A near complete group of garment types can be made with the simplest of sewing techniques.
Though if you find this idea daunting, see this post for some before-garments project ideas.

The first section on beginner wardrobe sewing is about building sewing skills while making garments.
That includes some comments about dresses.
If you like skirts, see this post on elastic-waist skirts, actually the easiest of all patterns for beginners.
See the variations post for some comments on vests and coats.

This is the second section on simple-sew beginner wardrobes, and suggests some outfits/ capsules consisting of top, pants, jacket which can be made by near beginners.
These are groups of 3 patterns from the same designer.

The number of sewing patterns available is huge, and some people get throughly daunted by all the choices. It is perfectly okay to simplify things by looking at patterns from only one pattern line πŸ‘
Would you like to focus on making just one of these pattern groups ? And deliberately ignore all the other possibilities until you build up more sewing confidence πŸ˜€
Also notice if you’re stressing yourself by trying to get all items made immediately. . . Just have one item at a time as your primary focus !

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Some simple outfit/ capsule suggestions

If you have worked through even part of the first section, you will have acquired many sewing skills and can now make many casual styles.

Pattern lines such as All Well Workshop, Sonya Philip 100 Acts of Sewing, and Tropical Research (all mentioned in Part A) have easy patterns for top, pants, and jacket.
Those 3 pattern lines include variations. More simply : vary fabric, or sleeve, body, and leg length, to make a complete wardrobe from those patterns.

I tend to say it’s easiest to use all patterns from the same designer, to make a capsule with good co-ordination. But actually when I make an outfit plan myself, all the patterns usually come from different designers!

For those of you who need larger sizes, Muna & Broad patterns have beginner level top, pants and jacket/robe. Their designer has just started teaching design for larger sizes at one of the top New York fashion schools. Exciting things may come out of that opportunity to influence attitudes πŸ˜€

In any group of items intended to be worn together, it is important to check that the jacket armhole will go over the top armhole. Without having the patterns I can’t check that about the pattern groups below ! Well sometimes it’s obvious, as when a company’s easiest top has cut-on sleeves, while the easiest jacket has flat-set sleeves.

The following patterns from specific designers are rated as needing beginner or advanced beginner skills. I haven’t seen most of these patterns, so can’t guarantee quality of pattern drafting or helpfulness of instructions ! Make them all, to learn to sew and wear a variety of style elements πŸ˜€

As an example of a capsule which is a little more sophisticated, here’s a group of patterns from The Sewing Workshop (noted for their good instructions) :
swing tee
A basic knit tee.
hudson top
hudson pant
An oversized top and elastic-waist pants (paper pattern only).
ikina jkt
And a robe-style jacket (piping or other trim optional).

Similar capsules can be found from many other pattern lines. I kept adding possibilities, so now they are just in alphabetic order.

from The Assembly Line :
very easy :
cut-on sleeve top.
easy :
elastic waist pants, omit hem cuff and lengthen leg.
robe style jacket, this doesn’t look as if it goes over the top.

I think the Elizabeth Suzann Harper top is stylish, as I like over-sized.
She also has 2 elastic-waist pant patterns.
Although she sells a ready-made robe-style jacket with a wide neckband she does not have a pattern for one, and is not planning to.
Possibly use the Ready to Sew Pekka jacket, which includes two widths of neckband. Or the Helen’s Closet Moss jacket, see next.

These items from Helen’s Closet are all at advanced beginner level and have excellent instructions (written only) :
sweater top and raglan tee.
elastic-waist pants – omit hem cuff.
robe style jacket – length and neckband options.

A change of style, from Made My Wardrobe :
peasant style blouse with raglan sleeves,
robe jacket with choice of length and pockets,
advanced beginner
dungarees, with video workshop.

These from Pattern Scout are all for advanced beginners :
knit tee + pants (sew along).
sleeveless dress (sew along).
woven top.
bomber jacket (sew along).

These are from Sew Liberated :
beginner :
top (video),
skirt (video),
beginner pants with video class, also make in daywear fabric.
confident beginner :
pants – woven or knits.

Sure Fit Designs is a company that supplies ‘master patterns’ for drafting basic patterns to personal measurements, and extensive videos and other tutorials on pattern altering and sewing. They have a capsule wardrobe bundle, with videos on pattern making and sewing a raglan sleeve knit top, dolman sleeve robe-style jacket, and elastic-waist pants with extra design lines.
You do need to buy the master patterns as well as the video courses, or you could use your own basic pattern blocks if you have them. The ‘dress’ kit patterns have a fitted armhole, while the ‘shirt’ pattern and all derived from it have a deeper flatter more casual armhole.
Cheaper to buy the 3 master patterns individually rather than one of the SFD ‘combos’, unless you need all the extras. (You can use any french curve instead of the designing stylus.)

