Monday, 16 July 2012

Get sewing for free

When I first started to sew seriously I turned to the Internet for ideas and inspiration.  When you are learning you don't want to spend money on a book or pattern that are beyond your skills.  Sewing patterns can be expensive and rightly so there is a lot of work goes into many of them.  At first I found it hard to find what I was looking for.  I think because most free patterns and tutorials come from blogs search engines do not seem to find them.  Slowly but surely my bookmarks list began to grow with useful little sites.  So I thought I would share the ones I use most often with you in the hope that it might save you some time and inspire you to dig out your sewing machine.  After all if it is going to rain all of July you might want a project to entertain you.

Craftiness is not optional
A note about Internet patterns.  Most free patterns are in PDF format.  These patterns need to be printed out and pieced together - follow the instructions with the pattern.  It's then best to trace them onto dressmakers tissue of backing parchment (if your thrifty like me).  Don't be put of by this it can be fiddly and time consuming but worth it for a pattern you love at no cost.

Often with these sources there is a lot of cross over some of these sites will have ladies, children's and home sew projects but I have grouped them here according to what I mostly use to them for.

Image via Horrockses fashions
Ladies patterns are not bountiful but they are out there if you know where to look 
Horrockses fashions are releasing a series of vintage dress patterns designed to be made using their bed linen.  The first dress is a very wearable and simple strappy sundress.
Burda style is a lovely magazine that on the surface looks like a glossy fashion magazine but in the middle are all the patterns to make everything you see, it's my idea of heaven!  They also have a website which provides a kind of social network for garment sewers.  Once you have an account you can upload projects and pattern reviews, download patterns - quite a few are free - and advertise sewing groups.
Colette is an Indie pattern company that produce really lovely and good quality sewing patterns.  Colette patterns are modern classics's and such a refreshing change from the dated patterns most of the traditional pattern houses produce.  Colette patterns will truly inspire you to sew and are at the forefront of reviving sewing as a hobby.  Their website and blog is full of amazing inspiration and tutorials and the free Sorbetto top pattern.  Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this little top a quick Internet search will give you a wealth of ideas for how to produce your own sorbetto top for a start check out sew weekly's 7 days of sorbetto.

 There is a wealth of amazing free children's patterns although a definite bias towards girls clothing.  Sewing children's clothes is so quick and rewarding its a great place to start learning to sew.  Check out the 100s of free patterns and tutorials from prudent baby and the amazingly creative sisters over at Shwin & Schwin. If your still hungry for more check out me sew crazy for lots of tutorials and craftiness is not optional.  There are literally hours and hours of exploring, reading and sewing to be had here. 

Purple potluck bowl covers

If home sewing is more your thing then try sew mama sew for home sew tutorials and a lot more besides.  Also the visually stunning cottage home.  If you are new to sewing I guarantee a name you will quickly stumble across is Amy Butler this fabric designer is a big name in the sewing world producing very modern quilting fabrics that are widely available.  She also designs patterns, wallpapers and stationery.  Click here for a link to some free PDF patterns produced by Amy Butler.

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