Sewing pattern projects for The Online Sewing Weekender 2021

This week on the blog we are sharing our sewing pattern recommendations to make next weekend, so you can join in with all the activities at The Sewing Weekender. Following four sell-out annual events in Cambridge, The Fold Line and Charlotte Emma Patterns are bringing The Sewing Weekender online for a second year, on Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th June 2021. The 2021 event will again take place online and will feature two days of online content for attendees to watch and participate in, as they work on a sewing project at home. 10% of proceeds will be donated to the charities The Black Curriculum, Refuge and Fine Cell Work. Over the weekend, we’ll have a series of informal vlogs from bloggers and makers plus longer talks, live zoom sewing help sessions, online workshops and other online activities with special guests from the sewing community. We’re really excited about The Online Sewing Weekender and hope you are too! Find out more including the full schedule and all the contributors here.


Choosing a project

The Sewing Weekender is an informal sewing event. You can pick any sewing project to work on over the weekend (and share your plans and progress with us using #sewingweekender). You’ll want to start planning your makes for next weekend and if there is a pattern you’ve been lusting after then now is the time to pounce! Search thousands of sewing patterns from indie designers and commercial pattern houses in our online sewing pattern shop.


Zadie Jumpsuit Tutorial with Tara from Paper Theory

Tara is the designer behind Paper Theory Patterns and over the weekend she will be teaching us a tutorial on how to hack the Zadie Jumpsuit into a wrap dress. The Zadie Jumpsuit is one of the most popular patterns in the sewing community of all time! The Zadie Jumpsuit is a relaxed and easy to wear one piece that comes with the option of wide 3/4 length sleeves or sleeveless with a dropped shoulder. It wraps around the body and fastens with a tie so there is no need for buttons or a zip – making it quick and easy to sew, and quick and easy to get on and off. The neck edge is finished with a bias binding. Tara will use the bodice of the Zadie Jumpsuit pattern and show us how to draft a wrap skirt to attach at the waist to make a new outfit. Note: you will need the original Zadie Jumpsuit pattern to complete this tutorial. 
Fabric: This pattern is designed especially for woven, medium weight fabrics like cotton and linen and would look great in fabric that has a draped quality like crepe, viscose twill or satin. It would also make up well in some heavier fabrics like drill and light weight denim.
Sizing: UK 6 – 28. Format: PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.

Pattern hacking: adding ruffles with Nina from Nina Lee Patterns

Nina is the designer behind Nina Lee Patterns and loves a good ruffle! You will see from her pattern collection that many of her designers have a ruffle element. Nina’s video shows you how to add ruffles on to most tops and dresses. The patterns she features in her video for The Online Sewing Weekender include the Carnaby Dress and Park Lane Dress from her own pattern range in addition to the Coco Top and Dress from Tilly and the Buttons.
A simple shift dress with in-seam pockets, Carnaby comes in two variations: with or without short sleeves. With separate skirt and bodice pieces, you can easily create a striking colour block effect, or keep it subtle with just a pop of contrast in the pockets. The dress is finished with neck facings and closes with an exposed zip at the centre back, complete with a simple zip guard. The instructions are comprehensive, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve never tackled an exposed zip before – you’ll enjoy it!
Sizing: UK 6 – 20 OR UK 16 – 28. Format: Paper, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.

Float away on a romantic dream of your own sewing with the Park Lane Dress and Blouse! Choose between a flowing midi dress with delicate waistline gathers or the elegant darted blouse, both finished with a keyhole opening and button and rouleau loop closure at the back neck. Then mix and match amongst two different necklines and three sleeve variations, along with an optional shoulder ruffle. The full-length sleeves feature a button cuff with placket whereas the more voluminous mid and short sleeves finish with a plain band cuff.

Sizing: UK 6 – 20. Format: Paper, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.

Fill your wardrobe with classic Breton tops, cosy knit dresses and sixties-style funnel necks – all from the same pattern and no overlocker or serger required! Choose from top or dress length, boat neckline or funnel roll neck, and long or three quarter sleeves. Make it your own with optional rolled cuffs and patch pockets.

Sizing: 1 – 10 (UK 6 – 24). Format: paper pattern.

How to perfect pattern matching with Alison Smith

Alison Smith runs the school of sewing and in her masterclass she will help take your sewing project to the next level with a tutorial on how to become a master at pattern matching! She will show you examples on how to match stripes and trickier plaids, along with lots of tips on pattern placement. In her video she uses the Lark Tee by Grainline Studios with striped jersey.

Women wearing the Lark Tee sewing pattern by Grainline Studio. A T-shirt pattern made in jersey or knit fabric featuring a round neck and three quarter sleeves.

Lark Tee – Grainline Studio

With a modern, slim fit ideal for layering, the Lark Tee is your closet’s new best friend. It’s great on its own or under your favourite button up, sweater, or blazer. All four sleeves are interchangeable with each of the necklines resulting in 16 potential different tees in one pattern!

Sizing: US 0 – 18 (approx. UK 8 – 18). Format: paper.


Sewing garments by hand with Alexis of Fibr & Cloth

Alexis is the owner of Fibre & Cloth, a shop dedicated to slow makers of all sorts. They celebrate the simple hobbies that normalise the need and desire for slowing down, and finding peace and happiness in creating. In Alexis’s video, she talks you through how to hand stitch your own garments, using the Strata Top by Sew Liberated. Alexis teaches you about the different hand tools you can use for stitching and the different types of stitches for garments.

