What is an Indie Sewing Pattern Company?
An indie sewing pattern company is a small business that specializes in creating and selling sewing patterns for garments and other items. Unlike larger commercial pattern companies, indie sewing pattern companies are typically run by individual designers or small teams, and their patterns often have a unique style and aesthetic.
Indie sewing patterns are often designed with a focus on sustainability, ethical production, and inclusivity, and may feature a wider range of sizes and body shapes than traditional commercial patterns. They may also include detailed instructions and helpful tips for sewing techniques and construction.
Indie sewing pattern companies often sell their patterns online, either as downloadable PDFs or as printed paper patterns, and may also offer online tutorials, sew-alongs, and other resources to help sewists create their projects. Many indie sewing pattern companies have built strong communities of makers who share their finished projects and offer support and advice to others.
There are several reasons why you might want to choose to use indie sewing pattern companies rather than more mainstream options:
Unique Designs: Indie pattern companies often offer unique and interesting designs that may not be available from larger companies. They tend to be more experimental and willing to take risks, which can result in more creative and inspiring patterns.
Support Small Businesses: By choosing to use indie pattern companies, you are supporting small businesses and independent designers. This can help to sustain a diverse and thriving community of makers.
Better Instructions: Indie pattern companies typically offer more detailed and comprehensive instructions, with step-by-step illustrations or photos. This can be especially helpful for beginner sewists who may need more guidance.
Personalized Customer Service: With smaller companies, you may have more direct access to the designer or customer service team. This can be helpful if you have questions or need assistance with your project.
Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Many indie pattern companies prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, such as using eco-friendly materials, paying fair wages to workers, and minimizing waste. By choosing to use their patterns, you can feel good about supporting companies that align with your values.
Choosing indie sewing pattern companies can offer a unique, personalized, and ethical approach to sewing. If you're a beginner sewist looking for independent pattern companies to start your sewing journey, here are some great options to consider:
Tilly and the Buttons: This UK-based company offers stylish and modern patterns with easy-to-follow instructions, making them perfect for beginners. Their patterns range from simple tops and dresses to more complex designs.You can also find sewing workshops and additional blogs and videos on their website to help with garment construction and sewing tips.
"With jargon-busting instructions and photos showing each step, our award-winning sewing patterns, online sewing workshops and bestselling books (Love at First Stitch,Stretch! and Make It Simple) help you create beautiful clothes that you’ll be proud to say you made yourself... even if you're a new stitcher."
2. Grainline Studio: Known for their clean, modern designs, Grainline Studio offers a variety of patterns that are beginner-friendly. Their patterns include wardrobe staples like basic t-shirts and skirts, as well as more advanced designs like coats and jackets. They also have beginner-friendly bag sewing patterns too if you're looking to make accessories!
"At Grainline Studio we create sewing patterns that are professionally designed with your ease of use in mind. These patterns, along with our expert instruction, will empower, educate, and inspire you to create garments you'll love for years to come!"
3. Closet Core Patterns: Closet Core Patterns (formerly known as Closet Case Patterns) offers a range of beginner-friendly patterns that focus on classic designs with a modern twist. Their patterns include everything from easy-to-sew tops to more complex garments like jeans and swimsuits. They have sewing classes and fabrics, offering all you need to get started sewing your own clothes.
"We design elevated, perennial sewing patterns to help you create the clothes of your dreams, and hopefully provide a richer and more sustainable alternative to the fast fashion funnel. Through personal experience, we’ve learned that sewing is a secret gateway to self-love, self-care and self-confidence, and wherever you are in your sewing practice, we want to help enhance your skills so you feel empowered and inspired to design and sew a wardrobe that is uniquely and utterly you"
4. Sew Over It: This UK-based company offers a range of beginner-friendly patterns that are designed with the modern sewist in mind. Their patterns include simple dresses and tops, as well as more complex designs like jumpsuits and coats. Online courses are available, ranging from absolute beginner to intermediate sewing as well as fabrics to buy alongside your pattern.
"At Sew Over it we are all about stylish sewing patterns, gorgeous fabrics, easy-to-follow classes and expert advice to help you learn to sew one make at a time. Sew Over It was launched by founder, Lisa Comfort, in May 2011 in response to the growing feeling that sewing was becoming a lost skill.
