Friday, September 17, 2010

Sewing on a Budget: Patterns - Which One(s) to Buy?

Do you ever have this issue: You see several patterns of things you want to make but can't make up your mind of which one to get?
You see some patterns you love but you don't love the price?

Well, first let me say this. Most of the patterns I buy are of the tutorial/made by a designer type rather than a Simplicity or  Butterrick type. Yes, Simplicity and the like have value, both cost and instructionally.  However, I find them very difficult to understand and read, especially from the new sewer perspective. I don't get the someone-is-standing-next-to-you feel that I get with designer/tutorial patterns. From the few patterns I have bought I've learned MANY great skills.  When I first started to sew, I picked out patterns based on a clothing skill I wanted to learn. Granted, with the internet you can almost learn any sewing skill for free, but sometimes I needed the extra guidance of how that skill yielded a result in clothing.  With all that said, I don't own a great many patterns. They can be expensive so I select my patterns carefully and only buy ones I know I am going to use.

Right now I have an obsession with little girl's jackets/coats. I wish I could just make one of the fly, sans pattern, but I don't quite trust myself yet. There are certain elements I want to learn in coat/jacket construction so I am looking for those elements as I search. (I really wish I could make this jacket that Dana from Made designed. It is darling. I hope that with learning some coat/jacket basics, I can!)  I don't live somewhere that gets that very cold. However, we do get some lovely 'jacket weather' so luckily I can look at jackets/coats based on the cuteness factor instead of is-this-going-to-keep-my-little-one-warm-enough-so-she-doesn't-get-sick factor.  I have to say that there are many cute jacket/coat patterns that are both very cute and very practical.

Without any further adieu here are my contenders:

#1 Uptown Girl by Make It Perfect - (I LOVE her patterns! She also has one called Downtown Boy which I love. Plus she made it with the yummy Farmer's Market from Sandi Henderson.)
Skills I'd Be Learning: hoodie, lining a jacket & working on my button hole issues

#2 Sweat Pea Fall Jacket by Heidi and Finn
Skills I'd Be Learning: lining a jacket, collar construction & I love that mid-waist band, I see that on a lot of tunics, tops, etc.

#3 Urban Hoodie by Heidi and Finn
Skills I'd Be Learning: cuffs, wide bottom band, hoddie, again...button hole issues, sewing with knit

#4 Trendy Pea Coat by dmkeasywear
Skills I'd Be Learning: collar, double-breasted coat, lining, again...buttons

Wow. Now that I see all of them. It is going to be really hard to decide. I love all of them for various reasons. 

The debate continues. Any suggestions?


  1. Oh man! Now you have me wanting to buy one of those!! Good luck deciding - let us knwo which one you chooose!

  2. Now I think I need to buy all of them, too! Thanks for sharing these cute patterns. We would love to see what you end up making!

  3. I just finished the Urban Hoodie and it was a really easy pattern. I enjoyed it and I think it looks great.

    Andrea @

  4. I love the Uptown Girl jacket. I agree that patterns can be a pain. I choose a tutorial over a pattern whenever possible.

  5. Hi! I fell in love with your Thanksgiving Countdown Cards on your etsy shop and used that as my manditory entry on "Somewhat Simple".

    Sewing - I have been sewing for years. I agree you have to be careful with Patterns. Simplicity (ignore the name) are some of the toughest most un-explanatory patterns. Even Vogue makes more sense.

    I'm going to be in contact to see if you'd like to do a giveaway on my blog "" for the Thanksgiving cards. I have a holiday blog to that I'll showcase the cards on. Thanks for giving me a great idea for a post! Tina "The Book Lady"


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