Remember this jacket?
I made it during a sewing binge weekend and I couldn’t be happier! It was the first thing I’ve ever made using someone else’s pattern, and let me tell you, it isn’t as scary as you might think!
The jacket was made with the McCartney Jacket pattern from the 8 Days a Week collection, offered by Pattern Anthology. Phew! That was a mouth full. Along with this jacket, they offer lots of stylish, you-would-never-guess-they’re-homemade patterns that I’m quickly becoming obsessed with!
If you’ve never used a pattern that you print out at home, I am here to tell you about my experience!
Here are some things I learned about sewing clothing using my first online pattern:
Printing out and piecing together the pattern at home
I’ll admit, this was probably one of the most difficult and intimidating steps, and, being the first thing you need to do, I imagine it’s what kept me from trying out online patterns for so long.
Basically, you’ll just print out the PDF file included with your download and tape it all together. Because most printers cannot print all the way to the edge, you’ll usually have to trim down the edges. With the McCartney Jacket, I had to cut down all four sides of each page by about half an inch. A paper trimmer was incredibly useful for this step!!
After trimming, I used small bits of tape to put everything together, then secured it all with clear packing tape. I would suggest not to fret too much over lining everything up perfectly. Shifts in the paper while printing can move things a fraction of an inch, making it difficult to get just right. Just try to get it as close as possible and move on!
With online patterns, it’s likely someone else has already sewn it!
This saved me a couple of times while I put this jacket together. Pattern Anthology is pretty well known, and I believe they send out the pattern to many sewers before it’s released. So, by the time you’re able to purchase it, many other people have figured it all out for you!
Although the instructions came with great pictures, I still got stuck on the pockets and wrist bands. I almost gave up but decided to look at a blog post from another sewer featuring the pattern. They didn’t get into details, but I was able to see the pockets and wrist bands from another point of view which made me realize what I was doing wrong.
The next time I get stuck with a pattern like this, I’ll just Google it before getting so frustrated!
Sewing terms and instructions seemed to be easier to understand.
I don’t know about you but I get really scared looking at patterns, especially the traditional ones on that super thin, brown paper. Those charts with all the numbers and confusing illustrations… Eek!
Well, I’m hear to tell you that this pattern was not like that at all! The instructions were super easy, and on top of that, each step came with a full color, sharp image demonstrating what you’re supposed to do.
So, if your fear of patterns stems from your concern about getting stuck in the middle of your project – you may want to give an online pattern a try!
Now that I’ve made it all the way through my first sewing pattern, I’m so excited to try more! I actually purchased the entire 8 Days a Week collection. It consists of the McCartney Jacket, a pair of leggings, a casual dress, and a cute t-shirt, all with several variations. And, the best part is that I can print them out as much as I want! I’m even thinking of using these patterns as a base and making up my own fashions… So many possibilities people!
This may all seem like old news to you if you’ve been working with patterns for years. Sometimes, I feel like the last sewer on earth who isn’t well-versed in patterns. If you have ever tried online patterns, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
I’m sure I’ll be posting about my next project soon!