Free giftable projects

It’s that time of year where I feel a need to compile lists of projects that I’ll likely never sew… But maybe I will!

Here are 12 free sewing patterns or free sewing tutorials which will leave you with a giftable product at the end! You can even gift them to yourself…

Free bucket hat pattern from Liam by Ruby

Wine tote

Perfect for summer picnics, the ChCh sews wine tote!

Free tote bag from Mood Sewciety

Free Lil’ pouch sewing pattern from Liam by Ruby

This is part of their series of scrapbusting patterns which are perfect for your fabric leftovers.

Free tutorial for reusable makeup remover squares

Scrap busting and also a sustainably minded gift? What could be better or easier!

The free Pear Pouch from Sarah Kirsten

Free mini fabric basket tutorial

Free soup bowl cosy tutorial

I have 2 of these and I’m surprised by the amount of use that they get! Even if I’m eating at the table, I use my cosy to protect my fingers on the way to the table!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Free Storage Boxes

Store your fabric in fabric with this free storage boxes tutorial from The Fabric Store.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Felt bag organiser from Mood Sewciety

Pie carrier

Need to transport food this summer? The ChCh sews pie carrier bag could be for you!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Sewing for the outdoors

You can love an indoor pursuit like sewing and also enjoy the great outdoors. But, you can also be an inside cat and sew for the folks in your life who love the outdoors! Are there some goodies in here that are perfect for gifting? Absolutely!

There’s a mix of free and paid patterns in here- if they’re free, it’s specifically stated!

Downpour Drybags

This drybag pattern from Sew Outdoors comes with 10 different sizes of dry bags!

This relatively new sewing pattern company even makes some great suggestions here on what outdoor accoutrements will fit into each size bag.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Wood Carrier

This Wood Carrier Pattern from Noodlehead looks like a very straightforward pattern where you can sink your teeth into hefty fabrics and webbings.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Cycling Hat

This free tutorial steps you through sewing a cycling hat

Activewear?

Are you (or are they) the kind of outdoors person who appreciates activewear? Checkout the roundup of Activewear Sewing Patterns on the blog, which also includes a list of some places where you can buy activewear and outdoors fabric in NZ.

The Stitchback LP

The Stitchback LP looks super outdoorsy but also looks like the kind of pattern which is just asking to be made from primary colours!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Fanny Pack

This free fanny pack comes from Bike Packing comes with pattern pieces for easy cutting out!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Camping Hammock

Pretty high up on the things I’d never though one could sew for themselves… is this free tutorial for a DIY camping hammock

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Stitchback Chalk Bag

The Stitchback Chalk Bag is intended for climbing dust… but I see it and think ‘snacks’! Fill it full of dog treats for walkies, or snacks for yourself!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Running Armband Pocket

Grab the free running armband pocket from Fehr Trade!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Woodhaven Apron

The Woodhaven Apron from Thread Theory has lots of different options, including all the pocket shapes that bring the look of serious workwear.

Comfortable, yet rugged.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Helen’s Closet has a free apron pattern which you can access here.

Balaclava

This Balaclava pattern from Grasser (one of several different pattern options)

Camp Ditty Bag

This free Camp Ditty Bag Pattern gave such a goreous final product that it didn’t really matter that I had no idea what a ditty bag was for!

Apparently it’s a small bag for your personal effects and important bits (like if you’re a scout), and the idea is that you keep things in one place close at hand.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Trail wallet

This free trail wallet pattern is designed for carrying only the essentials!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Backpack rain cover

In the spirit of giftable items, here’s a project that I made a little while ago, but which has taken some time to make it onto the blog as a tutorial…

A waterproof backpack cover that’s great for rainy days cycling or hiking but which also has reflective tape which makes it extra handy for evening safety!

Materials

  • Waterproof fabric (like ripstop) I used 1m but it depends on your bag measurements
  • Round elastic, to thread through casing
  • Toggle to fit elastic
  • Reflective tape, enough to extend past the edges of your bag

I used fluro ripstop and I sewed on the reflective tape and didn’t bother doing anything to seal the back to make it super waterproof. I based the construction on this pack cover, which I snuck into the store and looked at, in person.

The piece of fabric that I cut out, ended up looking like this. I basically made sure the backpack was as full of stuff as it ever would be, and then I measured the length, depth, height, etc. all round. Basically, I wanted to create a shape that would kind of mirror the backpack, and leave enough for me to fold over the hem to add elastic to.

