Elevate your sewing with this classic fly front skirt pattern. Ness looks stylish year-round, paired with a t-shirt in summer or a roll neck in winter. The straight skirt has a shaped waistband and curved back yoke for a flattering fit.
Choose from mini version or below-the-knee hemline with centre front split. Details inspired by denim include a zip fly front, topstitched mock felled seams, belt loops, all-important in-seam pockets, plus optional back pockets for stashing your essentials. Let’s get stitching!
Ness includes jargon-busting instructions, helpful sewing tips, and colour photos showing you each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.
PRINTED PATTERN – You’ll receive a gorgeous printed package in the post containing full scale pattern sheets and a colour instruction booklet. (Alternatively you can order the digital version to print and assemble at home, or have the A0 format printed at a copy shop.)
SKILL LEVEL – Improvers
FABRIC SUGGESTIONS – Medium- to heavy-weight woven fabrics such as denim, corduroy, jacquard, gobelin (tapestry), drill or wool, preferably with a little stretch for comfort.
Fabric – Mini skirt : 1.20m (1 3/8yd) x 150cm (60in) OR 1.6m (1¾yd) x 115cm (45in) Knee-length skirt: 1.4m (1 5/8yd) x 150cm (60in) OR 1.8m (2 yd) x 115cm (45in)
0.3m (3/8yd) medium-weight cotton fabric for pocket bags
0.5m (5/8yd) x 90cm (36in) wide iron-on interfacing (similar weight to your fabric)
12.5cm (5in) jeans zip
15-18mm (5/8in) button with shank
Optional: Contrast topstitch thread and topstitch/embroidery machine needle
Sewing machine and basic tools, including zip foot or adjustable zip foot
Taking the first step to sewing your very own me-made workshop can sometimes be confusing. There are so many patterns out there from the independent brands as well as the ‘big’ and ‘scary’ top four. So if you’re thinking of taking the leap and joining the community, never fear, we have your back. Read on for our top five beginner patterns.
1. Tilly and the Buttons – Cleo
Great for: Easy to follow instructions
Sew in: Woven fabrics, including denim, cord or even upholstery fabrics
Cleo is our go-to pattern for all seasons, from cosy corduroys and knits in the winter to denim layered over t-shirts in the summer. We love Tilly’s patterns for a range of reasons, from the simple to follow instructions to the easy to use measuring charts; you really can’t go wrong. This on trend, style has no fiddly zips or buttons to contend with and the dungaree clips are super simple to use, in fact, the only difficult thing about this pattern is choosing how many versions to make!
2. Grainline Studios – Scout Tee
Great for: A quick, simple sew
Sew in: Lightweight to medium fabrics including cotton lawn, linen and denim
Sometimes it’s hard to believe the perfect top exists, but we think the scout tee comes pretty close. A great, quick sew, this top has no darts or pleats but does show you how to handle bias binding on the flattering neckline. This top is one that suits all body shapes, which we love and can be made again and again in so many different prints and colours that your closet will be packed with them before you know it!
3. Leisl & Co – Everyday Skirt
Great for: A well-drafted, wardrobe staple
Sew in: Medium weight cotton, needlecord or flannel
We LOVE the everyday skirt – so many variations, so little time. This A-line, classic shape has a flat front, with elasticated back, which sits perfectly on the hips of any body shape. There are no zips and fastenings which is great, but you can get to grips with adding pockets (who doesn’t love pockets) and also adding elastic to a garment. This is sophisticated, simple sew which you’ll be swishing around in forever.
4. Tilly And The Buttons – Coco
Great for: Getting to grips with sewing jersey
Sew in: Medium weight jersey including Ponte Roma or double knit
Another favourite from Tilly And The buttons, the Coco is the ultimate jersey top AND dress all in one pretty package. Crying out to be sewn in a classic Breton stripe, the super clear instructions strike again, not only that, the handy guide shows beginners how to sew stretch without the use of an overlocker if you aren’t quite ready to take that leap just yet. Sewing with jersey may seem scary, but this will most definitely help you along on your ‘jersey journey’ – thanks Tilly!
5. Sew Over It – The Ultimate Shift dress
Great for: A simple dress with lots of variations
Sew in: Cotton, viscose or crepe
Last, but by no means least, the ultimate shift dress is a wonderland of sewspiration, from the long-sleeves to short, ruffled ones and even a top variation – it really does have something for everyone. Again, there are no zips but this pattern will help you to get to grips with bust darts and neck facings, in a simple, easy to follow way. This one is great for showcasing bold prints and if you feel like ‘stepping it up’, try stitching something in drapier fabrics for a challenge.
