Archive for the ‘speedy sewing’ category

Speedy Patterns – to sew in 3 hours or less

November 19, 2016

These are patterns which the pattern companies claim you can sew in 3 hours or less, a list of all the timed patterns I’ve found in print in November 2016.
These times assume you’re an experienced sewer !
And they usually only mean sewing time, not including preparation and cutting time.

I’ve posted several times on the topic of quick-make patterns, starting in 2010. My last post (March 2016) has now expanded so much it was getting unwieldy. So I’ve divided it in two :
– this post, on patterns the companies claim a sewing time for,
– a second post on patterns that are also very quick and easy, though no one makes any claims about how long you’ll need : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed.

Obviously these patterns have to avoid any technique that takes time. So they’re very simple, with few added design features and little shaping. But there are designers who manage to respond to this need by providing interesting shapes and design features that don’t need much work.

It’s also helpful to know which sewing techniques you’re relaxed about. For example, most quick patterns avoid zips and buttonholes, collars and set-in sleeves, any hand sewing. But if you’re a sewist who can do those in a whizz, then why not.

Fabric choice can be crucial. 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.

– – –

Big 4 timed patterns

These are the Big 4 time-limited patterns available in November 2016.

New Look 6816 capsule of knit top, skirt, pants.

Tops and Dresses

All the dress patterns can be shortened to tops and tunics.

New Look 6483 sleeveless and sleeved woven tops.

Butterick 5948 Butterick used to claim these tops could be made in 2 hours, but they’ve changed the envelope.

New Look 6892 peasant style tops.

McCall’s 6558 peasant style tops and dresses.

New Look 6347 sleeveless dresses.

McCall’s 6102 short sleeved dresses with 3 cup sizes.

New Look 6936 cut on short sleeve knit dresses.

New Look 6889 sleeveless and short sleeved dresses.

New Look 6352 sleeveless and short sleeved dresses.

McCall’s 5893 sleeveless and short sleeved empire waist dresses.

McCall’s 6465 sleeveless and sleeved dresses.

Palmer-Pletsch used to claim their camp shirt and banded collar shirt patterns took 2 or 3 hours. The newest versions of these patterns don’t make that claim.
McCall’s 6932 1-piece collar camp shirt.
McCall’s 6613 band collar shirt.

Skirts and Pants

New Look 6399 woven skirts and pants.

Simplicity 1068 knit skirts and pants.

Simplicity 2414 tiered skirts and pants.

New Look 6843 a-line skirts with zip.

McCall’s 5430 wrap skirts.

Butterick 5153 shorts and pants.

McCall’s 6568 slimmer shorts and pants.

Layers

McCall’s 2260 unlined vests.

McCall’s 6084 shawl collar cardigans, woven.

McCall’s 6209 ponchos.

Butterick used to have a quick pattern for waterfall front jackets, Butterick 4989, which is now out of print.

And they had an unlined blazer pattern that Butterick claimed you could sew in 2 hours ! but sadly that has disappeared from their catalogue 😀 Look for Butterick 4138 dated 2004.

McCall’s 6172, the famous Palmer-Pletsch 8-hour lined blazer pattern which sold over a million copies, is now also out of print.

Costumes

McCall’s 7229 nativity.

McCall’s 6142 clown.

– – –

Independent pattern companies

Again these are just the patterns I’ve found which claim specific making times.
There are many more independent pattern companies mentioned in my other post on quick patterns : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed.

For modern casuals, try Seamwork download patterns from Colette Patterns – supposed to take less than 3 hours in total.

For more formal modern classics in less than 3 hours, see Textile Studio Patterns. Shorten the skirts and dresses to transform the look. Or try the jackets at thigh, knee, or low calf length.

Some individual patterns :

Silhouette patterns
600 classic blouse with sew-along webcasts.
85 sweater wrap

CNT jackets
‘A little somethin’ 3 hour shawl collar jacket.
‘Start after breakfast finish before lunch’ jacket with raglan sleeves.

And if you enjoy self-drafted patterns from a book there’s the 1920s One Hour dress by Mary Brooks Picken.

– – –

Of course you may well have your own patterns which you can whip up in a short time. I’ve just been talking about patterns which the pattern companies are willing to make a commitment about. They show that everyone can make a garment quickly, not just people who have a serger/overlocker and are making a tee 😀

Incidentally you may have wondered why there are so few knit patterns in this post. There are many knit patterns in the next post, on quick but not timed patterns : Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed. Perhaps there are so many techniques / tools / notions for making knit garments, the pattern companies don’t want to guess the time you might need.

