Design your own sewing pattern!

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WHOOP WHOOP! Have you ever wanted to design your own sewing pattern? Well now is your chance!

Yesterday we launched TRIBE PATTERNS, a dressmaking pattern company designed by the sewing community. So what’s it all about? Well this is a sewing pattern company with a twist, all the patterns are designed by sewing or creative bloggers and you! Read all about the Billie Collection designed with Rachel Pinheiro on the blog here.

How can I design my own sewing pattern?

We are so excited to launch the first competition to design your own sewing pattern! Get those Pinterest boards ready as anyone can submit their own design for a women’s dressmaking pattern. The winning design will be made into a real dressmaking pattern for the sewing community to buy and we will be running regular competitions throughout the year. This competition is aimed at home sewists (not designers) who perhaps would like to see an idea they have for a pattern come to life or aren’t familiar with pattern cutting and want to try their hand at coming up with a design for the sewing community. The competition is designed to be fun and an inclusive way for members of the sewing community to be involved.

You have from today until the 4th November to send us your fabulous creations, we will then make a shortlist before opening it up to the sewing community to vote for the winning design. Any designs you create need to be women’s dressmaking, for example a dress, skirt, top, jacket etc. You can either email us a link to a Pinterest board or illustration you’ve created but make sure that you also send a description of your pattern (with the fabric it should be made from). You can send up to 2 design ideas to We’ve put all the details of how to enter at the end of this blog post, so please do read these before you email us your designs.

The pattern design process

Have you ever wondered what is involved in making a pattern? Here we give you a quick run down of what we’ll be doing to bring the winning design to life!

With the winning design idea, we will spend a month drafting the pattern pieces (from unique blocks that we’ve created) and make around 3-5 toiles to test the fit and see how the style lines work. Next the pattern is professionally graded and when we get the digital files back we will lay out the pieces for all the sizes (UK 6-24) and add labels to A0 sized files and in PDF format. We’ll then print the pattern to test the different sizes and measure every seam (gah!) to make sure the grading works for the full size range. There will then be more testing and any adjustments will mean the digital pattern pieces will also need updating. When we are happy with the pattern we’ll make versions in different fabrics to photograph on a model and ‘real’ people (like us!). We’ll then do photoshoots and filming of the model and us. We’ll also write all the instructions and take photos to go with these. Plus we’ll create the line drawings, lay plans, a sizing chart and calculate fabric requirements for all the versions. All of this will then go into a booklet and both the instructions and pattern will be printed. Overall it takes around 3 months to develop a pattern and over £1000 of investment from us.

Well what are you waiting for, get pinning or sketching! We can’t wait to see what you create!


The house rules

  1. Designs must be submitted by the Friday 4th November 4pm GMT. Up to two designs can be submitted per person.
  2. The design must be of your own work and original, it cannot be copied from graphics, images, books, magazines or other materials online or in hard copy. You cannot submit a hack of an existing pattern, design that belongs to another pattern company, a design which is very similar to an existing pattern.
  3. The design must be a women’s dressmaking garment. We cannot accept designs for menswear, quilts, accessories, toys, cross stitch, embroidery, tapestry, children, babies, teens or crafts.
  4. To submit a design you must either: 1) send us a link to a Pinterest board with images that have inspired your design AND send a written description detailing all the design details your pattern should have to OR 2) email a hand drawn or digital illustration you have created yourself AND a written description detailing all the design details to All designs must be submitted with details of what fabrics the garment has been designed for.
  5. Designs will be shorted listed by The Fold Line team.
  6. The winning design will be chosen by a vote. Voting will take place between Friday 11th  – Thursday 17th November (closing 6pm GMT). Anyone will be able to vote although you are not allowed to vote for you own design if you have been shortlisted.
  7. The winning design will be announced on social media on Friday 18th and the winner will be contacted in person by The Fold Line.
  8. The winner will be asked to sign an Agreement to confirm that the design idea is original and their own. The Agreement outlines the commitments of The Fold Line to the winning designer and vice versa.
  9. We will aim to make the winning pattern as close to your design as possible but it may not be possible to include all the details.
  10. The Fold Line will draft the pattern, grade the pattern, print and publish it for purchase. The Fold Line has all copyright and publication rights for the drafted pattern, illustrations, photos and text. The Fold Line has all distribution, reproduction, sale and transmission rights of the pattern in electronic and hard copy formats.  Items produced from the pattern will not be allowed to be sold.
  11. The Fold Line retains all media rights for the release of the pattern.
  12. After the sale of 160 patterns in electronic format only (PDF format) of the winning design from the The Fold Line website platform (, which covers the full cost of producing the pattern, The Fold Line will pay the winning designer 20% of the sale of each PDF pattern thereafter. This does not include the sale of any paper printed patterns or sewing kits because the sale of these items only covers the cost of their production.


  1. rk93

    Is it ok if it’s inspired by a garment we own? I have a coat that I’d like to make one similar to, but I don’t think there’s a sewing pattern out there that’s the same.

    1. thefoldline Post author

      @rk93 Yes you can be inspired by a garment you already own, but you can’t copy it – hope that helps.

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