sewing patterns for beginners angela wolf

Choosing Easy Sewing Patterns for Beginner Sewing Success!

Sew confident beginning sewing angela wolfHopefully you had time over the weekend to spiff up your sewing room. My Craftsy class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” has officially launched and we are already just shy of 500 students. Very Exciting!


Beginners Guide to Fashion Sewing


Let’s get started! In case you missed last week’s message, the series for beginner sewing starts now.

Part 1. Choosing a Pattern

What’s the big deal about finding a pattern anyway? Scan the pattern books, find a cute cover photos, and you are ready for sewing success, right?

Angela Wolf fashion seiwng patterns for beginners

If only we can all be so fortunate, but in most cases the scenario pans out a little differently. I recall sewing my first pair of pants. The pattern cover showed a tall, elegant model sporting a flowing pair of front pleated pants. That was exactly what I wanted.

Angela Wolf sewing patterns for beginners 2

I cut out my size (at least I thought that was my size) and the end results more resembled MC Hammer pants: the crotch was down to my knees and the cheap polyester fabric was a puckered mess.  I wish I had kept them so I could give you the laugh of your life, but here is a close second:

MCHammer Pants

They ended up in the trash, I was so disgusted! All those hours L This image flashes in front of my eyes when I hear so many tell me they don’t sew clothes because the patterns don’t fit.

Choose A Simple Pattern

For a beginner sewer, the ideal pattern to start with is something easy, for example this fringe skirt

Angela Wolf sewing patterns tweed skirt

A skirt pattern is ideal, a tailored jacket is not. A simple sheath dress is a great choice, a color-blocked princess seam dress is not. Many patterns will tell you if the pattern is EASYsewing patterns angela wolf3The good news is that through time you will master the fitting and sewing skills to make any garment, but to start, keep it simple J 


Fashion Flat Sketches
Another way to determine if the pattern is ideal for you, look for the flat sketch.  Here is a flat sketch of the my Fringe Skirt Pattern which shows 2 side seams, a center back seam, and a waistband.

Angela Wolf Fashion Sewing Patterns for Beginners Tweed skirtFlat sketches are used in the fashion industry and often overlooked on the home sewing side. This simple black and white sketch shows how many seams are in the garment, where the seams are located, along with other design details such as buttons, belts, pockets, topstitching, etc.. This sketch will be your guide to finding the perfect pattern for your skill level.

Every pattern should have a fashion flat sketch either on their website, the back of the pattern envelope, or in the pattern instructional booklet. Here is another example:

flat sketch dress sewing patternCheck out some of your favorite styles and see if the information you find in the flat sketch will cater to your sewing skills. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t jump in and take a chance with a more advanced pattern, but I compare this to my cooking (which is worse than terrible!) Why, because I am an artist and I always choose the more beautifully photographed meals which typically include ingredients I have never heard of, the use of pans I don’t have, and techniques like sauté that only mean “burn” in my book. See the correlation. My goal is to help you become the best fashion sewer ever and it starts with simple J – next week we will weed through the many pattern companies and designers.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below in order to enter to win my Craftsy Class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” (The winner will be announced in Saturday’s blog post What’s new on the sewing table this week?)

Cheers and Good Luck!

Angela Wolf

 

91 thoughts on “Choosing Easy Sewing Patterns for Beginner Sewing Success!”

  1. I would love to win the class. I own other classes of Angela’s I have learned so much from her and know I will learn more.

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  2. I want to win because I am a beginner and I just bought my very first serger. I want to learn how to make my own clothes for economic reasons as well as for the pure joy of it. I know that at my age, 49, I’m pretty old to be considered a beginner but better late than never!

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  3. I’m basically a self taught sewer. I’ve sewed for my children years ago and I’m thankful I never needed to make changes to the patterns. I’ve had cancer twice (mastectomy) and it has changed my body. I have a hard time finding tops to fit me. I’ve gained weight because the second time I got it the chemo put me into a change of life. No matter how hard I try to loose weight I can’t lose a ounce. While my hips grow my chest does not and that is where the problem lies. I do not know how to alter patterns so my chest and hips match. Right now things are a little tight and winning this class would be great. I watch you all the time and know you are a expert seamstress.