Whether you enjoy using these fast patterns may depend on your sewing style. I’m not a quick sewer, and I don’t do well under pressure. I need to spend time developing the fit of a pattern and getting secure about the techniques used before I can be sure of making it more quickly.
But there are many people who love to jump straight in for a quick reward to their sewing.

So Good Luck with developing a range of speedy Tried ’N True patterns, if that’s what you enjoy.

– – –

Patterns and links available November 2016

= = =

Very Quick and Easy patterns which are not timed

November 19, 2016

My previous post was on patterns which the pattern companies claim you can sew in 3 hours or less. That post is here : Speedy patterns to make in half a day or less.

The patterns in this post are obviously quick and simple, but the publishers are not actually committing themselves about how long you need to make them !

The same comments about fabrics apply :
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.

(The patterns are tissue unless download is mentioned.)

– – –

Some patterns for quick casual outfits

Here’s a very simple pattern for skirts and pants :
Butterick 3460.

For casual outfits, combine those with these free slouchy top download patterns from Tessuti :
Cut on sleeve, straight sides (sheers)
Cut-on sleeve, a-line (knits)
Boxy with separate sleeves (knits)
There’s also the free MariaDenmark kimono tee (link in right menu).

Pattern companies and special pattern lines

All the patterns from 100 Acts of Sewing are ultra simple.

And the ePatterns among the download patterns from Sewing Workshop. Add quick elastic waist skirts and 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, 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. Some are available as downloads.

And it’s worth searching for the gems among the dross in the free download patterns from fabric.com (many of these are from Hot Patterns).

Also most of the styleARC patterns suitable for beginners are quick and easy.

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.

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 the co-ordination decisions quick and easy by using a wardrobe pattern. Many easy New Look patterns for 2 or 3 items (most both tissue and printable on-line, see size menu), such as :

for knits :
New Look 6762, New Look 6735 (‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants), New Look 6730, New Look 6461, New Look 6458, New Look 6420, New Look 6403, New Look 6402, New Look 6384, New Look 6216.

for wovens :
New Look 6428, 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.

‘Learn to Sew’ pattern ranges

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

Kwik Sew Kwik Start
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 – video on facing pattern here from Louise Cutting)

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 and Kwik Start instructions are better for beginners, but that won’t matter so much for an experienced sewer.

Beware patterns labelled Easy or Beginner by many of the pattern companies, which may not be at all quick or even simple. Assess these patterns carefully for whether they use techniques that are trouble free and quick for you.

– – –

Lots of good 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 work well 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 who make very simple shapes in very special fabrics.

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

– – –

Patterns and links available November 2016

= = =

Update on sources of quick-make patterns

March 5, 2016

I added a list of all the timed patterns currently available from the Big 4, and this post got so large I’ve divided it in 2 sections :
1. Speedy patterns to make in half a day or less
A list of links to current patterns taking 3 hours or less sewing time.
2. Very quick and easy patterns which are not timed
This is not much changed from the post below.

There are wardrobe sewing contests at both Stitchers Guild and Pattern Review at the moment (March 2016).

Many contestants find themselves doing some speed sewing in the final weeks, to get the full number of garments made. So what are some good sources of quick-make patterns ?

Obviously these patterns have to avoid any technique that takes time. So they’re very simple, with few added design features and little shaping. But there are designers who manage to respond to this need by providing interesting shapes and design features that don’t need much work.

It’s also helpful to know which sewing techniques you’re relaxed about. For example, most quick patterns avoid zips and buttonholes, collars and set-in sleeves, any hand sewing. But if you’re a sewist who can do those in a whizz, then why not.

Fabric choice can be crucial. 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 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.

(The patterns are tissue unless download is mentioned.)

– – –

Patterns which the publishers suggest times for

This is the section replaced by a new post.
These times assume you’re an experienced sewer !

BMV used to give sewing times for several of their patterns, but do it less often now. Some of the timed patterns are still available. For casual classics, see previous posts on speedy patterns from the Big 4 which are supposed to take less than 2 hours sewing time.

Here are some new examples from Simplicity-New Look :
New Look 6816, knit cut-on sleeve tops, elastic-waist skirt and pants.
Simplicity 8180, shirts
Simplicity 2414, elastic waist pants and tiered skirts.
New Look 6399, skirts and pants
Simplicity 1068, knit skirts
Simplicity 8219, lined vests.

For modern casuals, try Seamwork download patterns from Colette Patterns – supposed to take less than 3 hours in total.

For more formal modern classics in less than 3 hours, see Textile Studio Patterns. Shorten the skirts and dresses to transform the look. Or try the jackets at thigh, knee, or low calf length.