So there you have it, our top five patterns for beginner sewists, we love the variation of all of these and the great thing is, you can add your own flare once you really get going on your sewing journey.
Ready to begin but still a bit overwhelmed? Don’t panic, we’ve covered all basis, check out our gorgeous kits for each of the patterns which contain everything but the sewing machine! From a perfectly paired Cleo/stripe combo to dreamy denim ready to be made into dungarees, we have plenty to choose from, so what are you waiting for? Shop the kits here.
To see Sheona talk in more detail about her favourite beginner patterns watch the vlog below:
**PLEASE READ – We’ve had an overwhelming response to our jeans kits again this month so we have adding them for preorder ensuring we have enough stock for everyone. We will be opening pre-orders on 13/2/2019 and closing preorders on 18/2/2019.
Kits will be made up and sent out on a first come, first served basis from 20/2/19 and all will be dispatched within 10 working days.**
Our dressmaking kits are perfect as gifts or a treat for yourself! They contain everything you need to make a garment, including the pattern, fabric and all notions so are perfect for beginners who aren’t sure where to start, or more experienced sewists who just want to have everything to hand. Plus, buying the kit works out a minimum of 10% cheaper than buying everything separately, so you get a great deal too!
Our Jeans Kits include everything you need to make a brilliant pair of professional looking jeans. Included is the either the Closet Case Ginger Jeans Pattern or the Cashmerette Ames Jeans Pattern, our high quality stretch denim in either Indigo or Black, metal rivets & jeans buttons (including enough to practice with!), interfacing, matching jeans zip, as well as a set of Top Stitch needles and contrasting Gutermann topstitching thread!
Kits are available with and without the pattern, so if you already have it or want to use a different jeans pattern, simply select “Without Pattern” from the drop down menu above.
I have a little bit of a confession to make. I have been sewing for nearly 10 years now, and I could count on one hand the number of trousers I have made! I think the fitting issue has always scared me just a little bit too much. But this year’s Me Made May challenge made me realise how I really ought to get over my fear and try and add some trousers to my handmade wardrobe. Enter the Eleonore Pull-On Jeans from Jalie Patterns.
I had seen these jeans popping up numerous times on Instagram and always wanted to give them a go. They are nearly identical in style to a pull-on jean/jegging that H&M do which I pretty much live in (I own 3 colours ways), so I thought it would be amazing to be able to recreate them.
I decided it would probably be wise to sew up a toile first, in order to tackle the dreaded trouser fitting issue, so that’s what I did. They came together really quickly and I have to say, the toile fitted nearly perfectly on the first go! But I did have some horizontal lines under my bum and I felt the crotch was a little high as well. With a little bit of searching (namely this post on the Closet Case Patterns blog– so helpful!) I decided I needed to do a low bum adjustment (lol, not a surprise!) and scoop out the seat curve slightly. So I made sure to do that on the final garment.
Another issue I had was with the fit on the legs. I felt they were a bit too loose. I also had a lot of wrinkles behind my knees (which I can’t find any fitting guidance to at all). To be honest, I think this is the style of the jeans. They are definitely a straight cut, rather than skinny. I did go back and forward about keeping them straight, but apparently I just love my skinny jeans! So I tapered them in to be totally form-fitting. This also helped with the knee wrinkling a little bit.
The fit around the hips and waist is spot on! Honestly, I am absolutely delighted with the fit. The waistband comes up slightly higher than I thought they would, which is actually great because it holds in my ‘muffin top’ (for want of a better expression)! They still sit slightly below the bellybutton.
The Eleonore pull-on jeans are constructed pretty similarly to regular jeans, with copious amounts of topstitching (I just used my regular thread though). The main difference is that the pockets and fly are all faux, and of course the waistband is elastic. The faux fly is very easy but there is a little bit of tricky sewing getting the faux pocket pieces in. It’s not particularly difficult, it just requires slow and careful sewing (and I may have been holding my breath while doing so…). But oh my goodness, it is so satisfying once it’s done! Saying that, you can actually buy an ‘add on’ pattern piece for real front pockets. I think I will go ahead and get it because I will definitely be making this pattern again and it would be nice to have real pockets.
The way the waistband is constructed was really interesting. The elastic is sewn on to the lower half of the waistband piece with a zig-zag stitch, without being stretched. The upper part of the waistband is then folded over the elastic (thus encasing it) and this is the outer side. So the elastic is totally secure and there is absolutely no chance of it flipping over (one of my pet-peeves when it comes to elasticated waistbands). And the stitching is on the inside, leaving the outside beautifully smooth.
