8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern

Today I’m going to talk about investments. Not the hardcore financial kind with stocks and bonds and all that. No, today I’m going to share with you my secrets to investing…in patterns!

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

As a beginnner seamstress, I rarely bought patterns. I relied on websites offering free patterns or tutorials on how to make my own pattern. Even now I still frequent free pattern sites like Melly Sews, Shwin and Shwin and others to see if something free will work before I invest in a pattern.

However, there are many good quality patterns out there that are worth having. How do you know if it’s right for you? And when should you invest your money?

{Note: I have purchased (or was gifted) all but one of the patterns recommended in this post. I am getting no kickback or benefits from these recommendations – I just love these patterns!}

Here are 8 reasons why I invest in a pattern (for kids):

1. It’s unisex.

If you have boys and girls, it’s great to have a pattern you can use for both, right? I have 1 boy and 2 girls, so I’m definitely in the category of needing patterns for both. Even if you only have boys or girls, chances are you have opportunities to sew for the other gender – nieces, nephews, grand-kids, friends, gifts, etc. My favorites right now are the Bimaa and Mini Hudson Pant.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Upcycled Bimaa by Sew Thrifty  2. Bimaa Bimaa Bimaa by Sew a Straight Line

MiniHudsons1. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias 2. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias

2. It covers a wide range of sizes.

Kids grow. Fast! If you plan on making their wardrobes over the years, you’re going to need patterns that will fit them as they grow. Many patterns are offered through age 8, but there are some out there that span from toddler to teen. My favorites right now are several from Fishsticks Designs. Most of her patterns range from 12 months to 14 years!!

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} photos by Fishsticks Designs1. Downtown V-Neck 2. Hide ‘n Go Seek Hoodie both by Fishsticks Designs

And please tell me I’m not the only one out there who purchases a pattern and never gets around to using it until 2 years later. Anyone…? Bueller?  Well, if the pattern has a wide range of sizes, then I know I’ll get a chance to sew it up for my child, even if it’s not the same year I purchased the pattern.

3. It offers several pattern variations.

There are two huge benefits to pattern variations.  The first is obvious – the same pattern can give you totally different looks. I enjoy making my kids’ wardrobe varied. Plus, I get a bit bored making the same thing over and over. If the pattern already has built-in variations (short sleeve/long sleeve, square pockets/round pockets, zipper/no zipper), the second and third sews can be quite easy, but also fun to try one of the other variations.

The second benefit is that you can use the same pattern over and over again. This benefit is great since you know the fit of the pattern and can whip out some quick clothes without having to trace and cut new pattern pieces each time! My current favorites with loads of variation are the Recess Raglan and Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo  of Recess Raglan, pattern by See Kate Sew8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo of Fishsticks Designs' Sand and Sidewalk Board Shorts

1. Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew 2. Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants by Fishsticks Designs

4. It provides good instructions and photos.

This one may be hard to know, but can be vital if you’re a new(ish) sewer. Step-by-step directions on the pattern is key to learning how to sew. Unless you already know how to do something or search for videos, it may be difficult to sew up a garment without step-by-step instructions.

If the pattern designer is new or you’re not sure what the pattern looks like before purchasing, you might not be able to answer this one. However, there are numerous Facebook groups, Etsy reviews and other places that you can check to ask others’ opinions of a specific pattern. Some pattern designers offer blog tours of their pattern, and you can read reviews from bloggers and see many variations of the same garment. Since those bloggers have received the pattern free, their review may be tainted slightly.

Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty; pattern by new designer Stitch and Willow

Another great way to test out a pattern designer and get a feel for the way they make patterns is to use some of their free patterns (if available). Many designers offer free patterns as they get started, and others offer them only in one size. Those free patterns may not fit your exact need, but it will give you an idea about how the designer walks you through their patterns.

5. You’re going to make multiple versions of it.

It’s a bit expensive to spend $8 on a pattern if you only plan on making one item based off that pattern. However, the same can be said even if you only spend $1! Be sure you want to make multiples of the garment before purchasing a pattern.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Colorblocked Tank by Sew Thrifty 2. Alligator Tank by Sew Thrifty

And don’t limit yourself to just the pattern and its variations. There are so many ways to hack a pattern. My favorite pattern is the Bimaa and I loved hacking it for spring.

6. It’s timeless.

You’ll never catch me purchasing super trendy things. I’m not particularly trendy in the first place, so you might discount this recommendation, but I like to know I can sew an item for my first child and for my last (and who knows how far apart they will be?). I won’t purchase a pattern for something really trendy, because I just don’t see the value in using it over time. There are so many great patterns that fit the timeless description, but my recent favorite is Heidi and Finn’s Slouchy Cardigan.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Patter {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}Slouchy Cardigans by twelve2; pattern by Heidi & Finn

7. It’s something you can’t figure out on your own.

This one is huge for me. I’ve been sewing for 7 years, but I’m definitely still not advanced. I’m beginning to learn how to adjust patterns and this year have actually made my first pattern available for public! But there are many things I’ve never done and just don’t want to waste my time trying to figure out. That’s why people are pattern designers, right?! If it involves zippers, linings, or an advanced technique I’m not familiar with, I’ll be buying a pattern rather than figuring it out on my own.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} pattern by Fishsticks Designs1. Self-drafted trainers by Sew Thrifty 2. The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs

Or perhaps there’s something you want to make, but don’t want to waste time on trying to get the right fit. This past spring I was working on making my daughter some cloth trainers. I made a few pairs based off her underwear and diapers, but I just couldn’t get the fit right. Luckily, I was using scraps and used fabric, so I wasn’t wasting anything, but it took a great deal of time. Then my friend mentioned, “Wouldn’t it save you more money (and time) in the long run to just buy a pattern you know already has the right fit?” Well, yeah! So, I did. And now I have an underwear pattern that I can use for the rest of my children’s lives. It’s the The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs. And I love it!

8. It’s on sale!

Ha, you knew I was going to mention something about saving money, right?! But don’t just buy a pattern because it’s on sale. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they stocked up at certain fabric stores when they have their big $1 pattern sales. And then never open the pattern, and it begins to clog their drawers. Hey, if you’re going to sew it up, by all means get ten $1 patterns. But I’d rather buy one $10 pattern knowing I’ll make it multiple times because it’s a great pattern, and I’m comfortable with it than a whole bunch of $1 patterns.


But, if I just haven’t convinced you to invest in a good pattern, check out these great links for hundreds of free patterns:

For Babies | For Kids | For Girls | For Boys | For Women

Did I miss anything? Why do you purchase the patterns you do?

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern was originally posted by Sew Thrifty.

3 thoughts on “Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern”

  1. Very interesting blog post. I really enjoyed reading it. I’m a partner at Madeit Patterns and we design super trendy patterns. I would like to challenge you to make something and love it from our super trendy Summer Collection coming out soon. Of course the pattern would be given to you for free. Are you in?

    And yes, I have loads of patterns that I have had for years and haven’t quite got round to making them all yet.

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