Hello, my name is Louise and I am a qualified seamstress. Is there anyone else in the same camp? Sewing can take a bit of a back seat when big things happen in your life – whether it's a new job, a new arrival, a bereavement, health problems… it all falls apart. at the bottom of a priority list. I've had it for a little year and the sewing has been almost non-existent for me.
We have officially entered a comfortable season where tailoring takes center stage. It can be comforting to take your mind off the worries of the world and start taking care of yourself. I've compiled a selection of comfort sewing projects, perfect for slowing down and calming the mind. I chose things that can be picked up and tackled in small increments of time, are perfect for snuggling on the couch, or are easy to make.
Before I give you some ideas on how to get back into sewing (and find your seamstress), I will say that the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. Sometimes, and I'm speaking from experience here, the best thing you can do is relax with a puzzle (insert your stress-relieving activity). But, when you're ready and want to get into some comfortable sewing that offers a little escapism, you might find one of these sewing patterns that's right for you.
The first sewing I will tackle is quilting. I'm a complete beginner and started *cough* three years ago. I need to get back to it. I like how you can pick it up, sew a block and put it away again. There is no deadline for completing a quilt and I find repetitive sewing strangely calming. Once you get started, you no longer need to think about what you're doing and enjoy the gentle hum of your sewing machine.
- Merchant & Mills Grove Creations: Great if you don't want to make a patchwork quilt. Snuggle up on the couch with this quilt made with lots of linen thread ties.
- Quiltfolk Foundry Frances Quilt: This timeless design is based on a small but mighty 100-year-old quilt. Quiltfolk patterns come with easy-to-follow instructions and clear diagrams, which is very helpful if you are a beginning quilter.
- Matchy Matchy Picnic Square Blanket: This is very similar to the pattern I am quilting, so I know it will be great for any beginning quilters. This simple pattern is based on squares and rectangles – if you can sew a straight line, you can make this quilt! It comes together very quickly using the chain stitch method for the quilt top.
- Modern Polka Dot and Dash Craft Quilt: Ideal for sewing scraps using the included “make it scrappy” instructions. This quilt is perfect for beginning quilters and those who love a minimalist look.
Sweatshirts are one of my favorite sewing projects when I'm stuck in a sewing rut. They are simple to sew and are a very useful piece to have in your wardrobe. A sweater is a bit like a much-needed hug, so it's quite a calming thing to wear. There are many options to choose from, so I've selected a few of my current favorites.
- The Maker's Atelier Big Easy Top: A chic sweater with a cocoon shape with a round neck, or a more boxy style with an adult funnel neck. Make it in fabrics that can be left with a raw edge (no finishing required!) like microfleeces, bonded jerseys or boiled and felted wools. This reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
- Matchy Matchy All Round Crew: I love this simple sweatshirt. It features a relaxed, wide fit with dropped shoulders and a slightly curved back hem. The square-style sleeves are meant to be worn cuffed for a casual look – a simple style detail that gives it a modern feel. If you've never sewn knitted fabric before, this is a great and simple pattern to start with!
- I AM Patterns Baloo Tee, Sweatshirt and Dress: With 15 variations, this pattern gives you bang for your buck. Pair the elasticated hem sweatshirt with the Mowgli Joggers for a luxury loungewear ensemble.
- The Modern Sewing Co. Rib Sweater: A loose-fitting jersey sweater with a little more style – a “big cozy sweatshirt” that somehow manages to feel both extremely casual and chic at the same time. This is a simple piece to make, so it's a great project for beginners. For ultimate comfort, sew the matching Sunday Trackies.
Remember sewing masks in batches? It was a bit like marmite. Some of us loved it and some of us hated it. I actually loved it and I know why. Batch sewing is quite calming. There is something about doing something repetitively that calms the mind and cuts through the noise. It's quite delicious and quite comforting. Here are some projects that I think would make great batch sewing projects that are also very practical because they are the basics you need in your life.
- Tilly and the Buttons Iris Knickers: Never run out of underwear when the laundry basket is overflowing by sewing your own! This multi-style panty model offers different size, leg opening and finishing options, for a total of 36 combinations! It's also great for getting rid of those pesky leftover swimsuits that are too small to do anything else.
- Sew Liberated Bedrock Tee: With its airy fit and three sleeve options, Bedrock layers beautifully. The instructions are full of tips for sewing with knits, so if you're ready to start creating your own t-shirts, the Bedrock Tee is a great place to start.