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  4. HI Angela! I would love to win this class so that I can pursue my newly found passion. I started sewing last year at 47 years of age and need to go back to the basics from time to time in order to advance in technique.

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  5. I am not a beginner by any means, BUT I always enjoy watching and listening to you talk/teach sewing because I always have room to grow in this fabulous art…..sewing beautiful and fun clothing.

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  6. Your Altering Ready to Wear class was my first Craftsy class. It inspired me to purchase two Craftsy kits to make my first “from scratch” garments. I recently purchased a new sewing machine and I’m ready to try some new challenges. Thanks for encouraging me to pursue a new creative avenue.

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  7. I started sewing again recently… I find a pattern and the perfect fabric, but stall out before cutting because once you cut there’s no changing it… Then finally take the plunge. I usually ALMOST really like it but there’s always a goofy fitting issue… No matter how well I think it thru and try to adjust things! I enjoyed taking your serving class on Craftsy. I would enjoy a learn with another,

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  8. I’d love to win because it’s hard for me to go out to classes and I love to learn. After an accident I’m learning to do all kinds of things over-and left-handed. Thanks!

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  9. I would love to win this class. I SO lack confidence in my sewing skills. And I love the way you teach, Angela. It’s so clear and you make it look so easy. I know this will be a great class.

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  10. I love to sew! I’ve learned so much taking Craftsy classes but I really would like to take a beginners class to learn basics and have a great foundation. I’ve taken and enjoyed your other classes on Craftsy-even breaking out my serger! I’ve learned so much-thanks!

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  11. I would love to win a class because you are the best instructor I have seen for online classes. Sewing is a hobby that relaxes me when my schedule is ridiculous (I work full time and am working on a master’s degree). So any excuse to spend a little more time with my sewing machine is a good one!!

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  12. I would love to win this class for my three DD ages 6,8, and 10. They love Craftsy and your jean class! This would help them learn the basics, and we all know that whatever mom says is not the same as another adult 🙂

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  13. Hi Angela,
    I would love to win this class because I have been sewing for a super long time (since I was 9 self taught watching my mother) I have sewn for my kids and my grands and am now 66 years old and could always use a refresher on the basics.

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  14. Congratulations, Angela! I love your classes! Keep making them and I will keep buying them. I plan to buy this class for people as gifts when they are learning to sew. Thanks!

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  15. Any of your classes are excellent and I completley enjoy.  Ann High From: Angela Wolf To: annhigh41@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:54 AM Subject: [New post] Choosing Easy Sewing Patterns for Beginner Sewing Success! #yiv2736127702 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2736127702 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2736127702 a.yiv2736127702primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2736127702 a.yiv2736127702primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2736127702 a.yiv2736127702primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2736127702 a.yiv2736127702primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2736127702 WordPress.com | Angela Wolf posted: “Hopefully you had time over the weekend to spiff up your sewing room. My Craftsy class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” has officially launched and we are already just shy of 500 students. Very Exciting!CONGRATULATIONS!First thing” | |

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  16. I would definitely love to win Angela’s new Sew Confident class. I’m a total beginner and am a little intimidated to start sewing. I know this is crazy, but I went out and bought a sewing machine a few months ago and still have not gotten the courage to start sewing something. I bought patterns and fabric but am so scared to ruin it that I haven’t even started yet. So I’m hoping the Sew Confident class will help me get started on this sewing journey. Thanks Angela for all your sewing tips and classes that you provide for the beginning and advanced sewist!

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  17. I would love to win this class for so many reasons. First of all, Angela is the best teacher I have ever had – she does a tremendous job explaining techniques to her students. She makes you feel like you can master what she is doing and is very down to earth in her approach.
    Also, with 15 children there isn’t much time to learn on your own – I need the facts quickly and she delivers!
    I feel like my learning is comparable to swiss cheese – I have some knowledge but there are gaps that still need to be filled in. I would love to be able to be confident in my sewing skills.
    Thanks for offering this opportunity!
    Angela

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  18. I would love to win your class, currently enjoying your overlocker course and it’s great so would love to learn more.

