Monroe Turtleneck | a free pattern round-up

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!

Difficulty: Beginner

General thoughts: 

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!

Tricky bits: 

  • 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. Photo Dec 18, 8 38 02 AM
  • 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

General Thoughts:

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

Tricky Bits:

  • 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

General Thoughts:

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!

Tricky Bits:

  • 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!

i blow dried my hair for this pic

Difficulty: Beginner

General Thoughts: 

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 🙂

Tricky Bits:

  • 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
  • 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!

ok how much do i luv churros

Difficulty: confident beginner

General Thoughts:

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 🙂

Tricky Bits:

  • 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.


3 thoughts on “Monroe Turtleneck | a free pattern round-up

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