That may have been as clear as mud, sorry! It’s quite hard to explain. But one of the best things about this pattern, is there is a free video tutorialfor the entire construction on YouTube! I pretty much followed along with the video and paid no attention to the written instructions which came with the pattern (they are actually quite sparse).
Turquoise Fabric Of Dreams
I made up the final Eleonore jeans in the most amazing turquoise stretch twill from Sewisfaction. It’s hard for the camera to do this fabric justice. In these photos, and on the Sewisfaction shop page, the fabric comes across more as a bright light blue, but there is definitely a tiny bit of green to it to tip it into the turquoise category. It is 20% stretch, which is what the Eleonore pattern requires.
The fabric sewed up really well and was a dream to work with. It does fray a bit, so having an overlocker was a god-send (I think all twill fabric frays though). Having worn my jeans out and about for a day, they have stretched a bit, so it might be a good idea to maybe make your jeans (or whatever you are sewing up) just a touch tighter to compensate for this. A run through the wash though and I’m pretty sure they will be back to their original fit.
The Low Down
I am completely and utterly head over heels in love with my new bright turquoise jeans! The only problem now is that I don’t actually have very many things in my wardrobe that coordinates with them. Not to worry, I picked up thesetwo beauties from Sewisfacion which both pair really well and I plan on whipping up a couple of tops (I see they are both out of stock now, but I also have this fab parrot fabric which goes perfectly too!)
As for the Eleanore pattern? I see myself going on a little bit of jeans-making binge soon! I’ve already pulled out a couple of stretch cottons and denims from my stash and they’ll be heading for the pre-wash soon!!
The Moss is a semi-fitted skirt that sits slightly below the natural waist and works up well in a variety of fabrics, from denim to wool to corduroy and many fabrics in-between. Skirt features a fly front and button closure as well as a yoke at the back. If mini isn’t quite your style, add the hem band to create the longer silhouette or use a second fabric for a bit of contrast.
Techniques involved include straight and curved seams, inserting a fly front zipper, and basic hemming.
Great for beginners and bang on-trend, Cleo is simple to sew, with no fiddly zips and minimal fitting required – hooray! Make it dungaree-style with buckles, or as a pinafore with button fastenings. Choose from mini length or knee length with optional centre-front split, patch pockets on front or back, and optional contrast topstitching.
This easy-to-use sewing pattern will take you through the steps to making the Cleo dungaree dress, with jargon-busting instructions and photos showing you how to sew each part.
Wear Cleo all year round, layered over a t-shirt, shirt or sweater – the relaxed style makes it oh so comfortable!
“This sewing pattern is really fun to sew. It has the most beautiful instruction booklet, which is easy to follow. Everyone should sew a Cleo dress!”– Harriet
SKILL LEVEL – Beginners
FABRIC SUGGESTIONS – Heavy or medium weight woven fabrics that hold their shape, such as denim, corduroy, cotton drill, gabardine, canvas, wool.
Fabric – Mini length – 1.2m (1¼ yards) x 150cm (60in) wide OR 1.8m (2 yards) x 115cm (45in) wide Knee length – 1.3m (1 3/8 yards) x 150cm (60in) wide OR 1.9m (2 1/8 yards) x 115cm (45in) wide
0.4m (3/8 yards) iron-on interfacing (similar weight to your fabric)
2 x 30-35mm (1¼ – 1½in) wide dungaree buckles OR 2 x 15-20mm (5/8-7/8in) buttons and buttonhole foot for your sewing machine
Optional: Contrast colour topstitch thread and topstitch/embroidery needle
A unisex dungaree pattern for babies and toddlers, with contrast facing for straps, bibs, pockets and turn-ups. Keeping practicality in mind the pattern features snap fasteners on the inner leg, an elasticated back waist, and side buttons. A dress version is also included.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: Medium weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, cotton blends, linens, denim, pincord, etc.
2x 30mm dungaree clips or buckles
25mm width elastic – 50cm
6x 15mm buttons (4 for view B)
2x 20mm buttons
60cm popper tape or
snap fasteners: x 10 for up to18mor x 12 for up to 2
A unisex dungaree pattern for children. With contrast facing for straps, bibs, pockets and turn-ups. Keeping in mind practicality, the pattern features an elasticated back waist, and buttons on the side. A dress version is also included.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: Medium weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, cotton blends,linens, denim, pincord, etc