69: Free Patterns

This month’s sponsors:

Fibr&Cloth: Free Iris zero waste shirt pattern

Warp&Weft Textiles: $100 gift certificate

Jennifer Lauren Handmade:  Free pdf pattern (ISLA pronounced EYE-la perhaps?)

Catch Up


I’ve done more dyeing than sewing since we last met, and this morning I took a “how to paint on fabric” class offered by TopStitchAtl and Katie Kortman – and it was grant.  My results will appear in the show notes – we basically played around with paint, thick and think, and learned about mixing colors, using water to create soft edges, and such.  Very fun!

Painted fabric hanging on a fence to dry.
Fabric tied up and held together with rubber bands, placed in a cardboard box.
Woman wearing dress with blue and purple tie-dye, some parts of the dress are white.  Woman is facing away.

I did make a DragonFruit dress from b&w Ankara fabric with some white with black polka dots scraps as part of the double ruffle sleeves.  I’ve started tagging those sleeves as #KatieKortmanSleeves – it seemed fitting.


Want to mention some independent fabric stores that I have recently purchased from.  I bought some linen viscose noil and Merchant and Mills ribbing from Harts Fabric.  

I also purchased some Merchant and Mills linen from Fancy Tiger crafts. They don’t have any more of the blue/purple color I got but have many others.  Mine is going to become a Cris Wood Sews Daydream dress, after i make one in a less expensive linen to test out the fit.

Working on a super-secret project that will be revealed by the time this goes on the air so I can talk about it.  

I got this beautiful fabric at Mood – cotton voile, black base, giraffes, peacocks, snakes, grecian ladies, flowers – you know- SUBTLE.  I’m making a shirt for Jim. It has a camp-style collar and pockets on each side.  I matched the pockets but not the pocket closures (too hard!).  I am making it short sleeved for summer.  This is an anniversary present. 3 years!

BEVERLY – OMG – I ordered this earlier this week.  LOL!  That’s hilarious – now I’ll be able to match you or Jim.  

I am super excited about the #pfScrappy theme.  I am planning a dress made with linen scraps pieced together to make an abstract version of the view where Jim and I got engaged.  Inspired by 

New Patterns

True Bias Emerson has had a size expansion up to 60” waist, 64.5” hip

Small sizes

Not sure if it’s a new pattern, but I wanted to call attention to the June bonus pattern for Style Arc.  It’s the Eileen Dress, and they have added some size diversity in models.  I wanted to mention it because we have noted their lack of size diversity previously.

  • Shirring detail on sleeve
  • Gathered side waist
  • Round neck
  • In-seam pockets
  • Centre back split,loop and button for woven version

Can be made in knit or woven fabrics (shown in knit on left, woven on right in photo).

New pattern:

Rivlin Ruffle Dress:  Max 64” hip

Line drawings of dress pattern in short, medium and maxi lengths

THisis a new to me designer. I shared the pattern on Insta, and the designer offered me a copy to try out.  I’ve already ordered the printed pattern from friend of the show ThePlottedPattern and can’t wait to sew this one up.  I think I’ll do knee length with tiny neck and armhole ruffles first…

New & Free pattern: 

Belt from CrisWoodSews – Cinch Belt

Person wearing lime green belt around tan colored dress.

Free Patterns

Free Pattern Database with Max sizes!

Making and Books Free Patterns Database

Buy a coffee for Making and Books

I did the math for you: 105 free patterns, 45 up to standard of show, 15 that will fit Jenny. Clearly there is a need for more free patterns in larger sizes.  I fit into all but 1 of the patterns.

Some of our favorites:


Deer and Doe Plantain shirt (up to max 58/50/60)

Small sizes

Large sizes

Person wearing maroon 3/4 length tee shirt with black jeans
Person wearing blue and white striped 3/4 length sleeve tee shirt.

Fibremood Frances shirt – haven’t made yet, but really want to!  

Person wearing white shirt with elastic gathered grown on sleeves.

Rebecca Page Toronto Tee – my favorite t-shirt pattern – max size 54/50/57

Person wearing blue tee shirt with red stripes and small pocket

Sew House Seven Elemental Skirt – max size 57” waist 65” hip

Person wearing navy blue tee shirt with heathered grey skirt.

