Whether you’re new to sewing or an experienced sewer looking for inspiration, getting free sewing patterns online can be a bit of a gamble. There are plenty of UK sewing blogs that can be found through a simple internet search, and many of these bloggers include links to downloadable PDFs of their patterns.
There are so many free patterns available though, that you can easily find yourself trawling the internet, filtering through until you find the one you’re looking for, only to find that you’ve used up most of the time you put aside for sewing!
To help you cut down your searching and maximise your sewing, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best sources for free sewing patterns online…
Easily the most reliable of the internet sources, online sewing magazines will feature patterns that have been tried and tested so you’ll know that you shouldn’t have any trouble using them.
1. The Sewing Directory – A fantastic resource! All the free patterns are categorised so you can browse through the kind of sewing projects that interest you the most. From upcycling, to accessories to patchwork quilting, you’re sure to find something that inspires you, even if it’s just to organise your crafting equipment, like this Knitting Bag Project.
2. Sew Style and Home – There are plenty of free patterns to download from this site. Have a look through the pages of projects to find the one for you. One of my favourites on here is the camera strap – simple and practical but also uses up any scrap pieces of fabric you ‘re storing away.
3. Love Sewing – A huge variety of projects are downloadable from Love Sewing Mag. Whether you’re looking for a seasonal decoration, a gift or clothing, you’ll find it here. As the faithful poncho maintains its popularity, these Free Poncho Sewing Patterns
4. Simply Sewing – For fresh ideas don’t look any further than Simply Sewing Magazine. You can find patterns for sewing letters and words, making sewing accessories, soft toys and so much more. If you enjoy recycling your clothes, you’ll love this tutorial to turn jeans into baby bibs allowing you to keep your well-loved clothes close and useful.
5. Sew Now – If you’ve been following the issues of this magazine and know which patterns you want from each issue, you can easily find and download them. One of the brilliant things about the patterns featured on this site is that they reference skill level so you’ll never be faced with completing a project that’s too easy or too difficult.
Occasionally, shops will offer free downloads of some patterns online. They’re not easy to find but definitely worth a search.
1. Hobby Craft – There’s a small selection of free patterns available to download but definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a basic pattern that you can adapt in some way to enhance it. Just be careful not to accidentally purchase patterns on the same page that are not free to download.
Some of the best free patterns available online can be downloaded for free from bloggers who have tried, tested and adapted patterns or designed their own from scratch. As a fail-safe, check out the comments below the blogs to see what other visitors think of the patterns before you commit to buying and cutting your fabric. Some of the favourites UK bloggers are listed below.
1. Handmade Jane has some fantastic tutorials for clothing and accessories, using vintage materials, polka dots and gingham. Jane’s tutorials have easy to follow instructions with helpful step-by-step pictures. Her tooth fairy cushion is definitely one of my favourites, and have been featured in the Love Sewing magazine.
2. Another of my favourite bloggers, Scruffy Badger Time shares a number of excellent project ideas from fun to practical. Not only sharing tutorials to make whole garments but also mini tutorials to perfect techniques like unpicking over-locker seams.
3. Sew Doggy Style has beautiful, practical patterns for pets. These include the DIY coat pattern for our canine friends, because even our dogs need to dress well! This pattern isn’t downloadable but includes a pictorial explanation of how to measure your dog to make your own paper pattern for this adorable coat. A practical solution to the tiny problem of all dogs being different sizes!
4. By becoming a member of Angela Kane’s website, you’ll gain access to free downloadable PDF clothing patterns. You can gain access to more patterns on the site, but for this you will need to pay a subscription. It’s a great site to visit to find good patterns for your clothing garments.
5. Sew Different has many clothing patterns, including multi-sized and one-sized. However, it’s the one-sized PDF patterns that are free to download. The patterns are also organised into categories making navigation for dresses, skirts and tops, a whole lot easier. So if you’re looking for an eye-catching skirt like the Chevron Maxi Skirt you’ll have no trouble finding and comparing patterns.
6. Sew and So Ideas shares patterns from designers and other crafters so there’s a large selection to choose from. You’ll be able to find toys, soft furnishings, accessories for your home and clothing. One of my favourite patterns from this site is the fabulous Spotty Dotty Apron made from just 4 fat quarters!
7. Matt Chapple, Great British Sewing Bee Champion of 2015, has some lovely patterns available on his site Sew What’s New. I particularly love this tutorial to make a DIY knight costume, not only because of the quality of the finished design but also because it’s so difficult to find cost effective patterns to make dress-up outfits for children!
Have fun searching for your free online sewing patterns. Remember that if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, there are plenty of ways to adapt a pattern. That can be achieved by adding embellishments like applique, changing pocket positioning, or altering how an item fastens, as well as other techniques.
So, try out some projects and let us know which sites you found most useful and why.