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9 Super Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

by Polina K
kezia sewing pattern in green

Thinking of sewing your own clothing but don’t know where to start? Learning a new hobby is always daunting, but don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Instead, get yourself off on the right foot with a beginner-friendly sewing pattern that makes learning as you go a breeze.

At Good Fabric, we help both experts and new sewists bring their sewing daydreams to life, and we have a pretty good knowledge of the right patterns for beginners – even if we do say so ourselves. With a focus on indie sewing brands, thorough instructions, and super helpful video tutorials, we’ve put together our 9 top choices for simple sewing projects for beginners. 

Before We Dive In…

As you’re new to the world of sewing, we wanted to share some tips, tricks, and insights to make your journey smoother. Build your know-how on solid foundations and you’ll be whizzing fabrics through your sewing machine in no time. 

We first want to address a sewing myth we’ve seen going around that Knits and Jersey fabrics aren’t easy to work with. Don’t listen. If you’ve found a pattern that would look fabulous in a sustainable Jersey, go for it! It’s the same for the chatter about overlockers being too tricky for beginners – it’s just not true. They’re a little more fiddly to thread and make a louder noise, but when it comes to using them, they’re no harder than a sewing machine. 

We also have plenty of advice that will make your first sewing projects a little easier:

  • Choose fabrics with distinctive front and back side, so that you don’t end up sewing pieces back to front or upside down.
  • Avoid choosing a sewing pattern with zips and buttons for your first make. These aren’t super difficult but if you get something wrong, it’s a lot harder to go back and re-do your work. Master the basic sewing skills first and then move onto fastenings when you’re a more confident sewist.
  • Stay away from bust darts. Again, this isn’t because they’re difficult to sew, but because unless you fit the standard size you’re going to have to adjust your pattern – an amazing skill to learn, but just not right now.
  • Every body is different and we recommend choosing a pattern that works for your shape. If it’s hard to find jeans that fit your waist and hips, for example, it probably won’t be straightforward to sew them, either. Stick to a sewing pattern that’ll be easy to make to your measurements.
  • Sewing children’s clothes isn’t easier than adult clothing. Those tiny sleeves and necklines are so fiddly that we suggest steering clear of them for now.
  • Always check out the fabric suggestions on the pattern. Some daredevils do deviate from the recommendations, but the designers will have tried and tested which fabrics work best, so as you learn it’s smart to follow their guidance.

We just want to say that these aren’t rules that you absolutely have to follow. If you were excited to sew children’s clothes then don’t let us stop you. But they are tips that can make the learning process easier, so if you deviate then just be ready for the chance of a little bit more unpicking as you go. 

Now, onto the 9 super simple sewing projects for beginners.

1. Whitcomb Top by Sew Love Patterns

Sew Love Patterns PDF Whitcomb Top Sewing Pattern

First on our list of beginner-friendly sewing patterns is Sew Love’s Whitcomb Top, which is a no-fuss look that’s perfect for your first make. You’ll pick up tons of skills as you work through it, including how to gather fabric to add movement and shape to simple patterns. Exciting! Choose from long or short sleeves and a crop or full-length top, trying out different styles to practice your sewing skills. 

The top can be sewn in either Woven or Jersey fabrics, so why not make two and put both materials to the test? We recommend starting off with a Single Cotton Jersey, which is a t-shirt weight fabric that’ll give your top a comfy, soft finish and heavier drape. Then, move onto a woven Double Gauze fabric, which is ideal for the puffed sleeves and will give a gorgeous, airy feel for a boho-chic vibe. 

2. Crossover Dress by Puff and Pencil 

puff and pencil crossover dress sewing pattern

Puff and Pencil have tons of simple clothing sewing patterns, making them a great choice for anyone looking to work on the basics. The brand has a focus on creating fastening-free garments that are stress-free to make, helping sewing newbies master those essential skills.

Our Puff and Pencil sewing pattern of choice is the Crossover Dress, which works just as well for a day in the office as it does for a summer picnic, depending on the colours and prints you choose. Just be sure to opt for a sustainable fabric that’s a little sturdier, like Cotton Poplin, Light Denim, or Cotton Twill/Gabardine to add the structure that makes this dress pop. When sewing, you’ll get to test your straight-line skills and learn how to create long ties, too, for an easy-peasy fastening method. 

3. Trapeze Dress by Merchant and Mills

good fabric beginner friendly project trapeze

For that laid-back, cottage-core aesthetic, we adore Merchant and Mills’ Trapeze Dress sewing pattern. This is a really simple look that doesn’t contain any fussy parts and gives you the chance to try out a couple of technical skills. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to set in a sleeve. If you’re feeling brave, you can add buttons to the back of the dress, too. It’s not a must, though, so it’s no problem if you’d rather save this little detail for later.

There are a fair few fabric recommendations you can choose for this dress, from Linen to Wool. We love the idea of opting for a heavier fabric for winter and pairing it with a long-sleeve turtleneck for a cosy look that doesn’t skimp on style. Just be sure that your fabric choice has a bit of drape and movement for the right finish.

