Sewing patterns can be expensive. A quick glance through the websites for three major pattern companies, Butterick, McCall’s, and Simplicity reveals that patterns can run from $10.00 up through $25.00, USD. At those prices, a pattern can quickly cut into your home sewing budget. A clever needlework artist, however, need not rely on commercial patterns. Here are a few ideas for ways and places to get good sewing patterns at your favorite budget price – free.
Ideas For Getting Good Sewing Patterns
Your Public Library
Free Sewing Patterns @Your Library. Before investing in any pattern, visit your local library. You are likely to find books on sewing, craftwork, and much, much more in the nonfiction part of your local public library. You are already paying for your library through your county taxes, so why not take advantage of the many things it has to offer? Although you will need to learn how to transfer the patterns to a large piece of paper, you should be able to locate how-to-sew books that will give directions for this process – and include a few free patterns as well.
Project Gutenberg, an online source for free books, includes many vintage pattern books. While you might need to adapt the sewing patterns for modern use, these books include valuable advice on fabric, stitches and sewing techniques as well as – you guessed it – free sewing patterns. Here are a few examples:
- Clothing and Health by Helen Kinne and Anna M. Cooley, 1929, Macmillan. This is a home economics textbook, geared toward young sewers. In addition to information about textiles prevalent at the time (great if you want natural fabrics), it includes patterns for an apron, a kimono style nightdress, a flounced petticoat, a corset cover, woolen bloomers (I know, but pants are pants, mostly), a hat and a middy blouse.
- The Little Girl’s Sewing Book edited by Flora Klickman, published by Frederick A. Stokes Company. Again, designed for little girls, but includes a pinafore pattern, an apron, a work bag, a sunbonnet, a “housewife” (holder for needle and pins), a baby bib, and a chair back for a straight-backed chair. Also included are directions for hairpin lace and several embroidery stitches.
- Needlework Economies, Edited by Flora Klickman, Published at 4, Bouverie Street, London. Contains patterns for women, included a “brassiere” (looks more like a camisole to the modern eye), Camisole yokes, how to resole a stocking, three styles of apron, baby pants from an old “vest” (undershirt), a child’s overall dress from an old skirt, slippers, how to mend a man’s shirt, and more.
There are also a broad variety of online sources for free patterns, including So Sew Easy, Allfreesewing, and Sewing Support.com. Many of these websites are paid for through advertising and sales of sewing supplies.
Internet Shopping Safety
As with all Internet resources, strive to be a smart shopper, and stay safe. If a website asks for financial information, look for Internet safety seals such as the Symantec Trust Seal, McAfee Secure, or even Paypal Verified. Of course, if you are accessing free sewing patterns, your financial information is not involved. Happy sewing!