Sewing Patterns – Why Use Them?

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, sewing patterns are a great resource for anyone who loves to sew. They take the strain out of starting from scratch and there are plenty of excellent patterns that don’t cost a penny.  Let’s take a look at some of the basics when it comes to sewing patterns.

What Is A Sewing Pattern?

The name may be self-explanatory but using flat pieces of paper to guide the correct sized cuts of fabric help to guide a sewer through exact measurements. There are multiple cuts to make and from there, there are usually instructions that help to guide you through the sewing process. From here, the pattern comes to life and as long as there are photos or an instructional video, these are great for beginners.

Are Sewing Patterns Easy To Use?

This is the main benefit of using a sewing pattern. They remove the guesswork and help guide the sewer through the process. They are popular with beginners but also the most accomplished sewers for their ease of use.

They Vary In Difficulty

Not all sewing patterns are going to be easy to make and although some basics such as a t-shirt or bag can be made in an evening, other projects are best tackled over a weekend. Thankfully, most patterns are made to be as simple as possible and even if one is too difficult, there are usually many more to try.

They Are Available In Multiple Sizes

Ever picked up a pair of jeans in a store or a cuter dress only to realize they don’t have your size in stock? Thankfully, although there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to garments this is usually fine with sewing patterns. A lot of them come in different sizes.

Best Way To Cut A Sewing Pattern

This will depend on whether or not you wish to use the pattern again. A lot of people will cut the patterns straight out, others will trace it onto paper to preserve the original. If the seam allowances are not included (we’ll cover this later), it is easier to trace and add the allowances. If printing them, be sure to print on individual pieces of paper so they do not print on both sides. Some magazines will save space by using this method in which case, you will have to trace the pattern.

Different Types of Sewing Patterns

These usually come in two options, paper and digital. The paper options are commonly found in a pack and can be made from silk paper which has a more luxurious feel. Magazines may include a sewing pattern that is printed on paper, especially for a new brand.

The benefit of using digital sewing patterns is that they are available to print via pdf the moment you click buy. This way you can tackle to project whenever it is convenient to you. Not everyone prints them but this is the easier approach than following them as a loose guide on your phone.

Seam Allowances

Not all sewing patterns use them but if you are making a garment then expect there to be seam allowances. They are there to sew the pieces together so you are left with a piece that fits right. Most seam allowances measure 1 – 1.5 cm. The process is made easier with the guide on a sewing machine. Keep an eye out for them on the pattern as if they are not included you will need to add them yourself whilst tracing around the pattern.

It is better to opt for a sewing pattern with seam allowances as this makes it easier to avoid mistakes.

Cutting Fabric

Most sewing patterns have a guide on how best to cut the fabric. A lot of them are symmetrical meaning as long as the fabric is flat and straight it is possible to fold it and cut out two pieces at once should the pattern have two identical pieces. Thin and delicate fabric is the best cut in one layer. Some designs such as a teddy bear can mean multiple pieces of fabric are used so this will mean more cutting.

Where To Find Sewing Patterns

Some excellent sites gather multiple designs in one place to take a lot of the strain out of searching for the right sewing pattern. One such resource is Love Sewing. They have everything from sewing patterns for shorts to teddy bears. Each list contains numerous patterns from a variety of the most reputable sewing websites.


Although the first sewing pattern can be a little tricky, it doesn’t take long before you are wearing the finished garment and looking back at the cut pieces of paper and realizing how useful they were.