Seven Sewing Projects You Can Make in an Afternoon

Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

Find yourself with small pockets of sewing time and want to see a project through from start to finish? Yep, we all know this feeling. A satisfyingly speedy make can leave you feeling motivated and encouraged by being able to complete something in an afternoon.

Is that possible you ask? Well, it absolutely is if you’re working with a simple design that has limited pieces. Avoiding fiddly fastenings and designs that require fitting can set you up for success. You can also do yourself a favour and browse the notions and instructions while having your breakfast, soaking in the bath, watching the telly… any snatched pocket of time before the sewing session can help you familiarise yourself with what’s going to take place. Plan for no surprises!

I reach for simple projects when I’m in a sewing slump or don’t have the headspace for something complicated. It reminds me that I have sewing-super-skills and makes me feel rather proud that I can make my own clothes… sometimes we forget how wonderful that is!

If you’re taking part in Me Made May 2021 and you’ve spotted a few wardrobe gaps you’d like to fill, this list of seven sewing patterns might be just what you’re looking for. 

New to Me Made May, or have no idea what I’m talking about? Check out all the deets of the challenge that is run by the very lovely Zoe of ‘So, Zo‘, where makers take a month to wear (and share if you fancy) their handmade garments. You can set yourself an aim; maybe you want to wear your makes more often, show some rarely worn pieces some love, or just take some time to assess the handmade garments in your wardrobe – it’s a highlight in our DIY style calendar!

If you read on, you might spot a sneak of our upcoming UK 16-34 pattern releases – I won’t tell if you don’t! Now onto the projects…

Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

The Jaimie pyjamas make bedtime the event of the day! They are simple to construct, comfortable to wear and a very speedy make!

SIZE RANGE: UK 4-24 (US 0-20 / EUR 32-52) OR coming soon UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62)

PATTERN FORMAT: Sizes UK 4-24 printed or PDF pattern OR coming soon sizes UK 16-34 PDF pattern

NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Three, plus a length for cutting your elastic

TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST

GOOD TO KNOW: Jaimie comes with a FREE full video sewalong

SHOP THE JAIME SEWING PATTERN

You might also like the Joe pyjamas. Brother to our Jaimie PJs, they are great for anyone who prefers a straighter, menswear fit. 

Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon
The Billie sweatshirt and dress has been one of our most popular launches to date for many reasons – one of them being that sweats are easy to sew! If you are making Billie in an afternoon, I would suggest opting for the straight sleeve variation and save the balloon sleeve beauty for when you have a little more time (unless you are super-speedy at gathering, of course!). 

SIZE RANGE: UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) OR coming soon UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62)

PATTERN FORMAT: Sizes UK 6-24 printed or PDF pattern OR coming soon sizes UK 16-34 PDF pattern

NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Six (or seven if you are making the dress with pockets)

TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST

GOOD TO KNOW: If you want to add little extras to your Billie makes in the future, you can add thumbhole cuffs or add a lettuce edge ruffle to the shoulders

SHOP THE BILLIE PATTERN

Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

The Stevie tunic top and dress is packed with gorgeous details – the pretty back ties or button loops to close, the yoke on the back bodice, grown-on sleeves, simple boxy shape – all reasons why this will become a much-repeated make.

SIZE RANGE: UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52)

NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Six (or seven if you’re making the back ties version, or eight if you’re adding the pocket)

PATTERN FORMAT:  Printed or PDF pattern

TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST:

GOOD TO KNOW: Stevie is a great design to create your own handprinted fabric for! Why not give printing fabric with a parsnip a try? Our pink sample was hand-printed by the lovely model, Zeena.

SHOP THE STEVIE PATTERN

If you want to get even more out of Stevie, you can grab the add-on PDF pattern which transforms it into a smock dress, add 3/4 length sleeves and extra-large patch pockets.

Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

The Safiya pattern is one of the most popular designs in Tilly’s book, Make It Simple. You can choose to make trousers, dungarees or a playsuit – all are pretty quick to make, so should be manageable in an afternoon of sewing. 

SIZE RANGE: UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52)

NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Two for the trousers (three if you add pockets), six for the dungarees (seven if you add pockets), six for the playsuit

PATTERN FORMAT: Printed on double-sided paper (included in the book) for tracing off, or you can download the PDF pattern (details included in the book)

TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST:

  • Sewing an elasticated waist channel (for the trousers and playsuit)
  • Understitching 
  • Turning out narrow straps (for the dungarees tie waist)
  • Sewing a smooth dart (the dungarees bodice)
  • Making thread chain belt loops (for the dungarees belt tie)
  • Stitch in the ditch (for the playsuit)
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Tilly recorded a Safiya trousers sewalong for IGTV, so if you fancy watching the steps (or some sewing company!) you can give it a watch!

    SHOP MAKE IT SIMPLE

    If you like the idea of Safiya, most of the patterns in Tilly’s book Make It Simple can be made in an afternoon – yesssss!

    Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

    The Nora sweater and top is one of team Buttons’ favourite patterns because it’s a speedy-to-sew wardrobe staple! You can make Nora as a t-shirt, sweater, or cardigan with the add-on pattern – wowie! 

    SIZE RANGE: UK 6-20 (US 2-16 / EUR 34-48)

    NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Four (for the Nora top and sweater) or six for the add-on pattern cardigan

    PATTERN FORMAT: PDF sewing pattern

    TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST:

    • Sewing a jersey neckband (if you’re sewing the narrow neckband version)
    • Sewing knit fabrics on a regular machine
    • Tips for sewing with sweatshirt fabrics might also be useful if you’re using this fabric for the add-on cardigan
    • GOOD TO KNOW: Nora is oh-so hackable! If you fancy putting a twist on your future Nora makes, get inspired with this Nora hack ideas post.

      SHOP THE NORA PATTERN

      If you want to get even more out of Nora, you can grab the add-on PDF pattern which gives you the extra pattern pieces and instructions to make a cardigan.

      Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

      The Coco top and dress is one of Tilly’s most iconic sewing patterns, and it’s a great introduction to sewing with knit fabrics. What’s more, its classic silhouette will secure a constant spot in your me-made wardrobe.

      SIZE RANGE: UK 6-24 (US 2-120 / EUR 34-52)

      NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Three for the top and dress (four if you add pockets) or five if you’re making the collar and cuff version (six if you add pockets)

      PATTERN FORMAT: Printed or PDF pattern

      TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST: Coco has a sewalong on the blog if you want extra pictures and tips!

      GOOD TO KNOW: Stripe matching will take longer, but Tilly’s tips might make this process a little easier.

      SHOP THE COCO PATTERN

      Seven sewing projects you can make in an afternoon

      The Bibi skirt and pinafore is your new stretchy BFF. Cool and modern, the Bibi pencil skirt can also be made as a cute pinafore dress. As it’s made from knit fabric, it’s comfortable to wear and easy to fit.

      SIZE RANGE: UK 6-20 (US 2-16 / EUR 34-48)

      NUMBER OF PATTERN PIECES: Two (three if you add tabs) or four if you make the pinafore (the straps are self-drafted)

      PATTERN FORMAT: Printed on double-sided paper (included in the book) for tracing off

      TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST:

      GOOD TO KNOW: Bibi a confidence-building project for newbie stitchers and it pairs perfectly with the Freya top – also in Stretch!

      SHOP THE STRETCH! BOOK

      If you like the idea of Bibi, you’ll find the Freya and Frankie patterns (also in the book) speedy to make!

      Shop all our speedy sewing projects here!

      If you have less than an afternoon and still want to get your crafty fix, you might find one of these Six Free Sewing Projects is just the thing!

      *****

      Author: Louise Carmichael

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