We are well into lockdown and we know there is more to come, a huge amount of people are dusting off their machines and getting stuck into crafting projects and it’s absolutely fantastic! When I first thought about PDF patterns I was really hesitant, like how can I print it off on A4 and it scale and fit and isn’t it just going to be a faf? Then I had a go and I’m not sure this post can get across to you how convenient it was! So... a couple of things you should know before embarking on a PDF project: 

  • You’re going to need paper, like 50 sheets of it
  • You will need glue or tape 
  • You will need a big flat surface like a dining table or I have just got into the habit of moving my coffee table out of the way to use the floor
  • You will need a PDF reader on your laptop, PC or MAC. Free PDF readers can be found online. 
  • I advise once you’ve stuck it all together, trace your shape off using either pattern paper, trace paper or baking parchment, this way you will always have a hard copy, if you need to make amendments you can do it easier and if you change size you can still make it again in the future.  

What was the pleasant surprise? 

  • Most patterns have got markers on to tell you which page matches to which
  • There’s always a test page so you print that one first measure the square and if all is good go ahead if not you will just need to tinker with your printer settings
  • A lot of patterns have a shape to match up between the pages so you keep straight and accurate shapes. 

What did I learn? 

  • You’re pattern will go together neater if you complete the rows then stick the rows together, so full row to the next row rather than working piece by piece. 

  • This opened up a whole new world for me, instant patterns from my home, no waiting for postage and there were WAY more independent pattern makers out there than I had thought!

Here are 6 pattern makers to look up! HAPPY SEWING! 

Tilly and The Buttons

You literally cannot talk about contemporary patterns and not mention Tilly. You just can’t. These are fashionable, wearable patterns with no silly jargon and instructions that are really comprehensive. Most of them are suitable for beginners and Tilly’s instructions mean that if you have little- to- no- experience in sewing you can still make your own clothes. 

  Tilly and the buttons patterns                    

Tilly and The Buttons instagram is full of images of her garments made by a range people of varying shapes and sizes so you can see the patterns on real people. She has lots of little tutorials but she also offers online sewing courses too if self- teaching isn’t your thing. 



 In The Folds

In The Folds is an Australian pattern brand designing simple and elegant garments. She has a range of purchasable patterns as well as a collection of free patterns she has released in collaboration with Peppermint magazine- an Australian sewing magazine. The website is crammed full of sew alongs and learning resources to help you make the garments and develop your skills overall. I have fabric set aside to make nearly all of the pieces she has done and they will always be a great base shape if I want to add and alter the patterns in the future. 



                    In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Free Pattern Wrap Top


Merchant & Mills 

Merchant and Mills are a British company who sell everything you could need for home sewing. They have a lovely style which gives a nod back to the roots of our sewing culture in the UK. Their patterns are a mix of simple designs and more considered garments with lots of details. They have a lovely range of beginner and more advanced patterns so there is something for everyone! 

I recently made their Ellis/ Hattie pattern (in the Ellis version) which I chose for the lovely neck darts, I have my eye on their Thelma boiler suit and Whittaker dress too! Their instructions were easy to follow and the pattern was easy to stick together. 


                   Merchant and Mills The Whittaker  

Made My Wardrobe

 Dreaming of a full wardrobe you have made entirely from scratch? So did Lydia, then she did it. She now has no ready to wear in her wardrobe and makes everything herself. So she knows exactly what you need from your patterns! When choosing which of Lydia’s patterns I wanted  to make I spent way too long just scrolling up and down her pattern page trying to decide. I know that 100% by the end of summer I will have made them all. Lydia suggests trying to use eco- friendly and organic fabrics for her patterns if you can. 


                  Made My Wardrobe Greta Dungaree


Coco Wawa Crafts

 Coco Wawa Crafts is a pattern making company based in London. Ana (the founder) offers YouTube tutorials to help you along your way making the patterns and has lots of really good interesting content. She also teaches online sewing classes for both adults and children, maybe this could be a great project for parent and child? The patterns are really versatile and can work all year round by switching out the fabrics. They offer a really diverse range of patterns for women and children, and a mix of simpler and more detailed shapes. The patterns are well explained at the point of purchasing so you know exactly what you are getting in for and there are a variety of photos of the garments in real people with different fabric options to help you see the potential. 
I really can’t wait to make the Honeycomb dress for myself! 


                       Coco Wawa Crafts Honeycomb Pattern


Untitled Thoughts 

Untitled Thoughts is an American pattern making company. Brittani creates beautiful timeless garments that you can re- create over and over again through the years. Her website is a hub of information to help you through your garment making process and by using customer photos she gives you a really good idea of how your garments can look. My particular favourites from her collection are the brand new Fleur pinafore, Amalie dress and the Olive jumpsuit. These three patterns have either 2 or 3 design variations each giving you the chance to re-use the patterns and get a different outcome. The customer photo's, for me, are a huge plus, letting you see the garments on various body types, shapes and skin tones. I absolutely cannot wait to make myself the Fleur pinafore! 


                     Untitled Thoughts Fleur Pinafore

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