Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sewing Indie For Free!

Recently, A Sewing Life did a lovely post about independent pattern companies and entitled the post, "Five Reasons The Big Four Should Be Very Nervous About Indie Pattern Designers." One of the five reasons that she lists is freebies. You know this is something that I have taken to heart with my Thrifty Thursdays posts. I think it is a fabulous way to learn about the sizing, how well the instructions are written, as well as the quality of the drafting, all with minimal risk. A number of the companies who are participating in Sewing Indie Month have free patterns. All the more reason to participate!!!
There's a great basic tee from
Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick, Tonic 1 and 2. There is a long sleeve as well as a short sleeve version. A great pattern for trying out a few sleeve designs, hint, hint!!!
 Waffle Patterns  Newsboy Cap
Seamster Patterns Yellowtail Camisole You may remember that I made this pattern up for the very first Thrifty Thursday post. You can see my version here.
 Lolita Patterns  Fushsia Skirt
 By Hand London, Polly Top I have also made this top and you can see my version here.
Here's a little inspiration for the Polly Top. Just lengthen it and add piping. Simple, but I think this qualifies for pattern hacking :)
Maria of Denmark  The pattern is free when you sign up for her newsletter.
With the patterns listed above, you could just about make an entire wardrobe. Yes, they are fairly basic, but all the better for redesigning!
Hope this inspires you to give a pattern a try and do a little hacking, or redesign of your own. There's really nothing to lose! Actually, there's a lot to gain as in all the prizes listed on my introductory post. Check out the prizes and then be sure to hack a pattern and then link it here.

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  1. Thanks for the mention, Rhonda! There's just something psychologically compelling about free, even though rationally we know that 1. It isn't really free, because our time is worth a lot in trying out the freebie; and 2. A $1 pattern from a Hancock's or Joann's sale is not that much more money in the scheme of things (and we probably spend that on printer ink and paper, as well as the overall expense of having a printer, computer and internet connection). Still, I think the major pattern companies should think hard about offering some freebies: we love them!

  2. Hi Rhonda! Good post as always. We're wondering... if we were to offer a free downloadable pattern, what type do you think we should offer? There are so many options and it's hard to choose something that will make everyone happy. Thoughts?

    1. Thanks! I think your question would be great to ask in a post and see what everyone thinks. Thanks for the idea :)

    2. If this is still being followed, here's my two cents worth. When I lived in the US, I followed all the pattern sales and stayed on top of the Big 4 offerings, including McCall, of course. Now that I live in Europe, and patterns cost a royal fortune here (they don't seem to get the sale mentality for patterns, it seems), I don't get to take advantage of all the cheap sales in the US.

      Thus, my pattern purchases are very limited, and I will actively search out the freebies. I will also search out the sites that offer reduced price downloads of the established pattern companies. Why should I pay $10-15 to print out my own pattern, knowing my Stateside friends can get $1 deals on the finished pattern regularly?

      You old faithful Big 4 need to pay more attention to those of us outside the US market to keep our business.

  3. Hi there Rhonda,

    Fairly new to your blog and really enjoying it................thanks for sharing.
    In reply to Mc Calls question. Gosh, what to choose. If it helps, Marfy recently did free downloads of their patterns, jacket, skirt and blouse; a fabulous introduction to their amazingly cut patterns. So, with so many wonderful freebies out there, it would be good for them to offer something other pattern companies have not...........I guess a staple wardrobe item would always go down well, and as most of us are in summer clothing mode, perhaps a fabulous summer dress, which would be current in design for 2014??
    It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
    Thanks again, Marysia.