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Teach Yourself to Sew

Sew Simple

Sep 15, 2011
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A little while ago I needed to make a simple bolero jacket. I went shopping for a pattern thinking it would be an easy find. I found a few choices, but to my dismay, they were all included in much larger patterns—generally paired with a formal gown. I cringed at the idea of wasting so much of the pattern, not to mention paying for something I was never going to use. I thought, “why don’t they sell simple, single project patterns?” Well apparently the pattern fairies heard my plea.

This fall Simplicity Pattern Company has introduced a new, inexpensive—only $1.99 each—pattern line. Each envelope includes only one single-view pattern. Though you won’t find advanced items, (ties and elastic seem to be this line’s best friends), included are great sew-in-one-night projects. There are 70 different patterns offered including tops, jackets, skirts, pants, also children’s, household, and crafts.

Do you teach sewing? Consider this line for your students. The projects are easy to sew, the single view format makes it less intimidating, and the price won’t break the bank.

What do you think of this a la carte format? Be sure to check out the complete Sew Simple line.

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  1. User avater Tom Ande August 11th

    Awesome keep it up .. great work

  2. dbirish40 September 25th

    What a great idea. Sometimes you just need that 1 piece that will go with different outfits! Sure helps in these challenging times to update your wardrobe at a fraction of the cost!

  3. Winterdreamdragon September 22nd

    I wish I could have added a PS to my post. I forgot to mention that Wal-mart has these patterns regular price .97 cents. I think the joann's has them listed at the $1.99 price. I saw them at the Joann's but I didn't stop to check their price, I was in there for interfacing on a lunch break and didn't have the extra time to peruse.

  4. Winterdreamdragon September 22nd

    I was really happy to see these in my local Wal-mart, in fact I was already thrilled to pieces that they brought the fabric section back after taking it completely out. I picked up patterns 1969 shirt and 1967 pants. I'm currently in the process of cutting out the top. There are 4 pieces and this shirt goes up to a size 22. I am a bit miffed that there are only a handful of these that go up to a size 22 and mostly shirts, a few dresses and pants. There are several patterns I'd like to get but scaling up the size, i'm just not all that confident yet.
    I know just enough to make something but it still looks very much homemade. I'm just getting back in to my sewing after being away from it for over a decade. I find that these patterns, despite potential fit issues, are pretty cool. I think all patterns are going to have fitting issues for one person or another because we all have different body types. I have yet to come across any pattern that fit me just right without making some adjustments. I find that I learn more by that hands on approach, especially when it comes to fixing something. I think all beginner sewers should know that not every pattern you make is going to come out and fit you beautifully every time. I used to have that expectation and it turned me off for a bit and then I realized simply that even the premade clothes, one size to the same size in a different brand or cut are NOT THE SAME size even though the label says it is.
    I see it like this, even if the patterns don't fit me straight out the package, my first attempt will fit someone and I learn where I need to pay attention to making any adjustments and then I will learn how to make those adjustments if I want to make this shirt again. The next pattern that comes along, I will know where I have to start checking the pattern to see if it needs adjusting.
    Most people who sew that I have come across, if they truly want to learn, they find these a challenge and enjoy the process of making it work for them. Yes I like quick and instant gratification projects, that's why I make home accessories to get that but clothes, I try to take my time even with the simplest pieces.

  5. LindaKaren September 22nd

    It is a great idea. But -- when patterns go on sale at JoAnn's they are usually .99 cents and you get several items in one package! More for your money.

  6. Sherri61 September 21st

    They are already available at There are quite a few patterns. Some for kids.

  7. agatha44 September 21st

    I think this is a great idea. I will be sure to try some.

  8. FFO September 21st

    These patterns have nice styling and I like that you can buy the single project and not a bunch of stuff you don't want for a huge add on price. There are a few patterns that I would stear clear of because they look like a fit disaster waiting to happen (the pants for example would look terrible on majority of people who make that pattern). Word of warning about these simple, quick sew patterns (not these in particular but in general) - the fit and some of the finishing techniques give real 'homemade' results and some beginner sewers get turned off by the results. I have fielded more calls in the past few months from friends and family about sewing problems, poor fit,and finsihing techniques that gave poor results, etc. when it turns out they are all using these quick sew/over simplified patterns. Trying to convince some of these distressed sewers that the pattern direction/design,etc. was the problem and not always something they had done so they would continue their sewing experience (and teach them some simple tailoring techniques while we fixed their projects). Thankfully I worked through my frustration with these pattern buggaboos when I was younger but I know they almost turned me off sewing;hopefully we don't loose a few beginners along the way with these Simple/Easy patterns.

