long list: ace sewing patterns, diys and resources to help you get stitching
Looking to start making your own stuff? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether it began as a pandemic hobby or has always been on your list of things to learn, sewing is an excellent skill to have up your sleeve. If you’ve recently dusted off your sewing machine and are itching to get cracking on some new projects, keep scrolling.
At frankie, we’ve been stitch-mad for yonks, which means there’s a lot of crafty content scattered across our archives. To make life easier, we’ve pulled together some of the best sewing patterns, guides and DIY projects to help you make your own clothes and homewares. You’ll also find a list of places to go digging for fabric, plus encouraging words from fellow makers. snap by Phoebe Powell
How to get started sewing your own stuff – Sewing can be hard if it’s been a while since you’ve threaded a needle. But fashion designers and sisters Laurinda and Fatuma Ndenzako of Melbourne label Collective Closets reckon it’s time to feel the fear and do it anyway. In this article, they share some gentle reminders on how to keep sewing fun and make it work for you.
How to start using sewing patterns – Absolutely stumped about how to use a paper pattern? To break it all down for you, RMIT short-course tutor Sandra Doutsas has some excellent advice for first-time pattern users, from measuring tips and tricks to understanding common sewing terminology.
Sewists share what they’ve learnt from making their own threads – Sewing looks a little different than it did in your nan’s day. Heaps of home sewists now gather on Instagram to share their ‘makes’, trade sewing hacks and discuss important sewing-world topics like inclusivity and sustainability. We asked a few sewists why they got started with a needle and thread, and what they’ve learnt along the way.
Ten places to buy fabrics in Australia and online – Thanks to the return of home sewing, there are heaps of ace fabric shops to choose from these days. We gathered a few of our faves.
A list of places to buy vintage fabric and other craft bits – Want to sew a retro dress that gives off perfect Mary Quant vibes? You can always buy reproduction textiles, but they’ll never feel as right as the real thing. And although op shops are top-notch places to search for vintage fabrics, they might lack the yardage you need for your project. If you’ve been looking for a specific kind of fabric for yonks, you’re probably better off hunting it down online with the help of our handy list.
Vintage fabric and haberdasheries for a good cause – If you enjoy hunting for pre-loved sewing supplies, why not pop into The Sewing Basket? With three locations across Sydney and one along the Central Coast, The Sewing Basket (run by social enterprise Achieve Australia) is a treasure trove of donated fabrics, sewing patterns, patchwork pieces, embroidery thread, yarn and haberdasheries. Each store provides meaningful employment for people with disabilities and money from every sale goes back towards a variety of disability support programs.
Cheeky woven labels – Joy Margot – founder of Pink Coat Club – teamed up with Wren & Wilson’s Jen Pyrah to create some very honest woven labels you can affix to your next sewing project.SEWING PATTERNS
Rad sewing patterns for modern makers – In the last decade or so, we've seen a bunch of super-cool indie pattern companies pop up. They’re usually small businesses run by sewists (that’s the gender-neutral term favoured by the online sewing community), and tend to offer patterns geared toward younger generations. We rounded up some of the best in this list.
A list of plus-size sewing patterns – Although things are slowly changing, it can be still be hard to find plus-size patterns out in the world. Enter Fat Sewing Club’s A+ list of resources, which includes beginner-friendly, plus-size patterns, free sewing patterns over 50”, a curvy pattern database and more.
Vintage sewing patterns – Started by Sydneysider Lynda Slade when her personal stash got a little out of hand, All The Precious Things is an online store chock-full of vintage and retro sewing patterns – from 1920s coat dresses to 1950s bra tops, and even some goodies that were once donned by ‘20s flappers.
Boombox sewing machine cover – If you're chasing a challenge, you might like to attempt this boombox sewing machine cover by Lysa Flower. It’ll take a fair while (perhaps as long as making a mixtape back in the day), but the results are mind-blowingly good.
Unisex pants by Elbe Textiles – Why should sewing patterns also subscribe to outdated notions about gender and clothing? If you’re not keen on a binary, Perth-based Elbe Textiles has designed several gender-neutral sewing patterns, including this awesome design for tapered, elasticated pants.
Tiny Design Co’s children’s sewing patterns – New parents may lack the time required to make cute outfits for their little ones, but that doesn’t mean friends and family can’t pitch in. To gift a lucky tyke some ruffled bloomers, bell-sleeved tops or linen rompers, we recommending picking up a printable pattern from Tiny Design Co.
How to make a pie carrier – If you're inclined to take up sewing for the express purpose of whipping up a pie carrier, we don't blame you. This tote-ally adorable invention makes carting your tart around 50 times easier (and the tutorial is free, to boot).
FRANKIE EXCLUSIVE DIYS
Thanks to our crafty contributors, you’ll find plenty of free DIY projects to embark on with the help of your handy dandy sewing machine.
How to make a cat quilt