Below, the red dots indicate the top and bottom extremities of the bag, with the 16″ being the top and the 22″ being the length of the sides (ish)

I did make a toile to make sure that it fit, by cutting fabric out according to the scheme and sewing up the 4 sides (no proper finishing). I decided that I was happy with that, so cut into my ripstop fabric. I actually just serged the 4 corner parts together (with my matching fluro overlocking thread) and then I turned back a hem, then folded that under and used the overlocker (with the blade still engaged) to basically cut and re-attach the hem as a casing.

That sounds confusing to explain, but I had the bag on the table, right side facing down. I folded back the hem (so the hem was facing me), and then I flipped that underneath, so that it was facing the right side. This meant that when I was overlocking, I was feeding 3 layers in, overlocking the edge where the red overlocked section is above.

This made a casing where I threaded through some round elastic/stretchy cord, which I threaded through a toggle and then knotted and burnt to seal off.

Before threading the elastic through though, I sewed on the high-vis reflective tape (that stuff is strangely expensive). I had intended to leave the middle part open so that a bike light could be slotted right there for peak visibility, but I was informed that that was unnecessary. Stick on tape could have been an interesting thing to try out (but would have made it harder to leave a loop open for the theoretical bike light.

Result?

This cover is now over a year-and-a-half old and it’s held up well to use during the rain and also during the colder months when the sun sets early (the reflective tape makes it extra safe at night), although it could do with a wash after getting a bit grubby from gross wet days cycling on the mucky road.

Where to shop fabric

Bags to sew

It’s the time of the year where I start to think about sewing projects for other people! So, in honour of that, here’s 10 bag patterns or free tutorials for you!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Buckley Tote from Elbe Textiles

At $5, this bag is a bargain! Fully-lined with internal pockets, the great instructions make this perfect for a confident beginner.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Le Sac Banane

A riff on the classic bumbag,

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Portside Travel Set

Who can be mad at a matching travel set?

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Free wrap pocket tote tutorial

This simple tote pattern uses bias tape to add a colourful edge around the bag

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Sandhill Sling

This cute sling bag is perfect for the daily commute or as a tidy travel bag.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Giftable Patterns

Hello lovely ChCh sews makers! It’s the perfect time of the year for roundups of roundups!

Below are some links to my previous blog posts which feature giftable sewing projects- lots of inspiration and plenty of fodder for scrolling!

Free giftable patterns

Not-so free giftable patterns

Gifts for makers

It’s that time of year when you’re maybe thinking about stocking-stuffers to buy for yourself.. But maybe you can just send the link to this page to your nearest and dearest and hope they take the hint?

Here’s a roundup of things which are mostly from NZ (with a few Aussie shops thrown in), which concentrates on small businesses. What’s a great makers gift that I’ve forgotten to include? Let me know in the comments!

Hand cream in a tube is perfect for leaving next to your machine!

Wicking fabrics like tencel really dry out your hands, so it’s great to moisturise during your sewing breaks!

Inside Voices Labels (NZ)

Designed right here in Christchurch! There’s an Inside Voices label for everyone.

Any of the gorgeous fabric remnants from McLean & Co who weave fabric from NZ wool down in Oamaru (pictured above)

Seam ripper and awl, double-ended from Miss Maude (NZ)

Hand turned and crafted from reclaimed native timbers of Aotearoa!

Repair kit in tin from Hawes & Freer (NZ)
Iron on patch from NZ
New Zealand Paua Shell Buttons from Wild and Wooly Yarns (NZ)
Sewist pin from Grandmother’s Garden (NZ)
You crafty bitch socks from Bolt of Cloth (NZ)
Wrist Pin Cushion from Miss Maude (NZ)
These are my dressy socks socks from Bolt of Cloth (NZ)
Rainbow 9″ scissors from Sew It (NZ)

Is it possible to feel sadness when you’re snipping threads with rainbow snips or scissors?

Hancock’s fabric marker starter set from Sewing Time (NZ)

A few strange additions:

Dupe this 4

Hello and welcome to Dupe This, episode 4, you can catch episode 3, episode 2 and episode 1 on the blog.

