1Pattern:3Ways Tour - How to Find a Versatile Sewing Pattern

As we continue the 1Pattern:3Ways Tour looking at ways to use one pattern multiple ways, I wanted to take a day to suggest patterns or types of patterns that can really be easily stretched for multiple sewing projects.  Surely you can sew any pattern more than one time, but some patterns really lend themselves naturally to extra mileage.

Here are five questions to ask yourself when you are looking to add a versatile pattern to your pdf (or paper) sewing pattern library.
  1. Is it a closet staple?  Leggings, t-shirts, basic knit dresses and pajamas are types of patterns that are often closet staples - the items that we reach for frequently to dress ourselves or our kids and therefore patterns for these garments can be sewn repeatedly.  Buying a quality sewing pattern for these items makes it more likely you will actually sew the pattern in the first place, possibly sew more than one version at the same time, and maybe even go back to sew it again another time.
  2. Can it be used for both genders?  You can do a lot with creative pattern hacking, but even if you don't have the time to dream of ways to convert a pattern from one gender to the other, many basic patterns are easily used for both genders.  Especially if you have children, grandchildren, or give gifts, these are versatile patterns to have.
  3. How broad is the size range?  As a mother of five children, I am really excited when a pattern has extended sizing.  A pattern that includes well-drafted and appropriately-scaled pattern pieces for sizes 6m to 10 years or more is likely to get high consideration from me.  But even if you aren't sewing for a slew of children, extended sizing helps extend the years you can resew the pattern before you or a child outgrow the size range.
  4. Can it be modified for multiple seasons?  I love a beautiful dress, but many of the popular dress styles are designed for warmer weather (or climates) and don't go well with a cardigan.  I still own some of these patterns, too, but a pattern that can be easily modified (or doesn't need much change other than lengthening sleeves or pant length) will also go a long way in helping you get more bang out of your pdf-pattern-buying-buck.
  5. Do you (or the one who will be wearing it) love it?  Chances are the more you love it, the more you will sew it!
So where do you find patterns like this?  I'll share a couple of my favorites, but I'm not covering the same patterns or designers that are being featured by other bloggers in the tour.  I also recognize there are so many great patterns out there; many I haven't yet sewn.  Leave a comment with your favorite designers and patterns!

I love Titchy Threads for her excellent drafting and technique.  Her size range is pretty great and she designs patterns that are well-suited for both boys and girls and cover the go-to garments we look for on a daily basis with fun twists on design. (you can see one of my posts HERE)

Safari Raglan pattern from Titchy Threads

My favorite legging pattern is the Dressage Leggings from Jennuine Design.  (you can see my post HERE).  I love the style, fit, rise options, and that she includes the equestrian-inspired version and the regular legging version in the same pattern (plus a free tutorial for a ruched version).  Have you seen all the ways sewists are using this pattern for both boys and girls?!  Scroll down through this post at Becca Duval's Top Stitcher's Competition to see how three contestants over the weeks used this pattern (and twice they used it for boys).

A few other specific patterns I've used multiple times (and will multiple more) are:
Soda Pop Polo Shirt from Candy Castle Patterns.  This is a great pattern for girls and boys and really fun to use for upcycling.  It includes several options for collars, hoods, pockets and ruffles and the size range is incredible at 6m to 14 years.  You can read my full post on the three ways I upcycled this pattern for my boys HERE.  I sewed this pattern early in my sewing experience, and I was still happy with the way it came out.  I was new to knits at the time but my boys are still wearing these shirts over a year later.  They are some of their favorite shirts!  *You can win a copy of this pattern by entering our giveaway!

Soda Pop Polo pattern from Candy Castle Patterns
The Cowl Neck Sweater and Dress from Heidi & Finn is a simple and versatile pattern for girls and a super quick sew.  The sleeve is cut on the fold, but the fit has been fine for my daughter, especially since it's a knit fabric.  I love how quickly it sews up and that both the top and dress are so versatile.  My daughter wore the top and dress I made her all fall, winter and spring (the short sleeve).  You can see my post HERE.

What about you?  What are your favorite patterns to sew over and over again?  What designers do you find that you repeatedly sew?  Leave a comment to let me know.

Be sure to keep up with the other posts on our 1Pattern:3Ways Tour and enter our giveaway for an opportunity to win one of three pattern packages.

1Pattern:3Ways Tour Schedule & Links
July 10      Creative Counselor & Sew-Not-Perfect
July 14      Sew Starly
July 17      From-a-box
July 21      create 3.5
July 24      Rebel & Malice
July 28      Sew-Not-Perfect
July 31      Lulu & Celeste
Aug 04      Bee Quilted Beauties
Aug 07      Hattilu Handmade

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