If you read my post last week about my experience sewing up Simplicity 2444 you'll know that making that dress was the very first time I'd used a pattern from the 'Big Four' pattern companies (Simplicity, Butterick, McCalls and Vogue). Considering I started sewing around 18 months ago and also the range and number of patterns available from these companies is probably quite surprising. Though when I think about it, it shouldn't have been to me as I love indie patterns so much! It may be the illustrations or styling on the envelopes of the big 4 patterns but I find it much easier to get excited by the more contemporary indie label designs.
|My second Sewaholic Lonsdale|
I think I've stuck with using indie patterns for so long because I find their construction instructions and diagrams to be so amazing for a novice seamstress. I'm a completely self taught seamstress; I learnt by reading sewing blogs for tips and tutorials, referring to sewing books but mainly just by being guided by the instructions of the patterns themselves. One of my earliest projects was the Lonsdale Dress from Sewaholic Patterns. Taisa's pattern instructions are fantastic and include tips and tricks which you just wouldn't find in mass produced patterns. Some of the techniques I learnt making this dress (like using stay tape, clipping seams and lining) are now completely natural steps to me that I use on nearly every project.
|My La Sylphide Blouse from Papercut and Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London|
Indie patterns have a lot going for them, mainly because you can guarantee that so much time, thought and consideration has gone into the creation of each pattern. The packaging is just one example and a particular favourite of mine for this is Papercut Patterns. The patterns arrive in beautiful little boxes with a fold out hanger for storage and and removable postcard image of the design with all the useful 'back of envelope' information on the back; easy to take with you fabric shopping! Then the patterns themselves are printed on lovely robust paper, along with the cutting and construction instructions which you can fold up into a cute little booklet.
|My Elisalex Dress from By Hand London|
|My first Scout Tee from Grainline Studio|
I think there's something for everyone offered by indie designers. Maybe you want your patterns NOW so some designers, like Grainline Studio, provide an instant PDF download option for their patterns. Maybe you're after hard to find modern patterns for men, then new company Thread Theory may be just what you are looking for!
Here's a little round up list of the fab indie pattern designers I know of; I love discovering a new one so hopefully some of you might too!
- Sewaholic Patterns (paper patterns only)
- Papercut Patterns (paper patterns only)
- By Hand London (paper patterns only)
- Colette Patterns (paper and PDF)
- Grainline Studio (PDF only)
- Megan Nielson (paper and PDF)
- Salme Patterns (PDF only)
- Thread Theory (PDF only, soon to be paper too!)
- Victory Patterns (paper and PDF)
- Cake Patterns (paper and PDF)
- Pattern Runway (PDF only)
- Deer & Doe (paper only)
- Sinbad and Sailor (PDF only)
- Closet Case Files (PDF only)
- Tilly and the Buttons (PDF only, soon to be paper too!)
- Blue Ginger Doll Patterns (paper and PDF)
- Aime Comme Marie (in French, paper only)
- Merchant & Mills (paper only)
- Citronille (mainly in French but limited patterns available in English, paper only)
- Jamie Christina (paper only)
- Eliza M Vintage Style Sewing (paper only)
- Ralph Pink (PDF only)
- Named (PDF only, a brand new pattern company!)
- Pauline Alice (PDF only)
- Disparate Disciplines (PDF only)
- Sew Over It (paper only)
- Lolita Patterns (paper only)
- Style Arc (paper only, from Australia)
- Fehr Trade Patterns (PDF only, newly launched!)
- Simple Sew (paper only, free UK postage)