designer sewing patterns


Katy posted about making some AP.C. style clothes and then I saw this cute post by Hannah Shuckburgh and it got me thinking.Why don't more of our favorite brands (mainstream and indie) have sewing patterns? I am sure there is some reason. It's complicated, expensive, etc, but it seems like a genius move in this economy. 

When I was a kid my mom used to sew up all sorts of designer clothes for me because lots of brands made their  patterns available. Right now, Vogue has a few (often too hoity-toity for my taste), and Cynthia Rowley and Builty by Wendy have small lines with Simplicity and then there's the Betsy Ross Pattern Company, but that's about it. One of you genius clothing designers or business people should start a pattern company!


  1. As much as I love APC- most – 60-70% it seems, of their collections have the exact same patterns as the last 5 seasons before, just different weights of fabrics, coloring, etc. So I think they would never offer patterns because it would be like “giving away their secret ingredient”. Interestingly, BBW does it and still manages to be just fine..

  2. I am thinking if some of these clothing companies just put out a few designs (obviously different from what they sell) it would be perfect for them and us. Most people who would sew the patterns aren’t the same people who are buying them.

  3. Or, how about a generic pattern line that has a huge selection of really pretty, current patterns! Looking through a pattern book is like trying to find a needle in a haystack! 🙂

  4. I have just started sewing my own clothes, I’m actually sewing a blouse tonight. and I think you’re right about it being a smart move for them to sell patterns in this economy. I also think that there are a lot of great patterns already out there. You just have to look past the ugly fabric they usually use in the pictures. Etsy is full of amazing vintage patterns.

  5. That’s exactly why I started my company! We publish sewing patterns for children’s clothing. It’s easy to sew for kids, but there were no decent patterns available. Because I worked as a clothing designer before I had my daughter, it was sort of a natural progression to start a sewing patterns line. But writing patterns is a very different skill from designing clothing, so I think it takes a particular sort of person to publish sewing patterns. I, too, would love to see a really good line of patterns for women!

  6. I couldn’t agree more!
    I would love to sew my own clothes but the patterns available are either early 90’s style or just too “indie” for me. (I have a problem with percentage of people who DO sew (bloggers) actually make frumpy clothes :/) I would pay twice as much for a J. Crew pattern!

  7. As someone who sews, I think it would be great fun to see more designers release patterns. Maybe not copies of what’s in their current collections, but “best of” or past seasons.

    Have you seen the new Colette Patterns line ( She has some pretty, current (yet vintage influenced) designs that I think are along the same lines as many of the indie clothing companies! 🙂

  8. Oh chelsea I think your on to something. I was going to check my local Jo Anne Fabrics this weekend to flip through the pattern books to see if I could find more.

  9. seriously! i just bought the first pattern i have bought in ages and it is for an amy butler skirt i know i will love and wear a lot (and probably make a few out of the pattern). i am excited to get back into sewing my own clothes, but i agree, it is hard to find good patterns out there.

  10. oh, Casey beat me to it – when I saw Colette’s patterns on Kayte’s Love Forever blog, I about hit the roof. Well, another vote for her, because her patterns look very beautiful! I plan to purchase one – or more – when summer hits; I snapped up a bunch of fabrics in a coordinated scheme earlier this year, I’m just waiting to make a new wardrobe with them, fun!

    I wish BBW would release more new patterns soon; the most recent ones have been knits and I would rather sew more structured garments. I’ve been thinking about doing up the jacket pattern you’ve featured in lilac wool!

  11. i am an avid sewer and would love some good, fashionable patterns. i want to make my own liberty print j.crew-style button up shirts, but i can’t find a pattern that fits me, and my patterning skills are really rusty.
    i used to work as a tailor for a custom clothing shop in portland that made personalized patterns, but it has closed.
    so, i’ll just have to add my name to the list of people who want j.crew patterns!

  12. An all indie pattern company collective would be amazing! I agree with the comment that there are a lot of great patterns out there by the big name pattern companies — you just have to imagine some cool fabric in place of the stuff they often use. personally, i love the vintage vogue reproduction patterns from the 50s.

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