  9. Normandie September 20th

    I echo quiltingfinn's comments entirely. I love tese designs and I love this idea of simple and easy to make garments using uncomplicated techniquies that are suitable for beginners. Starting off sewing like this will give the budding enthusiast the confidence to try another & another..... Voila a seamstress in the making! My adult daughter has suddenly developed an interest in dressmaking/sewing and the concept of this range fits the bill for giving her encouragement to try other things. However. Guess what?? These patterns appear to be in Misses sizes!!??!! Grrrrrr. I despair, I really do. What are teens/young women that have larger sizes in various places, to do? How do teachers overcome this kind of problem? Surely THREADS can start a campaigne to lobby pattern manufacturers for more Plus sizes with styles across the age range? When are manufacturers going to wake up?? There is huge potential for the Plus size market. More and more girls/women are soooo fed up with skinny minny sizes in clothes shops. More & more women are turning/revisiting sewing because they cannot find anything that fits or suits them. There is such a humungous market that is ripe for the pickings. But is there a company that has forethought & innovation to tap into this potential. At the moment I think not.

  10. deladybex September 20th

    Now this is very welcome to see, I see a dress I am making right away. I have seen patterns like these years and soem reminf meof ones I had years ago and these seem updated .

    I will be using these a lot! Thank you for listening to the need and the economy's need as well!

  11. JanMade September 20th

    I think this is a great idea! The patterns are perfect for those looking for a simple, quick project. They are less intimidating for beginners. A beginning sewer should not have to sort through all the different pattern pieces, layouts, etc. Thank you, Simplicity!

  12. schmoy September 20th

    Great idea. There are a couple patterns shown that look interesting. Looking forward to seeing the patterns at my local Joanne's. (I seem to own part of this store!)

  13. quiltingfinn September 20th

    I really like the idea of these patterns. A quick skirt or jacket except if you were plus sizes. The patterns companies consistently miss the plus size market by underestimating our interest in sewing. I loved two of the jacket patterns but can not buy the pattern in my size. ARGHHH.

  14. variadee September 20th

    I have done the same thing multiple times. Just want a simple bolero jacket!

    Am thrilled these one pattern designs are out. They are just what I want. Keep it Simple!

    Looking forward to this line very much.

    Thanks, while sewing with a smile, dottie

  15. Flanerie September 20th

    You know what? I take back my last comment. 2024 is very cute and different. . .definitely worth the two dollars! I will buy at least this one. . .

  16. Flanerie September 20th

    The "single-serve" approach is a great idea, although personally I have so many patterns already in my stash that can be adapted to what is current that I probably won't be purchasing any of these. For newer sewers, though, who don't have that stash, this is a good idea, and you can't beat the cost. I will say, though, that most of the time I liked having the various options available on patterns,so the main draw I see here is not wasting excess pattern tissue but the low-cost way to try a look out.

  17. wpeck September 20th

    I just tried to order one of these patterns from the site, and they quoted over $20 to ship one pattern to Canada. I ordered from another company last week, and was charged $4 for three patterns. Makes no sense, and has really left me with a bad impression of Simplicity policies. What's the point in coming up with creative solutions when you build barriers like this for a market with 35 million people.

  18. Sowsew September 20th

    Wonderful, wonderful idea. Sometime you just want to make a quick item. These patterns fills the need.

  19. User avater smvite September 20th

    Our ASG Los Angeles Teen Neighborhood group made #1970 skirt this past weekend... Great pattern, and perfect for the pleat techniques! Each girls completed a successful skirt in the 3 hour class! Thanks Simplicity for these great patterns!

  20. StephieLondon September 19th

    Saw these in a shop in London - they are in the back of the catalogue. The bolero looks just the ticket rather than the whole ensemble.

  21. sbsford September 16th

    I'm glad you let us know about these. And I particularly like the highlighted pattern. It's a really great idea.

  22. lou19 September 16th

    Some lovely designs.
    I like the browm jacket with side tie, and the blue waterfall jacket.
    Showing the patterns in plain colours helps too as sewers are often distracted by a print ...we either like the fabric or we don't .........and this distracts us from evaluating the pattern.
    Have not seen this line in the UK but will look out for them.

  23. Mizmash September 15th

    What a great find! I really like the pattern you highlighted and will look for it the next time I'm at the fabric store. A bargain at the price! I'm going back to check the rest of the selection. Thank you!

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