If you’ve read these Dupe posts before then you know they’re really just an excuse for me to dump a heap of info all in one place, and also a thing I use to justify how I’m always looking to find the exact fabric that has been used to make clothes!

In this episode, I also tell you where to find double gauze in NZ and drop some links to what might be new-to-you fabric stores!

Duplicate these looks

The Matilda Dress from Cool Stitches would be a lovely dupe for this summery dress.

Pair it with washer cotton from The Fine Cloth Company, or shirting from Fabric Box in Auckland.

Dupe this cornflower blue silk top with the Barons Dress from Daughter Judy Patterns or the LB Pullover from Paper Theory.

Cornflower silk from The Fine Cloth Company would be a great match but I also recommend Fab Fabrics, who frequently has 40% off their silk if you’re an email newsletter subscriber.

I love this dramatic sleeve on a simple shape (here’s evidence and here’s even more evidence)! You could use the Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top like I did or the ZW Soft Blouse from Birgitta Helmersson with a double gauze fabric (sometimes called double muslin).

Double gauze in NZ?

Here’s a little list of places that I’ve spotted with double gauze, ordered vaguely by price, from lowest to highest.

Replicate this pleated floral skirt with this fabric from Fab Fabrics and the free vintage-style skirt from Peppermint Magazine or the 3 Pleat Skirt from Assembly Line Patterns..

Or for a bright fabric, this palm leaf linen, this blush tropical linen or this bright blue daisy print on cotton lawn.

Use the Belemnite Dress from Marilla Walker and silk crepe de chine from Hawes and Freer in Auckland or the silk cdc from The Fine Cloth Company in Wellington to replicate this sage green dress.

For a cheaper fabric, a tencel twill from The Fabrics Shop in Otara could work.

Use the Bakerloo Blouse with added tiers with a cotton voile or lovely crisp cotton lawn.

This organic shirting or this organic voile from Hawes and Freer would be nice as would this Japanese shirting from Nick’s. Narrow down the poplin and lawn shirtings by colour at Miss Maude.

I definitely think the Muna and Broad Atrax Top is a great dupe for this but the StyleArc Esme, Forget-Me-Not Sylvie, and True Bias Nikko also have similarities.

The best fabric match would be one of the earthy shades from Fable Fabrics, but it would also look lovely in a merino from Nick’s or even in a brown striped knit from Morelands.

Joan’s Fabrics in Auckland has a similarly bright floral from Fabric Godmother to replicate this shirt on Rose Matafeo as does Harmer and Huff.

The pattern looks like a shirt with a set-in sleeve and a scarf tied like a pussy bow.

Want shirt sewing patterns?

You know I love to find an exact fabric for you!

Fab Fabrics has this exact print but in white and red and this fabric has similar monochromatic line drawing vibes if the monochrome is your deal.

The Lena Shift or the June Sheath, both from StyleArc, could be great fits.

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Recent pattern printing

Some fun new patterns have come through the printer in the last wee while, so here’s a roundup of some goodies that looked particularly interesting! I’ve also included some recommendations for NZ-based places to shop for fabrics which would be a good fit for these projects.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Mitchell Trousers

The Mitchell Trousers is a new pattern from Closet Core in Canada. They’re available in 2 size ranges, the largest up to a 160cm (63″) hip.

Pleated trouser with a fly front, they have deep pleats and a tapered and wide-leg view.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Bottom weight fabric?

Check out my blogpost on ‘Shopping denim in NZ and check out the range of Canvas & Drills at The Fabric Box in Auckland and the canvas selection at Backstreet Bargains.

Millicent Dress

The Millicent Wrap Dress from Aussie-based StyleArc is available up to 154cm (61″) hip and comes with elbow length and bracelet length sleeve options.

Lightweight summery fabrics?

Check out my blogpost on ‘Seersucker in NZ and the range of lovely cottons from The Fine Cloth Company in Wellington (I the Washer Cotton would make a great dress)! As always, Miss Maude has a delightful selection of shirting weight fabrics.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Matilda Dress

The Matilda Dress from Cool Stitches is available up to 153.7cm (60.5″)

This new-to-me pattern company has some great fashion-forward sewing patterns.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Classic Shirt

The Classic Shirt from Modern Sewing Co is available up to 119cm (46.8″) hip, which is smaller than the size range available on some of their other patterns.

