Top 10 Indie Easy Knit Sewing Patterns
One of the fabrics we probably all wear the most has a little sewing myth surrounding it… that jersey or knit fabrics are tricky to sew with. I say that this is a myth because some stretch fabrics are tricky to sew with and some knit fabric patterns are tricky to sew, but that doesn’t apply to them all. The secret to successfully sewing with knit fabrics (aka jersey or stretch fabrics) is finding the right project to begin your journey with.
The truth is that sewing with stretch fabrics has many, many pluses. They often require less fitting as stretchy fabrics are designed to… well, stretch! Many knit fabrics don’t require the seams to be finished as they don’t fray. Most jersey fabrics will be very happy being chucked in the wash again and again. Oh, and they are very comfortable to wear, a huge plus in my book!
A few little things to remember when you are sewing with knit fabrics…
- You will use need a stretch or ballpoint machine needle
- You will be using a zig-zag or stretch stitch (this is a great chance to see what those jaggedy machine stitches do)
- You may need to stabilise seams that are under lots of stress, such as the shoulders, with seam tape, ribbon or similar
- Don’t rush! You don’t want to stretch out your fabric as you go so take your time
- Stable knits such as double knit, interlock and ponte are great for beginners. Steer clear of drapey, slippery knits to begin with (you’ll become pals later, I promise!)
We’ve got some great pattern suggestions that will walk you through the tips and tricks for sewing with this fabulous fabric. If you’re looking for beginner knit fabric sewing projects, these patterns are a great starting point. Tops and dresses are probably the best garments to begin with, but we have thrown in a couple of cardigans/jackets that are approachable for beginners and a skirt.
Here are ten easy-knit fabric indie sewing patterns that we think are great for getting started with…
First up is a pattern I have recommended to friends before for their first step into sewing with knits and they have ended up with a piece they love and wear – the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top and Dress. Tilly is best known for her easy, beginner-friendly sewing patterns and for her approachable knit fabric patterns. You can’t go wrong with the step-by-step, detailed instructions included with the pattern and the tips you will learn along the way.
Choose from top or dress length, boat neckline or funnel roll neck, and long or three-quarter sleeves. Make it your own with optional rolled cuffs and patch pockets.
Sizing: UK 6 – 24 or UK 16 – 34
Format: Paper (UK 6-24) and PDF
If you want to build up your handmade basics collection – the Named Inari Dress and Crop Tee is a great pattern to go with. The easy, loose-fitting design means you are unlikely to need to adjust the fit and there are lots of elements to mix and match so you won’t get bored with making Inari’s!
The dress features crisp, turned-up T-shirt sleeves, and its neckline is finished with a facing. The side seams of the dress curve slightly towards the front and emphasise the beautiful uneven hem and the side slits. The cropped tee has casual long sleeves and a sporty neckband.
Sizing: EU 32 – 56 (approx. UK 4/6 – 28)
Format: Paper and PDF
Every modern wardrobe needs a cool tee to pair with all your bits and the Chalk and Notch Max Tee is just the coolest. The cropped length is great for the high-waisted trend and the mock neckband is perfect for layering underneath things. Chalk and Notch have great instructions and you can find a Max Tee sewalong on their blog!
The Max Tee is a boxy knit top with a muscle tee shoulder shape and a dropped armhole. There are two lengths: a cropped tee and a hip length with hem facings. The neckline includes three options: a neck facing, a rib neckband, and a mock neckband.
Sizing: UK 8 – 30 with A/B and C/D bust cup options
Format: Paper and PDF
Beginner-friendly does not mean basic! If you are all about delightful garment details, you’re going to love the Papercut Patterns Array Top and Dress!
Choose between a puffy bell sleeve with an elasticated hem, or a wide flared sleeve. Make your dress with a straight-cut body, or add the extra-long wrap-around ties to cinch it in at the waist. You have the same options for the top, but you can also add an elasticated hem to turn your Array into a cute jumper.