4. Zoey Tank and Dress by True Bias

zoey tank top sewing pattern

We simply adore a two-in-one sewing pattern, and when it’s a breeze to make it’s even better. That’s why the Zoey Tank and Dress by True Bias is one of our faves, with options to make a fitted tank top (either cropped or full-length) and flowing maxi dress from the same sewing pattern. Neat right? 

This gorgeous set will teach you how to create high-end-looking garments with minimal frills, too. You’ll learn how to neatly sew a neckline that also forms straps – an essential sewing skill – and how the drape of a fabric can bring a dress to life. With that in mind, we recommend a ribbed sustainable fabric with a lovely, flowy movement, like Derby by Meet Milk or a Viscose Rib by Modelo. 

5. Heather Sweater by NH Patterns

heather sweater sewing pattern in grey

Get comfy with the Heather Sweater by NH Patterns. With drop-shoulders and an oversized fit, you’ll be snuggling up in this boyfriend-fit jumper whenever the weather gets chilly. There’s an added bonus here of it being a free download, too, which makes it perfect for practising your beginner sewing skills.

Get to grips with how to attach waistbands and cuffs, which you can do either in a contrasting 2×1 Rib Knit or in your overall fabric choice. For the ultimate loungewear jumper, opt for an Organic Brushed Sweatshirt Fabric, or for a lighter, summer-ready top, sew in a super soft French Terry. 

6. Pull-On Trousers by The Assembly Line

good fabric beginner friendly project pull on trousers

We’ve talked a lot about tops and dresses, but what about bottoms? For beginner sewists, this Pull-On Trousers Pattern is a great choice. With no fastenings and a wide-leg design, it’s a timeless look that’s a breeze to whip up. 

The trickiest part of this sewing pattern is likely to be the pockets, but with easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll work your way through step-by-step until you’re a pocket pro. This is an optional feature, too, so if you prefer to start with hems and straight lines, skip the pockets for a later date. 

You’ll also make an elasticated waistband, which is a super useful sewing skill and pretty easy to master, too. Choose a lightweight viscose or cotton twill  for easy-breezy summer trousers or a slightly heavier Linen or Wool for a more structured look. 

7. Kezia Top by Made My Wardrobe

good fabric beginner friendly project kezia top

Video tutorial alert! If you’re a visual learner, watch Made My Wardrobe’s Online Class (which is beautifully produced) to follow along with a pro sewist. The Kezia Top sewing pattern itself is a wardrobe staple, making the perfect base layer during colder months or pairing nicely with the Trapeze Dress or Pull-On Trousers we’ve already mentioned.

Learn how to create a turtleneck and build your confidence with sewing sleeves. We recommend a medium-weight sustainable fabric to bring this sewing pattern to life, like Organic Cotton Jersey or French Terry. Whip up a few of these tops in different prints and colours for a wardrobe staple that you’ll constantly reach for.

8. Eucalypt Dress and Tank Top by Megan Nielsen

good fabric beginner friendly project eucalyptus bundle

Did someone say summer chic? The Eucalypt Sewing Pattern oozes that relaxed, summer holiday energy, with a floaty fit and scooped neckline making it a beach essential. You can choose from either the dress or tank top, and play around with fabric choice and prints for different looks. There’s also an absolutely adorable Mini Me pattern so that you can match with your little one!

This is a great beginner-friendly sewing pattern that’ll teach you how to sew French seams for a neat finish to your clothing. For your holiday look-book, opt for a sustainable Linen fabric in a neutral tone for a boho-gal vibe. 

9. Pyjama Bottoms by Tilly and the Buttons

good fabric beginner friendly project pjs

Practice makes perfect, right? So buy a few lengths of eco-friendly fabric and make these lovely PJs from Tilly and the Buttons for all your friends and family. Before you know it, you’ll be able to sew super cute pyjama bottoms with your eyes closed. 

Choose from low-rise, relaxed-leg trousers and drawstring shorts, giving you a PJ wardrobe to take you from summer to winter without a hitch. You’ll learn how to insert elastic into the fabric when creating these comfy waistbands, and after a few pairs, you’ll be super confident sewing hems. 

We recommend an Organic Cotton for your PJS. Easy to sew with and the best bet for a cosy night’s sleep, take your pick from Cotton Poplin, Lawn, or Double Gauze fabric. 

Find More Easy Clothing Sewing Patterns

Our final tip before you go out into the big wide world of sewing is to not be afraid of making mistakes. We’ve unpicked thousands of stitches in our time, and our sewing knowledge is all the better for it. Make those wrong moves and learn from them; that’s the secret to becoming a great sewist.

On the hunt for more super simple sewing projects for beginners? We’ve made it easy to filter our indie sewing patterns by experience, with plenty of beginner-friendly options that’ll help you build your confidence with the basics. 

by Polina K

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