Not your size? More shirts!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Marlo Sweater

The Marlo Sweater from True Bias is available in a standard size range and larger size range (up to 151cm (59.5″) hip

I’ve printed quite a few of these recently, so it must be sweater weather here in NZ!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Alida Skirt

The Alida Skirt from Fibremood is available up to ??

Man, it’s hard to find info on the Fibremood website and life is short. Cool pattern though!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Ora Pinafore

The Ora Pinafore from Australian-based Soften Studio has a sadly small size range, going up to a Size 18 or 119cm (46.8″) hip

This relatively new pattern company has some great patterns so fingers crossed for a future size expansion

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Robin Dress

The Robin Dress from Liam by Ruby (NZ-based designer) is available up to 155cm (61″) hip.

This slim-fit bias dress has a few neckline options and length options and is designed for woven fabrics.

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and postage within NZ is available

New-ish from NZ

PDF Sewing Patterns from NZ? A roundup of Indie Sewing Patterns from NZ? A collection of New Zealand Sewing Patterns? Yes- I’m back with more!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Sylvie Knit Top

The Sylvie Knit Top from Forget-me-not Patterns is a drapey design with options, including a cowl neck, flutter sleeves, and more understated sleeveless and round neck views.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Peggy Top

The Peggy Top and Dress pattern from My Keeper has a wrap top and a non-wrap dress both of which have butterfly sleeves.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Isobel Dress

The Isobel Dress from Paper Doll Patterns is one of the new-ish women’s patterns from a designer that’s already released quite a few children’s designs!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Chloe Maxi

The Chloe Tiered Maxi Dress from Makyla Creates is a tiered maxi dress that screams of summer, but could also be layered under a turtleneck for ChCh summer.

For extra summer protection, RUBY has a free bucket hat pattern available!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Gracie Wrap

The Gracie Wrap Bundle from The Bold One comes with oodles of customisation options including different sleeves, different necklines, etc.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Luna Lounge Set

The Luna Lounge Set from Jennifer Lauren Handmade has heaps of pattern options for woven loungewear!

Want more local designs?

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Melba Dress

The Melba Dress from Muna and Broad is a simple, relaxed dress made with warm weather in mind

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Weiland Tank

The Weiland Tank from Elbe Textiles is a cropped tank with a built-in shelf bra

This has made the roundup becauseI’m counting Lauren from Elba Textiles as an honorary NZer, since she did live in Christchurch for a while.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Eadie Top

The Eadie Top from Hubba Ding has dropped shoulders and a ruffle between the bodice and sleeve.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

More warm weather sewing inspo?

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and postage within NZ is available

Seersucker Searching

It’s official, I’m a sucker for seersucker! That delicious texture, that purposeful scrunch- I can see much more of it in my future now that the weather is warming up.

You know I love to shop local when I can, and that I’m also forever keeping up with what’s-in-stock locally, so I thought I’d round up a few of the seersuckers that I’ve spotted recently!

The Fine Cloth Company has just added a tidy selection of seersuckers in bright spring shades (they also have some navy, black and red too)

Miss Maude has 3 seersucker options– don’t be fooled by the seersucker category on her website being empty!

The Fabric Store currently has 3 seersucker options, including this teal and plum number.

Drapers Fabrics currently has 1 fabric which they describe as ‘subtle’ seersucker. The fabric has a large-ish check.

If you’re after textured fabrics but searching for ‘seersucker’ brings no joy, you can try searching webstores with phrases like crinkle, self stripe, textured to see if you get fabrics with similar qualities.

Fab Fabrics in Auckland has 2 seersucker options, including the rich red to the left!

Joan’s Fine Fabric has a black and a white Japanese seersucker.

Fabric Box in Auckland has a cotton silk seersucker with really small-scale puckering and a floral print. They also have quite a few ‘self stripe’ fabrics which end up having a similar texture to seersucker.

Spotlight has some seersucker options in stock, including the fabric that I used for my dress, above!

Not technically in NZ, The Remnant Warehouse has a seersucker that’s white fabric with printed black spots.

Definitely not in NZ, Fabric Godmother in the UK has a lovely little selection of seersuckers, including the rainbow one below and the brick-coloured one (below right) which almost has me placing an order.

What to sew with seersucker?

Seersucker is a woven fabric that’s generally made from cotton, linen, or a blend of the two. Here’s a few roundups of patterns, many of which would be perfect for using with seersucker!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page