If you’re new to sewing, you’re probably looking for ways to further your skills and learn new techniques. I’ve only been sewing garments for a little over a year, and have done my fair share of digging around Instagram and the internet for some beginner-friendly free patterns. Here’s a round-up of some patterns that I’ve tried (or can’t wait to try)!
The focus of this blog post is a turtleneck from Tessuti Fabrics. I completed everything from start to finish in about 3 hours – including cutting out the pattern, cutting the fabric, and assembly. Honestly the longest part was cutting and assembling the pattern!
Monroe Turtleneck from Tessuti Fabrics — Link to pattern is here!
The pattern and construction was VERY straightforward. I made this in the size 2 which I felt would be comparable to a typical size medium in ready-to-wear clothing from any apparel store. I would recommend marking which side is the front bodice piece versus back bodice (I did this with a tiny snips in the shoulder pieces of the front bodice). The only skills required are sewing straight lines and understanding how to use the zigzag feature on your sewing machine. I would definitely make this pattern again!
- I think this pattern would be a lot easier with a serger! Because I don’t have a serger, I sewed a zigzag stitch at the 3/8″ seam allowance and then sewed along the same seam with another zigzag stitch as close as it could to the raw edges of the fabric to prevent fraying.
- If I made the pattern again, I would choose a fabric with more stretch! I do have a large head so it was a little difficult to fit through the neck opening and it certainly has a more snug fit. Also the sleeves fit just a liiiiittle too tight and could use the tiniest bit more stretch as well. Nothing was wrong with the pattern, though! Just more of a heads up. The exact fabric I used is linked here!
Peppermint Jumpsuit from In The Folds – link here!
Difficulty: Advanced beginner
So if you keep scrolling through this post, you’ll see that I adore the patterns from In The Folds collaboration with Peppermint Magazine, where she has come up with several patterns meant to teach you different skills! The construction itself can be a little confusing to a complete beginner, but I think it would be doable. Skills include doing a “burrito” facing method, installing an invisible zipper, and darts. I’ve actually made 2 versions of this – the full length one pictured above was my first one made from quilting cotton. I eventually made a romper with quilting cotton as well for a Notre Dame football game, added pockets, and didn’t bother making the waist sash. I think this is a well-loved pattern across the internet, so if you’re looking for inspiration, just search #peppermintjumpsuit
- For your own good, watch a video on how to install the facing if you’ve never done anything similar to this technique. Link here!
- I really struggle with installing invisible zippers — they end up being visible but still functional, so I suppose your mileage may vary!
- Don’t be afraid to modify this pattern! I much preferred the shorter romper version with pockets.
Peppermint Button-Up Dress from In The Folds – link here!
Difficulty: advanced beginner or intermediate
This dress is one of my most worn handmade dresses – I love it so much. I get a ton of compliments, it’s super comfy, and I’m immensely proud of it, mostly because I learned how to attach buttons! This is certainly the most challenging but most satisfying pattern on this free pattern round-up. I plan on making another in 2019, hopefully in a more neutral linen!
- press, press, press! The princess seams here really need a little tender love and care, so don’t skip the pressing. I also found it helpful to pin more than I thought I needed to.
- practice with applying buttons first with some fabric scraps if you’ve never done this before! aka, I had never done this before attempting to sew this dress so it was quite the journey
Marie Skirt from Rosy Pena – link here!
This is a simple wrap skirt, but with the right fabric, it can be a showstopper. I wore this to a rehearsal dinner and got several compliments, which is nice considering it’s such an easy make and only took about 2 hours from start to finish. I also wore it on a girls trip to Puerto Vallarta and it made for the perfect post-beach dressy dinner skirt 🙂
- Because of the leg split, the “wrong” side of the fabric is visible – choose a fabric where you like the “wrong” side! I got mine off of Etsy from Gossamer Textiles. I don’t believe they still sell this exact fabric but here’s a link to the Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/GossamerTextilesLLC
- In retrospect, I would have used french seams to finish the raw edges!
- I found the waistband to be a little finicky as well, in the instructions, she mentions that if you can adjust the waistband so that the ties are even in length, but I never bothered doing this. To the naked eye, I would say it’s unnoticeable, but for technique purposes I should have fixed this.
Peppermint Peplum Top – link here!
Difficulty: confident beginner
This is another wildly popular pattern across the Instagram sewing community, with tons of hacks and modifications available. I gotta say, it isn’t my favorite of the In The Folds patterns but I will admit that I may have made it in a size too small. I felt that the blouse lay a little too far away from my body, but I don’t think I’ve seen many other completed #peppermintpeplumtop tanks with this problem. Techniques covered include adding a ruffle, darts, and attaching binding. I think I’m willing to give this pattern one more shot in a larger size to see if I love it as much as everyone else 🙂
- You can either opt to make your own bias tape or buy pre-made bias tape. I bought pre-made bias tape because I was barely able to squeeze out the top from the small amount of fabric I had bought.
Morning Glory Top from Sarah Kirsten – link here!
This free pattern is up next on my list! I love how you use your own exact measurements to create the pattern. I’m curious about the reversible nature of the top, as well. Stay tuned for when I eventually make this 😀
I’ll try to add more free patterns as they pop up! Have you tried any free patterns that aren’t on this list? Leave me a comment!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy sewing.