Sew Guide » Design & Make your own clothes with FREE SEWING PATTERNS

Design & Make your own clothes with FREE SEWING PATTERNS

Sewing Pattern making tutorials – Design and sew your own clothes

You have two choices now that you have decided to make your own clothes – either make your own patterns with the help of tutorials in this site or buy commercial patterns. Both are good but making paper patterns is a little bit more adventurous than getting ready made pattern. Read on if you are up to it. 

Most of the clothes available in the retails shops today are made like cookies ; Of the same pattern, of the same size. Without considering that God has made us all unique. No other body is the same unless you are a twin. 

I never get to the cash counter of a retail shop or look at a fashion magazine without thinking that I could make that myself. After learning to sew your own clothes, before long you will be doing it yourself.

Not that sewing is very inexpensive; It costs money to buy fabric and the factory made general sized clothing are sometimes very inexpensive. They don’t last long which is another matter. Think of yourself as a designer and you will be wearing good quality clothes which will last a very very long time.


If you have been buying clothes off the shelf till now but now you feel you should make your own clothes – you are at the right place. You can now own clothes which are more fitting and more comfortable and can wear it with a pride of having made it yourself. Not to mention the kind of pleasure you get when you make something yourself .

Checkout the post on the different types of clothes available for you to make yourself

It is not very difficult to make sewing patterns yourself. In fact it is easy once you know how to. Just allow yourself to make small mistakes and then you are ready to go. Make the first garment in an inexpensive fabric and you will be able to forgive yourself for the mistakes you inevitably will be making with your first few projects

If you like a particular ready made dress you can make a copy of it by making a sewing pattern from it – checkout this tutorial for making a copy of your dress .

copy old dress

Checkout these posts on How to take body measurements for making sewing patterns ; How to read a tape measure  and the  sewing tools you need for starting making clothes

Capsule Wardrobe – the 18 clothes you should have in your wardrobe and the 12 basic dress silhouettes.

If you are an absolute beginner to sewing Checkout this post with all the sewing tips and techniques a beginner who is learning how to sew should learn.

learn to sew

Drafting a pattern can be done on the paper or the cloth directly. Once you have made paper patterns, unless your body has not changed, you can keep on sewing with the same pattern again and again. 

Main advantages of using paper patterns 

1. Time saving, if making the garment / or a single piece of garment like a sleeve, again; as once you make a pattern you don’t have to waste time the next time you are making a similar dress, in taking measurement and marking on paper etc ; you can just go about choosing your fabric and start sewing.
2. Ease of use is an obvious advantage as, if we mark directly on to the fabric and if there is some alteration in the measurement, the markings you have made may mess up your cloth.

Marking tools to transfer the patterns to your fabric

A very useful and cheap marking tool which will be available with everyone is a piece of soap. Use left over thin slithers of soaps from your bathroom and store them near your cutting table. They can be used to mark on fabric- the advantage being that unlike all the traditional marking tools I have mentioned below they can easily be removed by rubbing gently with a wet cloth.

Types of markingDescription AdvantagesDisadvantagesHow to use it
Tailor's chalkThis chalk is especially made for fabric marking and comes in a number of colours; choose one in contrast to your clothThis chalk is very easy to use and is gone with a wet wipe or washthe marking might fade very fast with slightest touchuse this chalk like a pencil to trace around the pattern.
Tracing wheelA pizza cutter like marking tool which makes small dotes in its wake.if used above a carbon paper creates a visible dotted line the marks will go off with a wet rubbing; easy to see and not so easily removed as chalk.mark made is difficult to see if used alone so cannot be used on see through or printed clothes. Also never use with carbon paper with dry clean only clothes or clothes which may not be washed before use.use cardboard underneath to protect the other side of clothes and surface.
Marking pen The ink in these pens disappear in a few dayseasy to usesome inks may not disappear so test on a patch of clothuse like chalk
Bar soapa sliver of bar soap is used to markcheap and you will have it at home alwayscant be used on dry clean only fabrics; very difficult to see the marks on light coloured farbricsuse like chalkn
StichesUsing needle and thread to stitch markings by handbest for heavy patterned clothesvery difficult and time consuminguse tracing paper and wheel to make markings on wrong side then hand sew the line.
snips/clippingthese are made using scissors; small snips are made at appropriate placeseasyDo not over do it otherwise it can weaken the seamclip about 1/4 inches into the seam allowance.
Tacksuse contrasting thread to make small stitch without knotting the threadused in places where marking with chalk and other tools are impossiblethe stitch may come loosecheck out this video on how to sew tailor's tacks by

