sewing patterns to sell

Wondering how to make your own sewing patterns to sell? You’re in the right place! I will share all the tips and tricks to make and sell sewing patterns with you today, so that you can make your own patterns and prepare them for sale. This article covers everything from the creation of basic blocks to the preparation of the PDF file and how to sell them. Let’s get started!

Sewing patterns are a great way to make your own clothes and make a little extra money on the side. The first step is to understand what a sewing pattern is and what it does, then you can decide what kind of pattern you want to make. From there you will learn how to make basic blocks that allow you to create other patterns from them. Using software for computer-generated patterns is a great way to make sewing patterns for sale, but there is still some work to do by hand afterwards. Finally, this article will deal with how to digitize and edit patterns digitally, as well as how to test them.

What are PDF sewing patterns?

A PDF sewing pattern is a printable document of a sewing pattern usually in different sizes with instructions for cutting, assembling and sewing fabric to produce a garment.The patterns are usually printed on normal printer paper and then taped together to form a pattern. If you don’t want to spend time typing A4 paper sheets, you can usually download them in A0 format and print out the PDF pattern in a copy shop. This is the most common format of sewing patterns for indie pattern makers.

What are the different types of pattern making techniques?

If you want to create a sewing pattern from scratch, you must use a pattern drafting software or draft the pattern by hand. There are many pattern drafting methods for creating sewing patterns. There are specialized pattern making software programs, some of them are available online to create your patterns. You can also draft them by hand or use the draping technique creating the pattern pieces by placing fabric over a mannequin and tracing its contours on paper before cutting and sewing the pieces individually together in order to form a pattern.

As soon as you have your pattern, you need to digitize it so you will need software that allows you to edit your pattern and prepare the PDF document. It is important that the pattern is accurate, even if it means that you are going through the process several times.

What are pattern transformations

What are basic blocks?

These blocks are the most common pattern pieces that are used as a base for pattern transformations. You can also make basic blocks as the easiest pattern piece. Once you have the pattern piece as base, you can then try different variations and make different patterns with the same base block; It’s as simple as that. However, drafting these blocks can take a bit of time, when it comes to making it by hand and you can save time using the basic digital blocks already drafted. You can find a few in a previous post:  The Best Online Pattern Making Tools To Help You Create Your Own Patterns. Some of them like Tailornova and Designlab London allow you to use their patterns to create patterns for sale. The most common basic blocks are skirt, pants and bodice blocks.

What are pattern transformations?

Pattern transformations are the way you create any style by altering the basic block. The most important pattern transformations are: bust dart manipulations, adding fullness, adding style lines and draping. Bust darts are used to add shape. The fullness can be added to the pattern to make the garment look more voluminous. Style lines, such as pleats, ruffles, or pockets, can be added to any pattern. The patterns can also be manipulated by adjusting the ease, length, or silhouette. By manipulating these pattern pieces, you can create any style of clothing.

what is fitting

What is Fitting?

Fitting is the process of checking a pattern to ensure that it fits perfectly and to detect where and how modifications are needed. You have to make a muslin sewing the garment with cheap fabric. There are many ways you can make your pattern fit perfectly. This process is very important as a badly fitting garment not only looks bad, but also feels uncomfortable. To make sure the pattern fits perfectly, you can make the necessary changes by either increasing or decreasing a part of the pattern, depending on your needs. In order to achieve the best results, you will have to repeat this step as many times as necessary until you are satisfied.

What is pattern grading?

Pattern grading is the process of taking a pattern and resizing to fit a different size range. Pattern grading can be as simple as sizing a sewing pattern, but in most cases, this involves adjusting the way the pattern pieces are cut so that they fit well to most body shapes. There are many different types of grades that you can do, but for beginners, I recommend trying standard grading. This makes all your pattern pieces larger or smaller by about 4 cm widthways. You can grade your pattern by hand or digitally once you have digitized and edited your pattern pieces.

what is pattern grading

Digitizing and editing patterns digitally

If you’re not used to working with vector software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop you can edit your scanned pattern in other software and make the PDF file with hand drawn lines. However, vectorizing your pattern and grading after that will give a much more accurate and professional result. The use of professional software for making models such as Patroneo Key, Pad System or Clo3D is the best option if you have the knowledge and access to it or are willing to invest time and money to start using them. 

Testing the pattern

Even if you have tested your pattern pattern and the fit is perfect, you need to test that all the graded sizes are correct. Make a muslin for different body types and sizes, so you can test the fit in different body shapes. Ask your friends to be your body model or find other sewists who are happy to help test your pattern. Let them use the pattern to give you feedback. Use social media to find testers who have experience in pattern testing. Once you’ve made all these steps and have made changes if necessary, you are ready for the final step, creating instructions.

Sewing instructions for sewing patterns to sell

Creating a well explained and clear step by step sewing instructions is as important as the pattern itself. Your customers need to understand every step of the cutting and sewing process to get the results they expect. It’s essential to have detailed notes, photos and diagrams to help them out. A detailed sewing guide can make all the difference between a frustrated customer and a happy one. You can’t expect your customers to know everything. Avoid using technical terms if you can use a word your potential customers understand. Remember that not all of your potential customers are experienced sewers. Providing a comprehensive guide that even a beginner can follow will increase the number of people who try your pattern, and in the long run you will have more loyal customers.

How to sell sewing patterns

Selling your own patterns doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several websites where you can sell your own pattern. You need to create a profile and set up a shop to sell your patterns.  You can sell your patterns on online platforms like Etsy, Indiepatterns or Makerist for instance. Most sites charge a small commission for each sale, so be sure to check the platform and see how much it costs you to sell your patterns.  You also need to have a profile on social media and create a brand for your sewing patterns in order to promote them. Make the world know about them!


Sewing patterns are a great way to make your own clothes and make some side money. This article covered the basics of how to make sewing patterns for sale. This can be a long process, and you may not have all the knowledge to do all the steps yourself. At what stage are you in the pattern making journey? If you are just starting to make your own patterns, you might be interested in the Buddy Positive Pattern program where students learn how to make their sewing patterns, how to make pattern transformations, and how to use the best online tools to make their basic patterns.  Do what you can, don’t get overwhelmed. Find professional help for the tasks you’re unfamiliar with. Are you great at pattern making, but can’t do grading? Ask a freelancer to help you create the rest.

sewing patterns for sale