Our Top 10 Best Beginner Sewing Patterns

Posted on October 29, 2023

If you're new to dressmaking choosing the right sewing pattern for your first project is not only really important but it can also be a little daunting.

There are lots of fabulous patterns available these days that are ideal for those with little or no sewing experience including tops, dresses, skirts, dresses and pyjamas... here, Here, I've pulled together, what I think, are some of the best sewing patterns for beginners and beyond.


True Bias ∙ Ogden Cami

The Ogden Cami is a simple vest top that can either be worn on its own or as a layering piece under blazers and cardigans. 

True Bias Ogden Cami Sewing Pattern

It has a soft V neck at both the centre front and centre back necklines, and delicate spaghetti straps. The neckline and armholes are finished with a partial lining for a beautiful, high end finish. 

It's a great fit, I've made several now and it works well all year round. Once you've gained confidence there are several hacks of this ever popular style to make various dress options.

The Assembly Line ∙ Cuff Top

The Cuff Top sewing pattern is an easy to make style with a straight fit, boat neck and half sleeves with deep elastic cuffs.

The Assembly Line Cuff Top Sewing Pattern
The Assembly Line Cuff Top Sewing Pattern

One of our most popular patterns, the Cuff Top is easy to make with grown on sleeves. I've made several and it works equally well in both plain and patterned fabrics. Plus there is a free download to change the neckline to a round neck on The Assembly Line website.

Maison Fauve ∙ Palma Top

The Palma Top is the perfect beginner's sewing pattern for your summer wardrobe! Simple, but with pretty details including a pleated back with yoke, closed with pretty knotted ties.

Maison Fauve Palma Top Sewing PatternMaison Fauve Palma Top Sewing PatternThe Palma features a loose fit and scoop neckline make it ultra comfortable, as beautiful worn as a blouse or tucked into trousers.

The Assembly Line ∙ V-Neck Cuff Top

The V-Neck Cuff Top features full, gathered 3/4 sleeves which are contrasted by a sharp V neckline. The sleeves are grown on which eliminates the need to set the sleeves into that armhole which can sometimes be tricky, especially when you're new to sewing. The Assembly Line V-Neck Cuff Top Sewing Pattern

The Assembly Line V-Neck Cuff Top Sewing PatternBring a sense of contemporary bohemia to your everyday life by pairing the V-Neck Cuff Top with relaxed trousers and smart skirts. 


Closet Core ∙ Cielo Dress & Top

The Cielo Dress & Top is an easy, breezy take on a boxy tee and shift dress with an option for statement sleeves. Loaded with interesting details and interchangeable features, it's sure to become a wardrobe building favourite, plus it's really easy to make.  

Closet Core Cielo Dress & Top Sewing Pattern
Closet Core Cielo Dress & Top Sewing Pattern

The Cielo makes for an easy fitting dress with sleek inseam pockets, or you can make it without pockets. Choose between a semi-cropped top with a cuffed short sleeve or dramatic gathered long sleeve. All views have a slightly dropped shoulder, angled shoulder yoke and roomy fit, with a choice between an elegant bias binding or faced neckline finish.

Friday Pattern Company ∙ Wilder Gown & Top

The Wilder Gown is a loose, flowy, tiered dress that can be sewn up in lots of different ways! It has raglan sleeves and ties up at the neck and is very easy to sew.

Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown & Top Sewing Pattern
Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown & Top Sewing Pattern
The Wilder can be made as a top or dress, long or short sleeved, with one skirt tier or two. The design is fairly modular so once your confidence grows it's easy to customise and make your own bespoke version.
Tessuti ∙ Bella Dress
The Bella Dress is a flowy A-line dress featuring full length sleeves, a centre back seam with top-stitching along with optional in-seam pockets. 
Tessuti Bella Dress Sewing Pattern
Tessuti Bella Dress Sewing Pattern
Bella is an easy, comfortable style which can be dressed up or down. 
The Assembly Line ∙ A-Line Midi Skirt

The A-line Midi Skirt is an easy to sew style with a modern finish. It has an A-line fit and is detailed with an elasticated waistband and side slant pockets.

