When you’re starting out with sewing, it’s super important to have good patterns to follow. You can brainstorm some small starter projects yourself, but most people find it helpful to follow along with patterns when they start making things like bags, garments, and so on.
With a quick Google search, you can easily come across dozens of sites with sewing patterns for purchase. Before you resign yourself to dropping your hard-earned dollars on patterns, let us clue you in to the wonderful world of free sewing patterns!
There’s really no need to pay for sewing patterns these days. There are a wealth of free options available online and for download. The trick is knowing where to look. Lots of the free sites are sketchy and have poorly-written instructions or annoying subscription logins.
So, today, we’ve put together a list of all our favorite online resources for free patterns. Feel free to peruse our recommendations and find one that suits your taste and goals!
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Robert Kaufman is a fabric designer, and his fabric company offers a pretty stellar variety of free patterns online (over 800, when we last counted!). Of course, they’re plainly aimed at selling you fabrics, but you can very easily substitute any material you have on hand. The patterns are excellently marked out, easy to download, and there’s a nice calculator widget on each pattern page to help you figure out the number of bolts you need for the project. This is a great resource for all sorts of projects and activity levels, not just beginner-level patterns!
How To Sew from Better Homes & Gardens
This is a good all-around resource for patterns, tips, and project ideas. It also includes lots of helpful info on caring for fabrics, using rotary cutters, and so forth. If you want to learn technique as well as get some free patterns, the How To Sew site is perfect. There’s some guff material here, which is basically Pinterest boards of inspiration, but most of it is useful and informative.
Of course, no aspiring seamstress could ignore the industry titan that is Martha Stewart! She employs a whole team of designers and instructors to come up with fun, doable projects that don’t take much experience to complete. Her site is also a gem for any kind of DIY and crafting project you might have in mind.
The other fun thing about Martha Stewart is the fact that she has a show, and there are literally hundreds of helpful Youtube walkthroughs like this:
Purl Soho is a fabric/notions brand and an excellent source for free project ideas. These patterns are ideal for people who want walkthroughs rather than blueprints. As opposed to just printing out patterns, you’ll have full-color pictures and video tutorials that cover every single step.
Purl Soho is particularly good if you’re into rustic or natural fabric looks, since there are lots of linen, felt and wool ideas! Some of the patterns on here are easier than others, but even the trickiest have very well-done instructions and videos to help you get through them without too many snags.
Hang on, you’re saying–isn’t Craftsy a paid site? Yes and no! There are certainly lots of paid courses on offer, but there are also 2000+ free sewing patterns available if you create an account. There’s no subscription fee or cost to join, and some of these projects are really phenomenal. If you like a particular designer’s free patterns a lot, you can pick and choose some more elaborate ones to pay for. Or, stick to the free ones! We guarantee you won’t run out of ideas.
Sew Mama Sew
Sew Mama Sew is one of the best sewing blogs on the web, and an invaluable resource to new needleworkers! They have a massive library, and it’s all sorted with tags so things are easy to find.
Many of the patterns are sponsored, but you can ignore the branded fabrics and make the project with whatever materials you like. Another benefit of this one is that many paid books and sites feature a teaser pattern here. The goal is to get you to pay for patterns eventually, but ignore that and enjoy the fact that you’re likely getting the cream of the crop from that creator for free!
There are lots and lots of tutorials/instructional pages on here as well. Like How To Sew, it’s an excellent resource for everything.
Happy sewing! If you need help finding your first machine, check out our guide to the best sewing machines for beginners!