one could purchase for this price, but now the limit is often 5 or 10 for that price. However, on some holidays or special events such as National Sewing month, there sometimes is no limit on how many you can purchase for these low unit prices. Vogue patterns are generally higher and may sell at 75% off. But, these are still good deals compared to paying the regular price of $4.99 for a Butterick pattern or $18.00 for a Vogue pattern. At 75% off, an $18.00 Vogue pattern would be about $4.50.

So, there are deals to be had in the sewing centers that make it worth checking out their sales fliers either online or at the sewing centers. One can even get on their mailing lists at the sewing centers and get some really good deals not just on patterns, but on other items as well (more about that later).

Custom Sewing Pattern Packages

In addition to store bought patterns, there is even such a thing as custom sewing patterns. I came across these at www.livingsoftnw.com
What is the difference between store bought patterns and custom patterns? Store bought patterns contain an entire outfit that one can cut out and sew. Custom pattern packages contain individual pieces that you can mix and match to create your own outfit. These custom pattern packages are software programs designed for the home or professional sewer. For those who really want customization this site may be worth checking out.

Creating A Custom Fit By Altering Store Bought Patterns

If one doesn't have the time or money to invest in creating custom patterns with software, one can still have a thriving garment sewing business using store bought patterns. How? By altering these patterns to fit your individual customers or if sewing for oneself, by altering these store bought patterns to create a fabulous fit making your own clothes look like designer fashions.

My search for a complete instruction package for garment fitting using store bought patterns led me to Threads Magazine.com. On this website I found an excellent DVD series called Threads Fitting DVD Series.

Although it is virtually impossible to make pattern alteration an exciting task that we all want to do, the Threads DVD series is excellent and comprehensive. The series addresses fitting alterations for the bust, arms, torso, waist and hips, thus covering the entire body.

This is an excellent tool for the home sewing business or personal sewing experience. If one is going to sew for others for a living using store bought patterns, it is a must to know how to properly fit these patterns to make your customer look like they purchased the garment from a store.

The Threads Magazine website also has other excellent tips for both the personal and professional sewer to help make any sewing project a success.

Free Patterns

There are also some free patterns out there. One of the biggest sites for free patterns that I found is a site called www.favecrafts.com Another good site to find free patterns is at www.freepatterns.com Free Patterns reports that it has over 2,000 unique sewing patterns for a variety of projects. Creating Your Own Sewing Patterns

There is a nice little book out there that I came across that tells you how to make your own sewing patterns. The book is by Donald H. McCunn, called How to Make Sewing Patterns.

There are some specialty sewing measuring tools that are used for pattern making, if one chooses to create their own patterns.

1. The tailor square or "L" is used to transfer measurements to the draft pattern.

2. The modified 12 inch vary form curve is used to create easy neck and armholes for a pattern.

3. The curve stick is used to create lapel, elbow, skirt, slacks, and trouser curves.

4. The 18 inch straight edge also commonly referred to as a ruler is used to create accurate lines, both horizontal and vertical.

5. An awl is a good tool for marking points for accurate measurements.

6. Pattern paper is also a good tool to have for altering existing patterns or creating your own patterns.

Anyone serious about pattern fitting or creating their own patterns will need these type of tools.

Pattern Measuring Rulers

Pattern Creation/Alteration Measuring Rulers

Pattern Measuring Paper

Pattern Making/Alteration Paper

Awls As Sewing Tools


Patterns are a must for any sewing project and can be found in different places and can be used in different ways, it is simply a matter of what suits your fancy. There are indeed a variety of patterns for everyone.

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