The Assembly Line A-Line Midi Skirt Sewing PatternThe pattern comes with several versions to choose from - the regular waistband, as shown above, the paper bag waistband with belt loops and a belt, shown below, the regular straight hemline, the rounded hemline and the elasticated hemline. The Assembly Line A-Line Midid Skirt Sewing Pattern

With all these options to choose from it's a great beginner pattern. I've made one with the regular elasticated waistband and it really is a quick and easy make, not only that but it's a great style as well.

 Tessuti ∙ Demi Pants

The Demi Pants are a pull-on, cropped style featuring an elasticised waist and full leg with side stitched down pockets. A clever pleat detail at the front and back hemline is finished with a bias bind band at hem.

Tessuti Demi Pants Trousers Sewing Pattern

Comfortable and stylish, the pattern is quick and easy to make and suitable for day or night. 

I hope this article has inspired and encouraged you to get started and plan your first sewing project.

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Christmas Gift Guide

Posted on December 02, 2022

With Christmas fast approaching I've recently added some lovely sewing related gift items to our online store. I thought I'd share a few of these with you here to give you some gift inspiration for the "sewist" or "stitcher" in your life... or perhaps even as a treat for yourself... I know I've got my eye on one or two of these suggestions...

The Draper's Daughter Sewing Gifts

We have lots of lovely embroidery Stitch Kits including new to us brand Slow Evenings. By Miriam Polak, an inspirational craft blogger from Germany, these beautifully packaged kits were designed with gifting in mind making them a perfect gift for yourself or a crafty friend. The Book Lady Embroidery Kit is shown below, click here to full all four kits. 

Slow Evenings Book Lady Embroidery Stitch Kit

We also have beautiful modern Kits by Stitch Happy including both Embroidery Kits and their new Macrame Plant Hanger Kits. Designed and sourced here in the UK, they're suitable for both  beginners and those with a little embroidery experience.

Our Nancy Nicholson Kits are always a firm favourite with our customers and it's easy to see why. The Cat Embroidery Kit, pictured below, combines stitch interest with colour to great effect.

Nancy Nicholson Embroidery Stitch Kit
Mend your way to a more sustainable wardrobe with these beautifully tactile, hand-turned solid wood darning eggs by Socko. The eggs are beautiful simply as an object, they're really tactile and lovely to hold. The egg comes with a small length of darning yarn, a darning needle and needle threader, together with darning instructions. 
Socko Wooden Darning Egg
The latest edition of TAUKO Magazine would make a fabulous gift for any sewing enthusiast. With 10 modern designs by international designers complete with step by step sewing instructions and actual size paper patterns.  a 128-page collectable magazine with a modern aesthetic. 
Tauko Sewing Magazine
Our fun packs of Woven Labels by Kylie and the Machine make a great inexpensive gift with packs of 8 labels costing just £5.50. 

Why not take advantage of our current offer: buy three packs of labels and receive a FREE Label Collectors Tin, worth £9.50, with the code FREE-KATM-TIN until Sunday 11th December. 
Kylie and the machine Woven Labels & Collectors Tin
All of the Merchant and Mills products are beautifully packaged. Even the humblest of items, such as a box of sewing pins, is elevated to "must-have" status due to their stylish branding and packaging! If you've a modest budget, then why not select a few of their sewing notions and create your own bespoke gift.
Merchant & Mills Sewing Accessories
If you're still not sure what to buy the sewist in your life then our E-Gift Card, is the perfect solution. Starting at just £5 and available in denominations up to £100, the lucky recipient can then choose their perfect sewing gift at their leisure.

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Gorgeous Handmade Gift Ideas

Posted on November 18, 2022

There really is nothing lovelier than receiving a handmade gift, whether it be at Christmas, for a birthday, or another special occasion. And this year in particular, it's the perfect way to give a beautiful, thoughtful gift. Depending on your budget, and the project, it's possible to create a personal gift without it costing a lot of money.

Over the years I've really enjoyed making and giving various handmade pieces that I've sewn. A favourite make of mine for our teenage daughter, and my nieces, are the shorts from the Agnes Pyjama Set by Paper Theory. There is basically one pattern piece and they sew up really quickly, and not only that they're a brilliant fit. 

