Very Quick and Easy patterns which are not timed

My previous post was on patterns which the pattern companies claim you can sew in 3 hours or less. The 2022 version of that post is here : Sew a garment in less than 3 hours.

The patterns in this post are obviously quick and simple, but the publishers are not committing themselves about how long you need to make them !
Few specific patterns mentioned here, instead there are many extensive pattern ranges to explore.

2022 – I have updated the links in the earlier version of this ‘not-timed patterns’ post.

The same comments about fabrics apply as in the other post :
Quality fabrics can give a luxury look to even the simplest of styles. Choose wovens with a bit of body, so they don’t need much support from interfacing and don’t change shape while you’re sewing them. Not slippery, doesn’t fray easily. Similarly with knits – choose stable ones, that aren’t too floppy. Knits have the advantage they don’t fray, so no need for seam finishing. And there are non-knit fabrics like this too.

Some of these patterns may use less than ideal sewing processes to speed up the make. You can always choose to take a bit longer on better techniques, though it may take some thought.

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Some patterns for quick casual outfits

Some very simple patterns for skirts and pants :
elastic waist skirts.
elastic-waist pants.

For casual outfits, combine those with these free slouchy top download patterns from Tessuti :
Athina with cut-on sleeves, added length, straight sides (wovens)
Mandy boxy top with separate sleeves (knits)
Monroe top with turtleneck (knits, stretch fabrics)

Pattern companies and special pattern lines

Many of these suggestions are ‘easy’ pattern lines, on the assumption that means they would also be quick for an experienced sewist. The patterns may be easy, but you need to check if they would be quick for you.

There are many Burda Super Easy items (there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting a listing of just those patterns). Though do look at the patterns with care – there are patterns in that group which include darts, inseam pockets, zips. Burda envelope patterns do include seam allowances.

I find Burda Easy magazine is a more believable source of easy patterns. Here’s the Burda Style site. Scroll down the left menu to where individual issues of Burda Easy magazine are listed. Patterns from Burda magazines do need seam allowances added.

All the patterns from 100 Acts of Sewing are ultra simple. Her book includes 4 full size traceable patterns with instructions for many changes. And her Creative Bug video classes include download patterns.

See the ePatterns among the download patterns from Sewing Workshop. There’s a dress, jacket, vest, skirt, tee. Add elastic waist pants for a complete wardrobe.

I don’t sew knits myself so I’m not very aware of patterns for them, but I know many people like Pamela’s Patterns and find them quick to sew.

If you like a flouncy / lagenlook style, and have tried the pattern so you’ve found the pitfalls, a few of Tina Givens patterns use simple shapes and techniques, and most are downloads. Though ‘buyer beware’, you do need to know enough to correct any gaps in the patterns and instructions. If you like a softer look but don’t want to go completely lagenlook, many of these can be shortened to thigh length and worn with other skirts, pants or jeans.

If you don’t need good instructions, there are the ‘one figure’ styles from Hot Patterns, all downloads. Also most of the styleARC patterns suitable for beginners (though ignore their claims about fit, there’s no way the same pattern can fit well on both triangle and inverted-triangle body shapes).

And it’s worth searching for the gems among the dross in the free download patterns from (adult patterns are from Hot Patterns).

Yet more simple tops and bottoms among the Sure Fit Designs Made in a Day styles. Most of these can be made starting from any basic top and pants fitting slopers, not just the SFD ones. Though you do need to do a bit of pattern work the first time you use them.

Quick and easy jackets are usually loose fitting with no collar. Maybe no closure, or use snaps, clasps, frogs, ties, cord loops instead of buttonholes. Often with cut-on sleeves. Or made from rectangles with square armholes. Sometimes raglan sleeves. There are patterns for these from many companies. Here’s my post from 2011 listing quick jackets from independent designers – most are still available.

MacPhee Workshop It’s Magic and World’s Easiest are ingenious simple casual patterns, though for my taste the techniques are sometimes over simplified. As they’re in Canada, there are many warm jackets and coats – not usual in quick pattern collections.
A couple of those are versions of the one-fabric-piece bog coat. Here’s Shirley Adams’ video about making a bog coat without a pattern.

I now have a pinterest board of patterns for very easy jackets and vests.

For a slight increase in skills and time needed, there’s a large range of Fast and Easy patterns from Butterick.

Very easy wardrobe patterns

Make your co-ordination decisions quick and easy by using a wardrobe pattern. The list is much shorter than it used to be but there are still many easy New Look patterns for 2 or 3 items, such as :

for knits :
New Look 6735 (‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants),
New Look 6730,
New Look 6458,
New Look 6216.

for wovens :
New Look 6461,
New Look 6292.
This one isn’t labelled ‘easy’ (skirt and pants have darts and zips), but is nearly and has a ‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants : New Look 6217.

Here are two more easy-sew suggestions for simple basic wardrobes, both with several length options and more possible :
Butterick 3039 – top/tunic/dress, skirt, pants, short sleeve shirt-jacket – cut on sleeves, buttons – body bust 36-54″.
Simplicity 4789 – jacket/vest, jumper dress, pants – fitted sleeve – body bust 32-50″.

Burda 7075 is another ‘core 4’ pattern. It is in their Super Easy range, but includes darts, zips, in-seam pockets, so the techniques used are definitely lower Intermediate.

My favourite easy wardrobe pattern used to be the 6-item Central Park pattern by Park Bench Patterns :
park bench wardrobe
Now if you search for it you’ll get much information about benches in parks, but the pieces are easy enough to copy.

‘Learn to Sew’ pattern ranges

If you’re an experienced sewist, then you’ll probably find these patterns easy to make.

Simplicity Learn to sew
McCall’s Learn to sew (avoid the camp shirt 6972, or add a neck facing so you can sew the collar quickly and easily).

Although these are ‘Learn to Sew’ patterns, many of them would be challenging as a first project for most complete beginners. But they do usually use simple techniques and clear instructions. I think the Simplicity instructions are better for beginners, but that won’t matter so much for an experienced sewist.

I’ve linked to pattern lines that I think are mostly genuinely ‘easy’. But this needs care – look carefully at the line diagrams of patterns labelled Easy or Beginner by many of the pattern companies, which may not be at all quick or even simple. Assess these patterns for whether they use techniques that are trouble free and quick for you.
I think the Very Easy Vogue label is especially mis-leading for beginners, these patterns often use techniques which would be called ‘intermediate’ by anyone else 😀

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Many good quick-sew options. But we do need to allow for our own way of working. People who often sew quickly will go “oh good, 1 hour. . . whizz. . .done”. Meanwhile I’m saying “hmm, I do need to make samples of that stitch on my new machine. . . hmm, I need to adapt that pattern for my x, y, z fitting issues. . . hmm, that style element may be quick to sew but often doesn’t look good on me, I’d better make a test garment. . .”. I can take months to make a 1-hour pattern 😀 I can’t happily sew quickly a pattern that’s new to me. If I want some quick sewing, it has to be a Tried ‘N True pattern, one on which all the testing and development work has already been done.

But the quick pattern choices are wide. These days the need for speed doesn’t restrict you to making very plain classics. Copy the well known designers (such as Eileen Fisher) who make very simple shapes in very special fabrics.

Good Luck with finding some speedy patterns which suit your clothing style and your sewing style. Then, if you want to, you can happily build a wardrobe with minimum effort 😀

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Patterns and links available July 2022

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