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  19. I would love to win your new class Angela. I’ve taken classes from you and each one I learn so many new things! Love your teaching style and your great personality.

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  20. I would really enjoy winning this class. I am self-taught and feel I may have missed some things that could really help me along the way.

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  21. I would love to learn to make clothes on my serger, rather than just using it for cleaning up seams……….:) Karen Choat

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  22. I’d like to win your class because I have a horrible time with a small waist and larger hips fitting jeans and pants. Loved your jeans class but I still haven’t mustered courage to plunge in. …mostly because of zippers. I sewed for my children years ago but every time I made something for myself, it looked homemade and I din’t want to wear it. Help!

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  23. Being mostly self taught it would be good to get another perspective in sewing. I think getting back into sewing after being away for the greater part of thirteen years, it would be a good refresher for me.

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  24. Even though I am a veteran seamstress I always like to see how someone else sews and the techniques they use. I especially enjoy watching you on It’s Sew Easy so would love to partake in your latest class! Good luck everyone 🙂

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  25. Angela, Thanks so much for your generosity! I have not made garments for a number of years now and need to get back into it as my granddaughter is getting to the age where I would love to sew for her.

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  26. I am teaching myself to sew, so this class would be so helpful for me. I have another of your Craftsy classes on altering clothes, and have been able to successfully hem several pairs of pants. Thanks for the chance to win this one!

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  27. I would greatly appreciate the Blessing of winning this class 🙏. I really need a jump start to sewing ! Thanks Angela for this opportunity! 💐

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  28. Angela,

    I would really love to win this free course because there are so many courses I would love to try, however, I just can’t afford them all. Free is great!!!

    Since this drawing it is random so I don’t have to worry about ties with so many other women in the same boat. Ha Ha Hee Hee

    P.S. I love your classes and how you teach. Excellent work.

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  29. I have owned a sewing machine for years but used it to hem or for repairs. I am now retired and have time to sew, I would like to learn everything I can to help me make clothes that do not look homemade. I have 6 grandchildren that would love for me to be able to sew for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I would love to win this class because I want to become a fashion designer. I lack efficiency and confidence in my sewing, and I think you could really help me!

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  31. Just learned how to use those flat drawings to better understand my sewing plan! Woohoo! I can only imagine what I would learn in a full class!

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  32. I really enjoyed the class “Sew with your serger”. I learned so much and am looking forward to learning essential techniques!

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  33. I would love to win this class as I am an apparel decorator by trade (embroidery, printed garments, etc) but I cannot sew garments from scratch. Everybody thinks if you can use a needle and thread, that you can also make clothes. Well, I can’t! I have tried but they never fit & just look terrible. Unfortunately skirts do not flatter my body type, and pants and jackets are more difficult. 😦

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  34. Hi Angela, I would love to win this class because I love your teaching style. You make everything seem so easy and I’m learning so much from your other classes on Craftsy. Being self taught and a beginner, these online resources are great and I’m convinced that your new class is awesome, just like the others. Also, the idea with the blog posts series accompanying this class is amazing! Keep them coming!

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  35. Hello Angela,
    Would love to win your “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” class on Craftsy because even though I am not a complete beginner, your teaching style, tips and tricks are absolutely phenomenal and I have no doubt I would learn plenty! Have just finished watching your Craftsy class “Tailoring Ready-to-Wear” to learn how to alter and repair clothing. Loved your tips on how to properly fit clothing and am considering taking the advanced class to learn even more fitting and alteration techniques. You are a wonderful teacher and an inspiration to those of us from the BH/SJ area with a passion for sewing and fishing!

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  36. I would love to win a class for my daughter, if that’s possible. I’m a more advanced sewer, but she would like to learn more and having just had her first child and now at home, has more time for this.

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  37. Oh my goodness, who wouldn’t want to win. i remember learning knitting and crochet, and basic sewing (no patterns) from my grandmothers. It’s hard to find anyone today to teach any of those trades. I love just learning from your TV shows and blog. I’d love to be able to walk into a store and pick out a pattern that would work and not end up in the trash! Id love to win a free class.