Easy patterns which are not timed but only slightly less quick

Here’s a very simple pattern for skirts and pants :
Butterick 3460.

For casual outfits, combine those with these free slouchy top download patterns from Tessuti :
Cut on sleeve, straight sides (sheers)
Cut-on sleeve, a-line (knits)
Boxy with separate sleeves (knits)
There’s also the free MariaDenmark kimono tee (link in right menu).

All the patterns from 100 Acts of Sewing are ultra simple.

And the ePatterns among the download patterns from Sewing Workshop. Add quick elastic waist skirts and pants for a complete wardrobe.

If you like a flouncy / lagenlook style, and have tried the pattern so you’ve found the pitfalls, 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. Some are available as downloads.

And it’s worth searching for the gems among the dross in the free download patterns from fabric.com (many of these are from Hot Patterns).

Also most of the styleARC patterns suitable for beginners are quick and easy.

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.

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 the co-ordination decisions quick and easy by using a wardrobe pattern. Many easy New Look patterns for 2 or 3 items (most both tissue and printable on-line, see size menu), such as :

for knits :
New Look 6762, New Look 6735 (‘core 4’ of jacket, top, skirt, pants), New Look 6730, New Look 6461, New Look 6458, New Look 6420, New Look 6403, New Look 6402, New Look 6384, New Look 6216.

for wovens :
New Look 6428, 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.

‘Learn to Sew’ pattern ranges

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

Kwik Sew Kwik Start
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 – video on facing pattern here from Louise Cutting)

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 and Kwik Start instructions are better for beginners, but that won’t matter so much for an experienced sewer.

Beware patterns labelled Easy or Beginner by many of the pattern companies, which may not be at all quick or even simple. Assess these patterns carefully for whether they use techniques that are trouble free and quick for you.

– – –

Lots of good 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 work well 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. There are several designers who make very simple shapes in very special fabrics.

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

– – –

First published March 2016, links and patterns updated November 2016 (how quickly things change on the web. . .)

= = =

Speedy Patterns update 2013

April 6, 2013

The Stitchers Guild annual Sewing With A Plan contest comes to an end on Tuesday April 30. So it’s time for an update of patterns that can be sewn in less than 2 hours – to help with any last minute sprint to the finishing line 😀

The SWAP requirement this year is to make a couple of different capsules of :
5 items : 3 tops, 2 bottoms, or
4 items : 2 tops, 1 bottom, 1 dress
plus a linking item which can be worn with both groups.
Giving a total 9, 10, or 11 items.

There’s a very wide variety of patterns available which the pattern companies claim can be sewn in less than 2 hours.
As there are dozens of them, I’m giving more information here about the few that I haven’t covered before, and just giving links to the ones I’ve shown drawings of previously.

[2015 update : There’s a download pattern line, Seamwork from Colette patterns, which claim to be makable in less than 3 hours.]

This list includes patterns that are oop but still available from US BMV (in 2013).

– – –

Wardrobes and outfits

Simplicity 1561 described as sleepwear, but could be tunic, camisole, pants

”s1561”

Simplicity 5314 – sleepwear robe and pants. Shorten the robe for casual jacket-pants.

”s5314”

Simplicity 8589 – quick maternity wardrobe, for wovens.

”s8589”

Previously mentioned patterns :
New Look 6816 – knit top, skirt and pants.
Butterick 5225 – Life Style Wardrobe coded Easy rather than Very Easy. Butterick say it (presumably each garment) needs 2 hours of sewing time.

– – –

Outerwear

Nancy Cornwell’s 90 minute fleece book has patterns for capes, ponchos, vests, scarves.

Previously mentioned patterns :
McCall’s 6209 – ponchos with a variety of shapes and necklines.
McCall’s 3448 – even easier, 1 hour ponchos.

And see the capes below.

– – –

Costumes

Make on the day needed. (Though, having once supervised the making of an entire Shakespeare play costumes in style like the nativity ones, in 2 days, I wouldn’t recommend this for peace of mind !)

McCall’s 2339 – nativity.

”s2339”

McCall’s 6142 – clowns.

”m6142”

McCall’s 4139 – vampire capes.

”m4139”

– – –

Dresses

Simplicity 1609 is a vintage 60s dress pattern for wovens, which they call a ‘Jiffy’ dress. In the 60s it was a quick make in comparison to what had gone before. But as it has a back zip and many darts, it’s not quick by today’s standards.

”s1609”

Many quick dress patterns have been shown in previous posts.

