Free patterns for quick projects! (So not like me, right?)

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While I’m getting my summer sewing operation set up, (the “thinking about it” phase is so much more fun that the “pinning and cutting” phase…) here are a couple of free patterns I had fun with earlier in the year.

The first is a hack of the Maria Denmark “Kirsten Kimono Tee.” Maria Denmark offers a line of simple, classic indie patterns, and this pattern is free when you sign up for her newsletter. (Here’s the Maria Denmark website)

I got the idea reading the rules for the Pattern Review “Best Patterns” contest in March, and, darn you Deepika, you always get me with those contests!!! I start reading the rules and discussions and the next thing you know, I’m rooting through my stash to make a copy of the wardrobe from “Titanic” in a week and a half.

The Kirsten Tee was one of the patterns in the contest, so of course the night before the contest was over, there I was downloading it. (You can see the original pattern and reviews here.)

The original pattern is a very simple tee with a ballet neck and kimono shoulders that extend to cap sleeves. I decided to raise the neckline to be more bateau-shaped and extend the sleeve lines to the elbow.

The next morning, I laid out and cut the two pattern pieces on some organic cotton French terry in my stash.

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(Yes, one of those pattern weights is my son’s Nintendo…)

The one thing that’s confusing about the pattern is that you need to add different-sized seam allowances at different places. So I compared the pattern to a ready-to-wear tee in my drawer to ballpark the size and seam allowances. I cut it a little big, since at this age “negative ease” (cutting knits a little tight so they stretch on your body) is not my friend.

Then I used a narrow zigzag on the seams to check the fit, since that stitch is easy to pick out if needed. The fit was looking good, so I used a stretchy lingerie stitch to finish the seams.


I decided to jazz up the neckline and hems by using the “Greek Key” stitch I’d tried on the Issey Miyake knit top I’d just finished. I just turned up the edges and went for it.

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Done for ten o’clock yoga class!

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(I was so not in the mood to ask my husband to take more pictures, and I’ve been going to that class for so long that no one thought I was nuts.)

The other free pattern is one of mine, and I bet you’re going to giggle when you see it.

I came up with the idea for making a “cuff” bracelet out of fabric last summer (with a button and working buttonhole), and then thought, “why not make it look like the cuff of a Chanel jacket?”


If you’ve ever wanted to make a Chanel jacket, but don’t have the patience, you can make one of these in an afternoon and get it out of your system!

My pattern and instructions are free on, and you can find them by clicking here.

This pattern is part of’s collaboration with BERNINA of America, and you can see the details by clicking the “Bernina Collaboration” tab.

As for my next project? Well, the Pattern Review Historical Fashion Contest does start on July 1st. Uh oh…

Hope your sewing’s going well!

14 thoughts on “Free patterns for quick projects! (So not like me, right?)

  1. I wasn’t going to do any real sewing this summer, and thanks for some good stuff! But wait a minute, I could finally make up the 1912 Titanic dress I printed out and never cut for the Vintage Pattern Library sewalong /tribute in….2012. Long prep time, I guess.

    I may need a few more years.

    • Hi Mary, I know you have some good fabric from Janssens for a cuff like that… Karl and I are already busy on some new projects, as it’s still not warm enough for the beach.

    • Thanks Karen! I was thinking of making another cuff going the other way and attaching them to the sleeves of a sweater. But now that it’s summer, I don’t want to think about wool or sweaters.

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