“I wanted to pass on my passion for sewing through Sew Over It and encourage more people in around the world to pick up a needle and thread” Lisa Comfort"
5. Megan Nielsen: Megan Nielsen Patterns offers a range of sewing patterns that are perfect for those just starting out, as well as more experienced sewists. Their patterns include simple tops and dresses, as well as more complex designs like jackets and coats. Maternity clothing and childrenswear are also available as well as sewing tutorials to help you along the way.
"Megan Nielsen Patterns create sewing patterns for contemporary wardrobe essentials in sizes 0-30. We design our patterns with real people in mind and are passionate about creating every day wearable pieces that work with your lifestyle, not against it. Our goal is to make sewing your own stylish wardrobe enjoyable and easy, and we’re here to help!"
6. Papercut Patterns: Papercut Patterns are designed to be both stylish and easy to sew. A New Zealand based pattern design house, they celebrate the combination of women’s individuality and eco-friendly fashion. Create an on-trend wardrobe from dresses to jackets and everything inbetween. Their new range of kids sewing patterns called PaperCute offers trendy childrens clothing pattens and sewing tutorials are available too.
"With a focus on freedom of expression and positive body image, Papercut Patterns are dedicated to creating fashion with a consistent premium quality and a unique signature style.
Eco-friendly fashion hasn’t always had a glamorous essence to it, but we believe in a fashion revolution and the sustainability of sewing your own wardrobe without compromising on style. We aspire to design patterns that are not only contemporary and unique, but also wearable and timeless, so that you will wear your garments again and again. Our design-driven philosophy ensures that our patterns are mindfully crafted, and beautifully worn."
7. Friday Pattern Company: With a playful and trendy style, Friday Pattern Company offers patterns for women's clothing and accessories that are fun and designed to be easy to sew. Friday Pattern Company is an independent sewing pattern company/blog based out of Santa Cruz, CA providing sewing patterns and tutorials for any level of sewist.
"We believe in making good things and doing good things! For that reason, Friday Pattern Company donates 5% of all proceeds to a rotating collection of the top-ranked charities in the world. Each pattern benefits a different charity. For more info on where we are donating for each pattern, click here."
8. Named Clothing: hailing from Finland, Named Clothing offers a range of patterns with a minimalist, Scandinavian aesthetic. Named is a family business started by sisters Saara and Laura in 2013 and remains a small company, run by the founding pair.
“We design our patterns so that they are pleasing to the eye and also offer an opportunity to learn new and different – even unusual – techniques. Our designs are timeless basic clothes that nonetheless include interesting details. To balance out the pressure to sew as much as possible as quickly as possible, we want to use our products to emphasize the fact that the most wonderful thing about sewing is the opportunity to keep developing yourself and learning new things. Quality over quantity is our motto. We have been sewing our whole lives and making clothes professionally for nearly ten years but we are still learning new things almost every day. We love it!”
9. True Bias: this company offers patterns for women's clothing with a modern, relaxed style. They have currated wordrobe staples and have a range of clothing items to sew with added tutorials and hacks to make the garments work for you.
"Hi, I’m Kelli. I am the writer, creator, and designer behind True Bias. I live in Denver, CO where I design patterns for home sewists and sew clothing for myself and my family. I began taking patternmaking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and continued to develop my skills. It was during that time that I released my first sewing pattern,the Hudson Pant. I continued to create modern, wearable patterns for women, and then added age appropriate children’s versions of the same patterns."
Find lots of indie sewing patterns and more all in one place at Makerist.
"At Makerist we've brought together the largest selection of PDF patterns from our network of independent pattern designers for instant download. To support makers in learning new skills or improving existing skills, we've produced video classes with expert trainers to show how to achieve the best results in crafting and textile hobbies - sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting and more. You can access these videos from anywhere and as many times as you like."
These indie pattern companies offer great options for beginner sewists who want to try their hand at making their own clothes. Their patterns are designed to be easy to follow, so you can get started with sewing right away! I hope this has given you plenty of inspiration to begin your dressmaking journey.
But this is only scratching the surface on indie sewing pattern companies! Let me know any brands that I've missed that you love, it's always fun descovering new patterns and inspiration from the sewing community.
Happy sewing! Kym x