How to cut your fabric by using a pattern

For more details on cutting fabric check the post ‘ Top tips  to cut fabric perfectly’

Pattern pieces normally represent a garment’s right half. Fold your fabric in half lengthways with right sides together. Place the paper pattern piece straight on fold and pin spaced about 10 cms apart;  cut accurately. Do not forget to place one hand near the cutting line for stability while you cut with the other hand.

Some tips when marking your own patterns on to the fabric

  1. Mark accurately – be as precise as possible
  2. You do not have to mark on the 2 fabric layers but while cutting this has to be taken into account
  3. Always test your marking tool (chalk or pencil or tracing wheel) to see the impact on your chosen fabric and whether the mark will remain, or will it stain the fabric etc
  4. Be sure to use a sharp pair of sewing scissors. If your scissors are blunt the edges will turn out ragged.
  5. Take long cuts rather than many small cuts on straight edges and short cuts on curves.



Make a Camisole top

how to sew a camisole top

Make an easy  Bolero Jacket 

bolero diy sewing pattern

Make an easy sleeveless top 

sleeveless top pattern

Make a Lace vest with Mandarin collar

diy lace vest

Make a Panelled Lehanga Skirt 

lehenga skirt pattern

Make an Umbrella dress – free pattern

umbrella dress pattern

Make a tank top with embroidered yoke 

tank top pattern


8 ways to make a cape

cape patterns

Make a Boho style Top

boho top pattern

3 ways to sew Off shoulder top

off the shouder top sewing pattern

DIY Drawstring Lounge Pants 

drawstring lounge pants

Sew a Cami dress / slip dress

cami slip pattern

Sew an easy open front drapey Jacket

easy jacket pattern

DIY Slip Extender 

skirt extender slip

Sew a Princess cut blouse 

princess cut blouse

Sew a Petticoat skirt

Sew an A line dress 

a line dress


9 Different types of fabric fringes 


 free DIY pattern & sewing tutorial

pyjama pants pattern

fabric bow tutorials

bow belt

how to make a neck tie tie for girls

leggings pattern

Make an Aline Yoke skirt

a line skirt pattern


Draft pattern and sew  a half slip


make a half slip

Make an easy SHIRT SKIRT

This is made from a men’s shirt – step by step sewing instructions 

shirt skirt

Make a shorts with elastic waistband in the back and a fitting wasitband in the front. This pattern has a side opening with zipper and pant hooks. 

shorts pattern

Learn to sew different types of salwar kameez pants like Plain Salwar pants, Dhothi pants, chudidhar pants, Patiala Pants and Parallel pants.

how to sew salwar pants

Make DIY patterns to sew 8 basic styles of skirts –

A line skirt ,Gathered skirt,Half circle skirt ,Full circle skirt,Handkerchief skirt,Gored skirt,Tulip hemmed skirt, Layered skirt,Waistband

You can design your neckline shape yourself with these patterns

Learn to draft different styles of Sleeves for your bodice. Turn any sleeveless top or dress into a sleeved garment very easily. Change the sleeves of your existing dress to a sleeve that suits you.

Kaftan dress

A Kaftan is the best and easiest dress or tunic that you can make for yourself. In just 2-3 seams you have a beautiful garment you have made for yourself.

A very youthful and trendy style top which is what you need for your next top.

With this tutorial you can draft pattern to sew a simple A line nighty as well as yoked nighty; you will also find instructions to make a gathered nighty.

A bodice top is something which you can alter to any style you want. Let your creativity run riot altering this pattern to what you want it to be. 

Sew a simple and fitting sari blouse for your latest sari with this easy to draft and sew pattern. 

Breastfeed your baby in privacy in any setting with this stylish but simple nursing cover. There are 2 ways of making it – both very easy to make even for the ultimate beginner

slouchy beanie hat pattern

More Sewing tutorials 

Also check out

sew buttons how to stitch hem of dresses  9 must know hand stitches - running stitch, catch stitch

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