Am I going to find a casual beginner capsule every time I look at a favourite pattern source ! Here’s a selection from Tessuti :
beginners :
elastic waist pants.
knit tops : drop shoulder boat neck, funnel neck, raglan sleeve.
advanced beginners, both with cut-on sleeves :
top/ tunic,
robe jacket.

Yet another example, from Tilly and the Buttons :
Patterns for beginners :
elastic-waist skirt.
elastic-waist pants (change the fabric).
cut-on sleeve top, with facing neckline.
– – add-on pattern includes long sleeves, gathered waist dress.
confident beginners :
oversize top with drop shoulders, knits.
– – conversion to robe-jacket, knits.

And Wardrobe By Me, that link goes to a wardrobe post, links below to individual patterns.
level 1/4 difficulty
camisole – knits,
top – woven or knit fabric, neckline and sleeve variations,
level 2/4
skirt – stretch woven,
‘easy’ pants, with video.

While here are a couple of zero-waste options, including some buttonholes :
From Fibr&Cloth, both for advanced beginners :
blouse (video).
leisure set.

Birgitta Helmersson
beginner :

advanced beginner :
pants and skirt.

Burda Easy is a pattern magazine that comes out 6 times a year. Sizes are small, max. body bust 40″/100cm. You have to add seam allowances before cutting fabric, but otherwise the techniques used are basic. Not like Burda Style magazine : these pattern pieces don’t overlap, and can be cut out. So they don’t need to be traced, though that’s still a good idea if you want to make several sizes. About 10 pages on each style, diagrams illustrate sewing steps, some styles have video. Occasional buttonholes, darts (see Techniques A-G tab above) and collars applied with facing.

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This is nowhere near a complete list of beginner patterns, collating them all would be an impossible task ! Even these suggestions make it obvious that if you have casual clothing style and advanced beginner sewing skills, you have a generous range of options for garments you can make πŸ˜€
Though beware Big4 patterns labelled ‘Very Easy’ – to my eye, some of those include intermediate techniques.

If/ when you do feel ready to move on to Intermediate level techniques such as buttonholes, collars, zips, see the Learn to Sew tab at top right.

What ever your level of skill, enjoy what you can do.
There are so many patterns at every level of difficulty, you only need to move on to the next step when you feel confident about the skills you have already πŸ˜€

On the other hand, you may feel daunted by having so many options and don’t know where to start and feel you have to know it all.

Which is the pattern group that you think you would enjoy wearing or sewing the most ?
If you find that a difficult question to answer, then write each option on a separate piece of paper.
Then either :
– put them in a bowl and get someone to pick one out. How do you feel about how came out ? do you feel pleased or horrified πŸ˜€
– or take out two and choose which you like best. Keep that and pick out another to compare to it. Continue until there is only one left !

Good Luck with learning about sewing and about what sewing you love to do
β™₯️ πŸ‘ β™₯️ πŸ‘ β™₯️

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These are now the sections in this group of posts on learning to sew garments :
The way this group of posts has become so large just shows how much there can be to know about sewing, even at the lowest levels.

These are a couple of posts on starting to understand your machine :
1. learn to control speed and direction, by stitching on paper.
2. thread the machine, stitch on fabric.

This is the post I keep referring to about learning the most basic skills before starting to make garments.

1. Start on the path to learning to sew garments :
1A. Pattern lines which teach.
1B. Some big ‘learn to sew’ courses.
2. Some shorter courses.

3. Make making easier – levels of difficulty, suggestions for practising.

Moving on from the basics

While writing these posts, I was thinking about varying a garment pattern in two contexts :
4. Variations on a cut-on sleeve top, now expanded to include more garment types :
Variations A : change style elements.
Variations B : from pullover to open front.
Variations C : using your fibre-arts skills
D : Variations on the 2 patterns used in the Seamwork learn to sew course, a dress with waist seam, and a robe-style jacket.

5. Become aware of your many styles.

6a. Beginner wardrobe A : add skills as you make clothes. This post provides a guided sequence of making which you might follow.

6b. Beginner wardrobe B : some possible outfits/ capsules from specific pattern lines.

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These are posts on specific easy-make garment styles :

Cut-on sleeve tops – group of five posts :
1. patterns,
2A. Reasons to make a test garment.
2B. Making a test garment, and adjusting for fit and preferences.
2C. An example of a changed test garment, plus how to revise your pattern.
3. Sewing a cut-on sleeve top.

Peasant-style tops, with gathered neckline and raglan sleeves.
More easy tops.

Elastic-waist skirts.
Elastic-waist pants.

Robe style jackets.

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