Strata Top – Sew Liberated

The Strata Top is the backbone of your handmade wardrobe and a great pattern for beginners. It was designed to be both a practice of meditation and a canvas for artistic inspiration. It is simple in its construction – only three pattern pieces – easy to fit, and effortless to wear. The uniquely curved hem adds elegance to this staple piece. Keep things uncomplicated with a version in a slub linen blend, cotton ikat, or silk noil – or use the fabric as your canvas. Try using beloved scraps to piece together your own storied fabric, experiment with natural dyes, or add some sashiko embroidery.

Sizing: US 0 – 30 (approx. UK 8 – 30). Format: PDF or paper.

Adding an exposed ruffle to a dress with Montoya Mayo

Montoya has a brilliant sewing blog where she writes about her sewing adventures sharing her makes, DIY fashion and sells sewing pattern tutorials in her online shop. In her video she teaches us how to add an exposed hem ruffle to a dress using McCalls M7943. The skills she will teach us can be used to add an exposed hem ruffle to any dress.

McCalls M7943

This loose fitting McCalls M7943 dress has a back opening with a hook and eye closure. Version C has a left side front slit.

Sizing: Y (XS-S-M), Z (L-XL), approx. UK sizes Y (4 – 10), Z (12 – 18/20). Format: paper.

Incorporating paper piecing into garment sewing with Samantha from Purple Sewing Cloud

Samantha blogs at Purple Sewing Cloud where she shares her makes and pattern reviews. She also enjoys lots of other creative hobbies including baking, knitting, crochet, embroidery and most recently paper piecing. Samantha is also an active campaigner in making sewing and crafts more accessible for everyone. In her video she shares a tutorial on incorporating paper piecing into your garment sewing using the March Dress by Helen’s Closet and Ayora Jacket from Pauline Alice. For the March Dress Samantha adds a beautiful panel to the front bodice and for the Ayora Jacket she adds a panel around the hem, matching with the pockets.

March Dress – Helen’s Closet

The March Top and Dress is a fun retro-style pattern featuring voluminous sleeves in two lengths and a gathered skirt (View A), gathered peplum (View B), or a straight peplum (View C). This whimsical design is comfortable, easy to style, and fun to wear! The interfaced front and back bodice panels add visual interest and provide a great place for a featured fabric or embellishment like embroidery. Views A and B are finished with a neck tie that you can tie in the front or leave to hang open. View C has a clean neckline finish with no tie. The neck tie can be added or removed from any of the views. The dress view features extra deep in-seam pockets that are secured into the waistband seam.

Sizing: US 0 – 30 (approx. UK 6 – 30). Format: PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.

Ayora Jacket – Pauline Alice

Ayora is a short, reversible quilted jacket. It has a boxy shape, long set-in sleeves and a stand-up collar. There are two big patch pockets on the front and a small one inside. The neckline, hem and sleeves are all finished with facings. It closes with snaps.

Sizing: EU 34 – 52 (approx. UK 6 – 22). Format: paper.


Puffed sleeve pattern hacks with Emily from Self Assembly Required

Emily has a blog at Self Assembly Required and makes lots of lovely makes, sharing her reviews and tips on how to hack patterns. In her video for The Sewing Weekender, Emily teaches us how to hack your sleeve pattern pieces to create different on trend puff sleeves. For this tutorial, Emily has chosen a basic sleeve pattern piece that isn’t too fitted. At the end of the video Emily shows a puff sleeve she has added to the Nina Lee Park Lane Dress and Top we mention earlier in this blog post. We would also recommend the follow patterns to add a puff sleeve: Cissy Dress by Homer and Howells, Helmi Trench Blouse and Tunic Dress by Named and Quincy Dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.
Woman wearing the Cissy Dress sewing pattern by Homer and Howells. A dress pattern made in cottons, cords, wool or crepe fabrics, featuring a slightly boxy fit, boat neck, bracelet length sleeves, centre back zip. Deep pleats in the skirt create volume and movement, plus side seam pockets.

Cissy is the perfect, versatile midi dress. She is a modern throw-on style with a slightly boxy fit. Cissy has been drafted with a flattering boat neck, bracelet length sleeves, and centre back zip. The deep pleats in the skirt create volume and movement. And crucially, the side seam pockets are deep and generous.

Sizing: UK 6 – 24 (US 2 – 20). Format: PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


Helmi Trench Blouse and Tunic Dress – Named

The Helmi pattern includes two variations with details you can mix and match! The straight-cut blouse has elements from the classic trench coat, such as the cape and sleeve straps. The rounded collar and slightly curved hem with slits add a touch of soft femininity. The more streamlined tunic variation is also straight-cut and has a simple stand-up collar, half sleeves, and a curved hem. Both variations have a discreet and elegant hidden button placket.

Sizing: EU 32 – 56 (approx. UK 4/6 – 28). Format: paper, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


Quincy Dress – Jennifer Lauren Handmade

The Quincy Dress is a classic shirt-waist dress that blends fun construction techniques with an effortless silhouette. The pattern features a v-neckline, bust darts for shaping and a fully enclosed yoked back bodice. Pockets are neatly integrated into the panelled skirt, and the in-built drawstring casing creates a relaxed and casual look. The set-in sleeves are slightly longer than standard short sleeves and are more relaxed in style. Sleeve variations include a straight turn-and-hem sleeve or a notched cuff sleeve. Quincy also includes pattern pieces in A to D cups so you’ll no longer need to make additional bust adjustments for the perfect fit!

Sizing: UK 6 – 24 with A, B, C and D cups. Format: paper, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


All photos are copyright of the maker(s) featured.

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