Another great element of the Array is that it can be made in woven and knit fabrics so it’s a truly versatile pattern to have in your collection. It’s in mine!
Sizing: UK 4 – 20 or UK 18-36
I am a big fan of sewing cardigans and recommend them to my knit novice friends! They are something you will get lots of wear out of and are incredibly easy to fit. The Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan is a sewing community favourite.
Designed with layering in mind, it has minimal excess fabric in the front and a close fit around the neck and shoulders. Its fitted shape and extra long sleeves make it perfect for wearing under jackets and vests, while also looking stylish over tank tops and dresses. View B ends at the hips, while View A extends down to the mid-thigh and includes patch pockets at hand level. The Blackwood is intended to be worn open and is not designed to close at the front.
Sizing: UK 6 – 34
A handmade wardrobe isn’t complete without a sweatshirt or two! The great news is that they are easy to sew and a good option for your first knit fabric project. I really love the Megan Nielsen Jarrah Sweatshirt. I’ve made it a couple of times and am so pleased with the result. The instructions are really clear and easy to follow and the dropped shoulder means you don’t have to worry too much about the fit across the shoulder area. The waist tie view is a nice option to progress to once you are a little more confident sewing with knits.
Jarrah has a loose-fit drop-shoulder, crew or funnel neckline, two sleeve options and four hem styles.
Sizing: UK 6 – 20
Fancy sewing a complete jersey outfit? The Sew House Seven Cosmos Sweatshirt and Elemental Pencil Skirt are easy to sew and incredibly chic! This pattern is sold as a set (in paper format) or you can purchase the Cosmos pattern and download the Elemental skirt for free!
The Cosmos Sweatshirt is an oversized raglan knit top designed with comfort and style in mind. This generous-fitting sweatshirt is a quick and easy make and features a wide bottom band that lands just above the hip. It has a choice of funnel neck or curved neckline and you can pick from bell or cuffed sleeve.
This high-waist knit skirt is quick and easy to make. The hidden elastic waistband creates comfort like pyjamas and provides a smooth outer finish. It has a sleek pencil shape that skims the body and tapers quite a bit at the hem. Wear your skirt with sneakers for a casual and sporty look or dress it up with heels or boots.
Sizing: UK 6 – 22 and UK 20 – 36/38
Format: Paper and PDF
Perhaps a jacket is a project for you? The Wardrobe by Me Komi Jacket can be made as a cosy cardigan that will elevate any outfit! You won’t believe that you made this jacket yourself… and from knit fabric!
This unlined jacket has deep pockets and a wrap front held in place by a belt. The sleeves are generous, with dropped shoulders and a cuff at the hem. View A has a simple collar, View B has a beautiful shawl collar, and View C is a sleeveless vest. Separate pattern pieces are included for making the jacket with woven or jersey fabric. The Komi Jacket is perfect as a transitional jacket or a cosy cardigan.
Sizing: UK 6 – 24
I am a big fan of square necklines and this pattern in particular! I have made this pattern four times and counting! The Friday Pattern Company Square Neck Top is a slightly cropped boxy dolman sleeved top with a square neckline. It’s a great beginner sewing pattern and includes pattern pieces to make the top from a knit or woven fabric, as well as front pieces drafted for an A/B cup or a C/D cup which will assist in getting a great fit.
Sizing: UK 6 – 34 with A/B and C/D cups
Format: Paper and PDF
The Sewing Patterns by Masin Molly Mock Neck Top is comfy to lounge in at home, but feels more dressed up and put together than a PJ top. Something you can wear for lazy days at home and also to go out and get a coffee. If you love layering tops underneath things, this could be the project that starts your knit fabric sewing journey!
The Molly pattern comes with two views, one with long sleeves and one with short sleeves. The neckline features a beautiful mock neck. The front and back hems are curved, creating that gorgeous point at the bottom of the side seam. The dropped shoulder seam gives the top a relaxed look.
Sizing: UK 8 – 28