Hey June Handmade Allspice Apron – I made these as gifts for my mom and Jim not last Christmas but year before.  Great opportunity for scraps!  I like this apron because there are no ties.  Max measurements 60” hip.  

Jenny:  I don’t really have many free pattern favorites – because mostly there just aren’t many choices in the types of garments I like to make.

Amy Nicole Studios – Krissa Top is a super cute cropped shell top with a split back. Easy and free to download from Amy’s site. Bust measurement: 30in-56.5in bust. 

 I haven’t made this yet – but it’s pretty cute, and now is on my radar. 

Sarah Kirsten – Morning Glory top is a cute open backed top with tie detail designed for woven fabrics, sent to you for free if you enter your email address. This is more of a template for how to make the top to your own measurements so there is no size range – you calculate the size of the pieces to fit you!

 I have made this a few times; my favorite version adds on a gathered shirt with elastic back, inspired by HandmadeMandy on Instagram.   

Overall, free patterns aren’t that exciting for me – I’m fortunate that I can afford to buy most any pattern I’m interested in.  While only about 15% of the list is accessible to me from a max hip perspective, that’s still better than in previous years.  And honestly, the last time I did the math, only about 30% of patterns in most data bases were accessible for me – so 15% of free patterns doesn’t sound so bad comparatively.  

I find that sizing is hit or miss on the upper end of commercial patterns, and that seems to hold true for free patterns.  

I’ll look forward to the news being better next year on the free (and paid!) pattern front for people with outsized measurements!

Favorites not on that list:

Mood sewciety – I wonder if the Plotted Pattern would offer a service to take these letter size and make into A0?

On the home page of their patterns, they have categories such as gender free and adaptive along with cosplay, basics, swimwear, etc. The patterns are crosslinked by key words. So if you find a dress and it is adaptive, you can click and get all the adaptive patterns, or zero waste or whatever category it falls in.  

The Cadia Shirt is one I think Jenny mighty like as a starting point based on sleeve style.  It is a zero waste pattern so you wouldn’t probably have to cut and paste!

Mannequins wearing three versions of the same top.  One grey with navy belt.  One blue and green plaid and one brown.  All versions have large gathered sleeves

You should also take a look at Frugalisima’s YouTube channel.  She often mentions free patterns and gives the maximum measurements so you don’t have to waste time with patterns that won’t fit you. In the Free Patterns Playlist she has 96 videos with free patterns – some will have only been free when she released the video, but many are evergreen.

4 replies on “69: Free Patterns”

good afternoon beverly and jenny….
i just finished listening to your “free pattern” podcast and i wanted to say thank you…thank you…thank you. as a senior citizen on a budget it is so appreciated. i can not tell you how much i look forward to your podcasts each week. i have been with you since the very first one and you NEVER fail to entertain…instruct…and just offer some good ole fun. i appreciate your new pattern reviews and that you are always truthful in your reviews. you offer humor each week without being silly. best of all the respect you both show for each other and the sewing community is soooo appreciated. i hope in the future you might think of discounted fabric podcast to go along with this one. once again thank you and keep up the great work. i am sure it takes a lot of time and commitment on both of your parts to get these podcasts out each work. IT IS APPRECIATED can’t wait for the next one 🙂 janet

I just listened to your episode re. Free patterns. You guys did not mention peppermint magazine patterns. I am not sure if they are in line with your sizing inclusivity requirements because I don’t know what they are ( exactly) Maybe you could tell me? I identify as a fat person but I can usually fit into the bigger straight sizes so I am at best trying to be an ally to people who are larger than me. Peppermint magazine patterns have a donate what you can so maybe they are not strictly free. Hard to read their size charts but it looks like they go up to a 60” hip.
Thanks for the great content,

Hi Linda! Most new patterns from Peppermint DO fit our requirements. Several old ones do not. This episode was really limited in that we really just talked about some of our favorites. I consider those free patterns for sure as you aren’t required to pay anything for them. Our minimum requirement is a 55” hip (or largest measurement- sometimes no hip involved on cropped things, etc). I think several of the Peppermint ones are in the database we talked about. Do you have a favorite from them?

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