Paper Theory Agnes Pyjama Set Sewing Pattern in Nani Iro Hakko Linen Fabric

My daughter loves her ones so much that she wears then out as shorts too. The trouser version wouldn't take much more effort to make either. Make them in any of the Nani Iro fabrics, Merchant and Mills' Laundered Linens or for a cosy winter feel try a Shetland Flannel.

For men, the Eastwood Pyjamas by Thread Theory are a great style. Make them in one of our super cosy Shetland Flannels or for a lighter weight option the a Laundered Linen by Merchant and Mills. 

Thread Theory Eastwood Pyjamas Sewing Pattern

 A bag is another project that would make a great gift. The Jack Tar Bag by Merchant & Mills is firmly on my list, make it in cotton drill, denim, sturdy canvas, oilskin or even in the new Thelma Thermal Quilted Fabrics by mind the MAKER®

Merchant and Mills Jack Tar Bucket Bag Sewing Pattern The Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio is another great option, it makes a great project bag whatever your project may be. I can see this looking very special made in one of the Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics.

Wash Bags are another lovely gift idea and are super easy to make. There are lots of free tutorials available online and I'm currently working on step by step instructions for a simple zip pouch so watch out for that in the next week or so. Again the Thelma Thermal Quilted Fabrics would work well as would the Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics.

The Sunday, by Merchant & Mills, is a traditional unisex dressing gown with patch pockets and a shawl collar. Suitable for those with some sewing experience, this style would make a beautiful gift made in one of our Shetland Flannels or for a lighterweight version for summer the Laundered Linens would be lovely.

Merchant and Mills Sunday Unisex Dressing Gown Sewing PatternI really hope these suggestions have helped to inspire you to make some of your Christmas gifts for friends and family this year. And don't forget, we always love to see what you've been making, so please do send us photos of your makes via our Contact Page.

Happy sewing!      




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Pattern Inspiration for Nani Iro & mind the MAKER® Quilted Fabrics

Posted on November 12, 2022

I'm delighted to have recently added a small selection of Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics from the 2022 Collection. Specially commissioned a few months ago, you won't find these beautiful fabrics anywhere else. Stocks are really limited, so if there's one in particular that you've got your eye on, you know the drill...

Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics

Pre-quilted, they're perfect for all sorts of sewing projects, the most obvious being cosy jackets and coats. The Hovea by Megan Nielsen has three options that call for quilted fabrics including the jacket version shown below.

Megan Nielsen Hovea Jacket & Coat Sewing Pattern

The Lab Coat, by The Assembly Line, is an unlined style that would look equally good made in a quilted fabric.

Unlined, this coat which is mid-length features a hidden button front, a clean round neck and large patch pockets for added functionality. 

The Assembly Line Lab Coat Sewing Pattern

Whether it's a Quilted Nani iro fabric or the Thelma Thermal Quilted Fabrics by mind the MAKER®it really would make for a beautiful statement piece.

Mind the Maker Thelma Thermal Quilted Fabrics

 A cape is another outerwear piece that lends itself to these beautiful quilted fabrics. Issue 1 of TAUKO Magazine features a style called Hug... designed for you to quilt your own fabrics, however you can easily use the Nani Iro Quilted fabrics for this style. I'm going to be making one of these for my mother-in-law for Christmas, not to mention one for me!

Tauko Magazine Issue 1 Hug Sewing Pattern

As well as garments, these quilted fabrics would work really well for accessories. Bags, for example, would work well in both the Nani Iro and mind the MAKER® Thelma Quilted Fabrics... the Jack Tar Bucket Bag by Merchant & Mills, pictured below, I can see looking fantastic in the Thelma Quilted Fabrics and Grainline Studio's Stowe Bag would look equally good in one of the Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics.

Merchant and Mills jack Tar Bucket Bag Sewing Pattern

Wash bags are another accessory that lend themselves to these fabrics, they make great gift items and you can find lots of free tuturials for varying shapes and sizes online.

Cushions too would look lovely made in the Nani Iro Quilted Fabrics and for outdoor cushions the Thelma Thermal Quilted Collection would work really well.

I hope this post has inspired you to try your hand at sewing with these beautiful quilted fabrics... happy sewing!



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