- Helen's Closet Avery Leggings: When I'm hanging out at home (or working from home), I pretty much live in comfy joggers or leggings. I sewed a batch of Avery leggings in black and I have to say they are some of my most worn handmade items.
- Papercut Patterns Climb and Fall Turtlenecks: Last year I sewed a variety of turtleneck patterns and this one was my favorite. The pattern comes in two completely different variations: a chic fitted version, or a dropped shoulder in a loose fit. It was a great pattern to sew in batches, ensuring I had plenty of cozy tops to see me through the winter.
Oh, the long cardigan. How I love you. It looks like a dressing gown, but it doesn't feel like one. It's probably the most comfortable thing you can wear and it looks chic. It can give an outfit an instantly polished feel and is quite easy to sew. Here are my choices of long cardigan models…
- Fiber Mood Luz Cardigan: One of my favorites, Luz is an easy sewing project to make. Wear Luz with or without a belt and you can also transform Luz into a sleeveless sweater.
- Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan: An absolute icon in the sewing community, this cardigan will become your favorite. Designed with layering in mind, its fitted shape and extra long sleeves make it perfect for wearing under jackets and vests, whilst looking stylish over tank tops and dresses.
- Marni Sew-In Cardigan: This comfortable and stylish long cardigan sits right on the shoulder and features the roomiest pockets you've ever seen! You can do it just above the knee or a trendy midi length which I love.
- Named Esme Maxi Cardigan: A casual oversized and super comfortable long cardigan with a large button closure. The rolled-up cuffs emphasize the casual, carefree look. You can also leave out the buttons to have an effortless pull-on diaper.
A peaceful night's sleep is essential when you need a little more calm in your life. I think there's nothing better than fresh pajamas – especially when you've sewn them. I'm a big fan of sewing my sleepwear because it sets the tone for a restful night's sleep, making you feel more rested and ready for the day.
- Set called Olo: This was one of my favorite new things last winter that I haven't sewn yet. The hem and sleeve openings can be finished with a rolled hem or a simple rolled up hem. They're perfect for anyone who loves all-day pajamas.
- In the Folds Whitlow Dress: A dress is pretty essential for hygge atmosphere. This casual robe is designed for slow, easy mornings. It has two length options and a deep overlap that provides generous coverage so there's no risk of flashing the postie.
- Sew Liberated Night Pajamas: If you're looking for a stylish alternative to button-down pajamas, this is a great option. The top features ruching, a V-notch neckline and a slight high-low hem. You can also lengthen the top to make a tunic or a darling nightgown which I love.
- Sew DIY unisex quilted slippers: Do you have cold feet? ME TOO! These quilted slippers are the perfect way to keep toes warm and use small cuts of fabric. Plus, it’s a great way to get started with quilting. The quilted exterior is constructed by quilting a layer of fabric and batting together. Or you can use pre-quilted fabric for a quicker project. The pattern is neutral, making it a great gift for all your friends and family.
When life is a little hectic or stressful, I find a great way to calm my mind is to make my home even more welcoming. Keeping things clean and tidy (and comfortable) can help a cluttered mind. I light a nice smelling candle, put on some mood lighting and make myself comfortable on the sofa. So I have selected some superb projects to beautify your home while enjoying sewing them!
- Lasenby Borage Placemats, Coasters and Napkins: I enjoy the ritual of setting the table for dinner. It must be a bit of a hangover from being “helpful” in my youth (and being told to set it!), but as an adult I really enjoy making the table inviting. These hexagonal rugs and towels are stylish and contemporary. You can find fabrics to match your decor, use scraps from previous sewing projects, or even sew special placemats for Christmas.
- Lou Orth Designs Sprout Quilt: Dip your toes into quilting with a mini-project that will beautify your home! This modern floral quilt design can be made with or without the colorful stems. The pattern also includes instructions for making blocks to incorporate into smaller projects such as cushions, totes and pouches.
- Merchant & Mills Grove Creations: OK, I may have already mentioned this pattern pack, but it's great for homebodies. The pack includes instructions for making a simple pillowcase with a deep encasement – ideal for scatter cushions for the bed or sofa.
- Modern Handcrafted Hexie Pillow: Modern hexies are a quicker version of traditional English paper piecing. This pattern gives you complete instructions for a decorative cushion that would make your sofa even more attractive!
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