Knits

McCall’s 6074 – gathered front, sleeveless.
McCall’s 5893 – empire bodice, short sleeve option.

Wovens

Butterick 5211 – shift, short sleeves.
McCall’s 6551 – shift with 2 necklines, 2 sleeves, 3 hems.

McCall’s 6465 – slightly a-line, 4 sleeves, 4 hems.
McCall’s 6102 – a-line, cup sizes to C and D, sleeveless or short sleeve.
McCall’s 9172 – a-line, sleeveless or short sleeves.

New Look 6804 – sleeveless.
New Look 6889 – sleeveless or cap sleeve.

New Look 6890 – gathered neckline, 5 raglan sleeve options, 3 lengths.
McCall’s 6558 – peasant style, 3 bodices, elastic waist, 4 hems.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – tops, dresses
includes quick dress patterns from independent designers.

Or find some of the fabric that is shirred along one side. Simply cut a length to go round you comfortably. Sew one seam to make a tube with the shirring at one end, and there’s a sun-dress. Well, you might like to take the time to add some straps.

– – –

Jackets

I haven’t found anything new, but there are many existing possibilities.

Knits

Butterick 5224 – many empire waist options.
McCall’s 5241 – cascade style cardigan, 3 front lengths all with the same back.

Wovens

Butterick 4989 – various cascade/ waterfall front options.
McCall’s 6084 – cascade shawl collar with 4 sleeve lengths.

Butterick 4138 – unlined blazer they say can be made in 2 hours ! Choice of pocket styles and long or short sleeves.
Not so quick, the Palmer-Pletsch 8 hour jacket, McCall’s 6172.

These posts – Quick patterns update 2012 – skirts, pants, jackets, and Fast jackets – both include quick jacket patterns from independent designers.

Least-effort jacket ? Shirley Adams shows how to make a fleece jacket in a few minutes – in her Bog coat video.

Vests

McCall’s 2260 – unlined vests

– – –

Tops

Several tops which I have given pictures of before, and which are still available :

New Look 6807 – 4 raglan sleeve options, knits.
New Look 6892 – raglan ‘peasant’ style, many sleeve options, wovens.

McCalls 5855 – 1-hour kaftan.

Butterick 5948 – dartless pullovers with various necklines, body and sleeve lengths. Site used to say they could be sewn in 2 hours, but no longer does. Borderline perhaps!

The 2015 Palmer-Pletsch shirts are :
McCall’s 6932 3 hour camp shit.
McCall;s 6613 band collar shirt – makes no time claims !

And many of the dress patterns can easily be shortened to make a top.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – tops, dresses
includes quick top patterns from independent designers, mainly for knits. Peggy Sagers demonstrates sewing Silhouette patterns 600 Classic Blouse for wovens in 1 hour in her associated webcast.

Many people have tee/ knit patterns they can make in a whiz on a serger/ overlocker. But if the pattern company doesn’t claim that, I haven’t mentioned it.

– – –

Skirts

Previously mentioned patterns :

McCall’s 5430 – wrap flared skirt.
Silhouette 2050 – straight wrap skirt with darts, button closure, no vertical seams.
McCall’s 6567 – elastic waist skirt with various lengths and hems, also a mock wrap version.
Simplicity 2368 – dirndl, mock wrap and 4 gore styles, 3 lengths.

Or make a dirndl skirt by cutting 2 fabric rectangles and sewing a casing for elastic around the top.

Skirt and pants
Simplicity 2414 – tiered skirt + elastic waist pants.

Pants
Butterick 5153 – one-seam pants, for women, men, children, various lengths.
McCall’s 6568 – elastic waist pants, 3 lengths, 2 leg shapes.
McCall’s 5889 – 1 hour tapered leg pants include several lengths.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – skirts, pants, jackets – includes quick skirt and pant patterns from independent designers.

new pattern 2015 : Simplicity 1068 for knit skirts and pants.

– – –

Dozens more quick sewing patterns at AllFreeSewing. Though of course there’s no guarantee of the quality of the patterns or instructions.

What a rich selection, so many styles to choose from – pretty, casual, elegant, business-like. Which do you like ?

24 days left to the end of the SWAP contest.

So you need no more than 5 minutes of sewing time a day to make one of these patterns in the time available.

Or – whew – starting from scratch ? There are so many of these patterns to choose from – you could make one item a day starting from now, make a whole SWAP wardrobe, and finish with two weeks to relax and recover before the end of the contest !

Enjoy your sewing, make what you love.
So only do speedy sewing if you find it fun 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available (some patterns oop and only from US BMV) April 2013

= = =