Sewing patterns have been a large part of my sewing collection for as long as I can remember, they are great for making clothes, bags and even soft toys.
Though sewing patterns can be quite expensive I decided to unravel the mystery of why and how you can save money when buying them.
Whether you are just getting into sewing or have been an avid sewer for a number of years you might be wondering what goes into making a sewing pattern, why they are expensive and what you can do to save money on sewing patterns.
Why Are Sewing Patterns Expensive?
Multiple Sizes In One
Sewing patterns are commonly sold with multiple sizes in one pattern. There are usually 6 or more sizes within a pattern which are part of that pattern. This itself can cause the pattern to seem more expensive.
If you were buying a sewing pattern for £14.99 that would mean a pattern with 6 sizes would mean each size costs £2.49 each.
I understand that not each person will use each and every size within the pattern but it can help you to realise that the sewing pattern is still rather a decent price if you were to look at each size as an individual pattern.
Testing & Fitting
Each and every single pattern will need testing in different materials, sizes and with different sewing skill levels. There are lots of different tests and practices that need to be done to the sewing pattern before it can be released to the public.
Things like pattern lay outs which are best for cutting, which materials are best to use, do the sizes fit a number of different body sizes within one pattern size? There is much more that goes into a sewing pattern which costs time and money to create.
This in itself can be an extra expense which can cause the sewing patterns to seem expensive.
High-End Software To Create Them
Not all sewing patterns are drafted on a long sheet of paper in a chic studio somewhere, sure that is probably how they start but not each pattern will be produced like that for mass production.
There is software that is used for most sewing patterns which will allow the sewing pattern to be created and layered together like you receive them.
They will be expertly layered on to make all the pieces sit together well and the different sizes correlate in places they should do.
One of the reasons a sewing pattern can be expensive is the licensing that comes into play. This is a legal term that wil crop up if you are to make your own sewing patterns and they need to be cross referenced against those already on the market.
This is to make sure there is no plagiarism or copying within patterns that you can created and those already available.
This can be timely and expensive depending on the pattern, size and company size.
How To Save Money When Buying Sewing Patterns
When looking at buying sewing patterns the money can soon mount up for the pattern itself, the fabric and the other supplies needed such as fastenings and interfacing. This is one of the things that can often put off a beginner as there is a lot to purchase to get started.
If you are looking at saving money on sewing patterns but not diminish your sewing hobby check out my simple ways you can save money on sewing patterns below.
While some of these may not be applicable to you there are plenty of options so you can find something that works for you.
Buy In Bulk
I have found many sewing patterns for sale in places like charity shops, auction houses and car boots where someone is clearing out an old relatives collection and looking at selling in bulk.
If you come across this opportunity make sure you look at the condition of the patterns, whether they have been cut or not or if they are brand new.
Buy in bulk is great as you can pull out what patterns you want for yourself while the rest can be sold on to pull back the cost of the patterns you have kept. I have done this a few times and loved it. It is also a great way of finding some really cute vintage patterns.
Buy Second Hand
A great way of saving money on sewing patterns if buying second hand. There are many these days who buy a pattern, don’t use it or trace it and create a copy. You can then find these people selling the original pattern to reduce the amount it cost them in the first place.
You can find people selling patterns for much cheaper in sewing groups on Facebook, on Facebook Marketplace or even in sewing circle groups and meet ups.
I also find a great source for second-hand sewing patterns in charity shops. These are great as they can be a mix of new and old patterns so you are always going to be intrigued with what you can find.
Swap With Friends
I have a few different friends who also sew so I have found that I often send them patterns I have used and recommend or no longer want and we swap and trade between us.
If you are part of a sewing circle, group or online group where you are happy to trade your sewing patterns this is a great way of saving money. As you can simply swap a sewing pattern you no longer want for another which you do want.
Use & Sell On
Another great way of saving money on buying sewing patterns is using it and selling it on. Make sure you trace the sewing pattern and make new pieces from paper so you aren’t cutting the original pattern.
This only works if you have used the sewing pattern and didn’t like it or no longer want to use it. You can keep your traced pattern and a copy of the instructions but you wouldn’t have the original pattern to reference.
I like this idea especially for sewing patterns you don’t necessarily love and want to make over and over again.
Though if it is a sewing pattern you wish to keep hold of and use again I would look at keeping it as you may need the larger or smaller sizes later on.
Buy With Magazines
Another great way of getting sewing patterns for a cheaper rate is buying them with magazines. Sewing magazines often supply anything from 2-3 sewing patterns each month.
You can sign up to a subscription of buy the magazine as and when you want it. This is a great as most magazines range for £5.99 to £9.99 which isn’t even the price of one sewing pattern.
This is great as you can get 2-3 sewing pattern for half the price of one sewing pattern so the saving is amazing!
I only like to do this when I like at least one of the sewing patterns within the pack. You can then stash the others away or sell them on or trade them with friends.
Shop Free Resources
If like me you love a good freebie look at the number of sites that offer free sewing patterns or sewing tutorials.
Places such as Peppermint Magazine, In The Folds and Mood Sewciety offer an amazing range of free sewing patterns.
All you need to do is either sign up or enter your email to enable a download. They are PDF patterns so you can save them and get them printed professionally or print them at home that same day.
I love using these resources as they are often beautiful designs and styles and are really straight forward to print out and use and follow the instructions.