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  38. I LOVE your classes! The one I took on serging took me from cowering in the corner afraid of touching my machine for fear of it exploding to being a whizz at changing settings and feet! I love it!!!!! I also took your alterations class which helped me also. I would so LOVE to win another class with you!

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  39. I have taken some of your other classes and love your teaching style. I have been trying to teach myself garment sewing and can put the garment together but it doesn’t quite fit right so would love to learn more basics. Thanks!

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  40. I have all the machines in place, just no experience. Talk about optimism. Ready, wiling, and able. Good luck to all the entries!

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  41. Hi Angela, I clicked through to your ruched shirt pattern, watched your ruching video, and I have also heard you talk about using twill tape. Would you please tell us what kind you use and where you buy it? I scoured Joann’s already and did not find any in my store. I checked on Wawak.com and there are so many choices! Please offer some guidance because I would love to buy some and begin using it with knits.
    Thanks for everything!! You are my favorite teacher/blogger!

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  42. I grew up sewing but ‘life’ happened. Now, 24 years later I’m a grandma with grandkids and a study of fabric having to relearn much of what I’ve forgotten.

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  43. If love this class to make sure my skills have a sound foundation. I’ve sewn for a while but I’m still running into things I don’t understand or forgot to do, so I’d love to feel more confident in my knowledge 🙂 Plus I love all your classes!

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  44. I’d love to win the class because I could use a good foundation in my sewing. I’ve sewn for a while but I still run into things I don’t understand or forgot to do. Plus I love your classes 🙂

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  45. Winning this class would help me develop my basic skills to produce something wearable! I love your classes – currently watching and pondering making myself a pair of jeans. Perhaps beyond my skill level at the moment but love your teaching style.

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  46. Hi Angela! Thanks for the chance to win this class. I would live to win and here are a few reasons why.
    1) . I have been dreaming of sewing for myself for many years…since I was a little girl and my grandmother sewed for me dresses, coats and even had a lingerie business. Before my Alzheimers got in the way, my grandma handed me a few pairs of lingerie that were not quite complete and she challenged me to complete them for myself…..
    2). I have purchased and watched several sewing classes, including your fitting classes and serger classes but have yet to actually sew anything. I think the title of this class says it all for me…..I need confidence enough to to help me start and finish SOMETHING, LOL.
    3). Now I’m a Mom of five. My daughter, who turned 4 a couple of days ago watches me….she watches all of my sewing lessons…she helps me amass fabric and patterns ( I have quite a bit now). I have even purchased for her a little pink machine. But we sew NOTHING….

    Please pick me and I will jump in with both feet!
    Thanks Mimi

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  47. I would love to win this as I’d love to teach my daughter how to sew and this would definitely be of great help !!!! I, too, have made the dreaded mistake in early years of not measuring myself first and relying on the size of the clothes I wore……..made a beautiful boned, strapless, royal blue dress……………….could have cried when I tried it on………..!!!!!

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  48. Hi Angela, I would love to win your class as I have made the mistake of buying lots of patterns that look easy but aren’t at all. Iv then been too scared to start anything and have ended up reading lots but sewing nothing. I’m ready to start with a professional tutor to guide me along. If I don’t win good luck with the class, I’m sure you will see me sometime 🙂 x
    @sewstitches

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  49. I would love to win this class because i am returning to sewing after a 10 year hiatus and need to refresh all those skills to make my kids lots of nice new clothes 🙂

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  50. I’ve been sewing for years but I have lots of room for improvement. I’ve just bought 10 new patterns and I’m ready to sew them but if I were armed with more information from a pro I’d feel much more confident about the outcome.

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  51. Hello Angela
    I’m a retired, soon to be grandmother and would like to have this opportunity to win your class so that I can learn the correct ways to make garments for myself, daughters and now granddaughter. I used to see basic skirts etc for my kids when they were younger and loved it, but had gotten away from sewing for a very long time. I hope this class will be a great way to get me started again.

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  52. Hi Angela. I’m a beginner again at 60 having done no garment sewing since high school. What a changed world! I lost 35 pounds and am looking forward to dressing my new self in exactly what ivwant

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