5 beginner sewing patterns to start making today

Whether you’re returning to sewing after a few years away from your machine or have never sewn a stitch before, it’s a good idea to begin your dressmaking journey with a simple pattern so you can perfect the basics.

We’ve all got to start somewhere, so fire up that sewing machine, give one of these beginner sewing patterns a try and we promise you’ll never look back…

Dominique skirt

1 Tilly and the Buttons Dominique skirt

You may know Tilly Walnes from the Sewing Bee series 1, or her successful blog, sewing pattern range or bestselling sewing book (yep, she’s been a busy bee!).

Her latest pattern, the Dominique skirt, is perfect for newbie stitchers. It’s designed to be super simple, with no fiddly zips or buttonholes, and has two styles: a straight skirt and slightly more challenging flared style.

If you feel like you need a little bit of guidance, Tilly’s Learn to Sew Skirts online workshop will take you through making both of the skirt styles step by step, and includes a copy of the Dominique pattern to download.

Kimono top

2. Cropped kimono top

With just two pieces to cut out and stitch together, garment construction doesn’t get any simpler than this kimono top from Simply Sewing issue 3.

It can be made in a variety of fabrics – make yours in a cotton print as we have for a crisp, structured feel, or try crepe or viscose for a more loose, draped look. And, if the cropped style isn’t for you, it’s easy to lengthen to suit your style.

The pattern is free to download and print at home – and here’s how to make it.

Collette patterns Sorbetto Top

3. Colette’s Sorbetto top

This simple-sew top from indie pattern label, Colette, is a great for practicing key garment-sewing skills. By the time you’ve finished making your own Sorbetto, you’ll have mastered bust darts, pleats and bias binding (and will likely want to make another!). And it’s free to download!

Sew Over It shift dress

4. Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

You can never have too many shift dresses! Designed with beginners in mind, the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress pattern will guide you through the dressmaking process, from sewing bust darts to attaching neckline facings. There’s plenty of scope for customisation once you’ve mastered the basics, too.

Beginners top pattern free

5. Kirsty Hartley’s colour-block top

This colour-block top pattern by Kirsty Hartley, designer of children’s clothing range Wild Things, was the final garment in her four-in-one pattern sew along series in Simply Sewing issues 8-11, which included a jersey dress, pocket-front tunic and a day-to-night dress, all made from the same pattern.

With kimono-style sleeves, a waist tie and stylish colour-block design, this top allows beginners to practice a few key sewing skills and add a dash of their own creativity. Download Kirsty’s four-in-one pattern for free here.