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Threads Contributors Share Their Favorite Patterns

I've used this pattern many times to make jackets. It's from the early Threads Collection of patterns from Simplicity. Note the old Threads logo.

We asked the contributing authors featured on pg. 6 of Threads issue no. 154 (April/May 2011) if they used a specific pattern again and again. We also asked them why they chose that pattern. I was surprised at the variety of responses we received. Three of them (Judith Neukam, the Threads technical editor and author of “Teach Yourself to Sew;” Susan Khalje, a Threads contributing editor; and Sarah Veblen, a frequent Threads author) all chose jacket patterns–albeit different jacket patterns. Linda Lee, another frequent Threads author, chose a pants pattern. If you haven’t read the comments from these authors, you’ll want to read a copy of the May issue (no. 154) now available in most fabric stores or on our website.

As we received the responses from each contributor, it got me thinking. How would I respond to the question that they had been asked? I spent a few minutes considering this. I’ve used many patterns more than once, but there are a few patterns that I’ve really gotten my money’s worth from. I think the key for me is that if the pattern fits well with or without tweaking, it’s a “keeper,” and I’m very likely to make it again. I know if I simply use different fabric when I make the pattern again, the garment will look totally different, and the rest of the world won’t notice the similarity. I might also make a minor design change like adding a different collar, sleeve length, or pocket, usually from among the pattern’s options. 

After much thought, I decided I had three favs because I just couldn’t limit myself to one. The first is a pattern designed for knits. It has a jacket, skirt, top and pants. Years ago I went through a “knit” sewing phase when most of what I made was from knits. That’s when I bought this pattern, and used it often–and I still use it. Knits are so comfortable and are actually forgiving if you gain or lose a pound here or there. The other two are jacket patterns, and I often mix and match the design features from these jackets. They both have collar, sleeve, and hem variations that I draw from depending upon the result I’m aiming for. Between these two patterns, I can make many different jacket styles with ease.

Do you have a favorite pattern? Is there one you’ve used again and again? Why do you keep using it? Tell us about it.


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  1. peej2 | | #1

    I do. It's a Simplicity One-hour pattern to make my sons boxers.
    Poor kids, if I make them, they have to put up with my fabric choices. Jelly beans, fire trucks, abstract, M&M patterns. They are happy to put up with my choices. After all, if they would pull up their pants, no one would see the wild and crazy boxers. Their choice! 8-)

  2. Alexus1325 | | #2

    My go-to pattern has been BurdaStyle's Lydia. It's a simple long-sleeved tee, and using basic pattern manipulation techniques, I've butchered it a million ways. I've made a full front and back yoke (with or without a ruffle set into that seam), given it a bib (ruffled and not), done colour-blocking, made mutton sleeves, puff sleeves, given the sleeves cuffs, finished the neckline in a basic binding and a turtleneck (thanks for the vids, Threads!), built in an ascot, made a crop-top with a bottom elastic... Yep, definitely my favourite pattern! I even had the good fortune of downloading it while it was still free :D

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