Sewing for Beginners: 6 Basic Things to Know About Sewing Patterns for Women

July 29, 2022

Did you know you can create your own women's wardrobe with good sewing patterns? You can keep up with the latest trends in dresses, tops, or skirts, whether in petite or plus-size options.

Creating your clothes is one excellent way to express yourself. With the projects you sew, you can exhibit your style and create priceless memories. However, learning a skill isn't always a walk in the park. 

For a beginner like you, looking at sewing patterns can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, this is completely normal. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of sewing patterns and how you can take your sewing skills to the next level.

Understanding the Basics 

To begin with, a sewing pattern is a guide to sewing a garment. A sewing pattern has a patterned tissue used with the fabric to cut out the garment. It also includes a set of instructions. 

We know that sewing patterns can look intimidating and difficult for a beginner to understand. So, let us help you with everything you need to know about sewing patterns so you can make sewing an exciting and fulfilling hobby!

Sewing Pattern Types You Can Buy

Are your sewing tools and accessories ready for your first project? Let’s take a look at two types of sewing patterns that you can find and use:

Paper Patterns

Paper patterns are considered the vintage sewing pattern type. This is the classic one printed on a large piece of paper. Instructions for sewing are also printed on the paper. 

Digital Patterns

Meanwhile, digital or PDF patterns are considered the new sewing pattern type. Digital patterns are available in PDF format. You can print the patterns at home and assemble the pages, but you don’t necessarily have to print them if you can follow the instructions on your device.

Picking a Sewing Pattern

Choose designs that are easier to sew, which can lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed. In addition, you can start with patterns with fewer than five pattern pieces.

You can also check the back of the packet to help determine if a pattern has fewer pattern pieces. If a garment has fewer pattern pieces, it is easier to sew. To keep the chaos low, avoid getting patterns that involve sleeves, buttons, buttonholes or those that require a lining. 

For your first projects, refrain from choosing patterns with fussy details. For the women reading this, a skirt is ideal as a starter project. A basic sheath dress is also a good choice to kick-start sewing. If you’re plus-size, there are also lots of easy dress sewing patterns for plus-size women that you can use. 

Reading a Sewing Pattern

A sewing pattern often comes with an explanation for every step, which is helpful for beginners. Encircling the pattern pieces you need can also be helpful. Take note of the fabric key, which shows your fabric's right and incorrect sides. It is important when cutting out. 

In addition, there are usually glossary sections in the booklet where you can familiarize yourself with common sewing terminologies. Finally, make sure to follow the sewing instructions in detail.

Choosing the Size 

Don't choose your sewing pattern by how you choose the size of clothes that you wear from shops because they are not the same. However, for those looking for sewing patterns for plus-size women, that shouldn’t be a problem as pattern sizes are all-inclusive. 

This same goes for those looking for a size six sewing pattern for women. Regardless of the size, it would be better to use soft types of fabric that quickly wrap around your body. 

Measure your bust, waist, and hips to ensure a great fit. Keep in mind that the tape measure should fit around your body. After this, you can compare your body measurements to the chart and work out which size you are in the pattern. 

Choosing the Fabric

The sewing pattern will recommend which fabrics to use and how much will be needed. If you choose a fabric type, consider its design and function. 

For instance, if you are going to sew tops and it’s summer, you can opt for more lightweight fabrics such as cotton. On the other hand, if you’re going to sew pants or leggings, you might need to choose a stretchy woven fabric.

Before cutting any fabric, make sure to also try it first in a test garment so you can check if you are cutting the correct pattern size.

examples of sewing silk and scissor

Cutting the Sewing Pattern

Now that you already have the fabric and the pattern for your first sewing project, here are some considerations to keep in mind before you snip away with your scissors:

Cutting the Pattern Directly 

When cutting the pattern pieces, ensure you carefully cut along the pattern line. This way, you can reduce time spent and increase accuracy as well.

Tracing the Pattern First

If you think that you'll be making some alterations to your pattern, you can trace the pattern on another piece of paper and keep the original pattern. If you’re using PDF patterns, this would not be a problem.

Considering Seam Allowances

Sewing patterns may include seam allowances or not. Seam allowances are edges added to the garment pieces. Often, there is an allowance of 1 cm or 1.5 cm, allowing for the right size to be achieved by sewing the pieces together at this distance.

Take Sewing to the Next Level

As a beginner in sewing, your first few projects may feel daunting, but once you finish them, it's fulfilling. To help you hone your sewing skills, you can try taking online sewing lessons or consider meeting with a teacher or a friend about it. There are so many guides to help you become one.

Can you imagine yourself sewing like a pro someday? Before you take sewing seriously, make sure you have some basic sewing tools such as fabric, thread, pins, and more. 

Final Thoughts

Don't be ashamed of choosing easier sewing patterns. You can take things slowly. What’s more important is that you nurture your creativity and passion. Plus, it’s also a fun activity for bonding with your kids

Remember that learning to sew takes time, and it is fine if you make mistakes. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!

If you are dedicated to learning more about sewing, you can explore our blog to know about different aspects of sewing. 

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