How to use a sewing pattern


1. What is a sewing pattern?

A sewing pattern is a flat plan of each part of a garment. Each piece of the sewing pattern represents a separate piece of the garment. On a sewing pattern there can be a single size or several superimposed.

beginner sewing pattern

2. How to take your measurements and choose your size?

To choose the size of your sewing pattern, I strongly advise you to take your measurements with a measuring tape before buying your patterns. Indeed, the sizes vary from one brand to another. In addition, clothing sizes in stores are different from tailoring sizes.

To take measurements:

  • Put on your underwear
  • Take a tape measure
  • Note the most important measurements for the desired model. For example :

take your couture measurements

3. Paper pattern or PDF pattern?

Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. We will review them for you.

A. The PDF sewing pattern

  • Advantages :
    • Quick to get, it arrives directly in your mailbox
    • Reprint is possible
  • Disadvantages:
    • You need a printer and count the cost of ink and paper
    • Huge waste of paper when cutting parts
    • It takes a very long time to assemble. You have to put everything in the right order on the ground and tape the sheets together one by one. A test of at least 30 minutes before even starting to talk about sewing.
    • Preservation is more difficult

sewing pattern pdf

B. The paper / kraft / tracing paper sewing pattern

  • Benefits :
    • You can start as soon as you have it in hand.
    • Less paper waste
    • Easy to store and reuse later
    • No printer needed
    • Clean and easy to use
  • Disadvantages:
    • Wait while ordering

For beginners in sewing we recommend paper patterns because they are more pleasant to use and quick to start.

4. Look at the necessary sewing materials to buy

If only to estimate the cost of the piece, look at the materials needed to make the sewing pattern. There are sometimes special materials to buy such as iron-on.

For beginners in sewing, pay attention to the materials! It is better to use fairly rigid fabrics rather than fabrics that slip. Cotton, linen and especially wax are perfect materials because they are quite rigid. Everything in its time, does not add too many difficulties at once. We therefore advise you to try more fluid materials such as silk in a second step.

From this step, if you have purchased a MARILOU STUDIO sewing pattern, everything will be explained in the pattern video.

5. How to cut a pattern?

Once you have determined the size of the piece you want to create, you need to figure out how to cut. Usually there is a particular pattern to follow depending on the size. Cut out the pieces one by one, being careful to follow the lines. Be careful, some patterns offer several models on the same sheet. If so, circle before you start cutting the pieces.

If you want to learn how to keep your sewing pattern well, it's here .

To stay zen throughout the creation of your piece, I advise you to prepare the fabric and cut the pieces in the evening, then start sewing the next day.

6. Prepare your fabric

It is advisable to wash and iron your fabric before embarking on the cutouts. The goal is to prevent the fabric from shrinking in the wash and to keep the cutouts clean. It would be a shame to spend so much time on a piece that will shrink by half after its first wash.

In general there is a "cutting plan". It is a plan that indicates how to place each piece to be cut on your fabric. The cutting plans on the MARILOU STUDIO patterns are designed to waste as little fabric as possible. Before you start, it's important to find the right grain in your fabric ( explained here) .

Before cutting pay attention to how to cut each piece.

how to cut sewing pattern

7. Learn to use a sewing machine

Learning to sew with a sewing machine as a beginner can seem overwhelming. I promise, it's not that complicated. To learn how to sew by machine for free go see this . The sewing patterns are very interesting to progress because they learn sewing techniques.

8. MARILOU STUDIO sewing patterns

These are sewing patterns for beginners redesigned for better readability. MARILOU STUDIO patterns are paper patterns accompanied by a video tutorial because we always understand better with images. Designed for beginners, they are accessible to those new to sewing.

Are we getting started?

Marion Louisa , founder of Marilou Studio

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Merci beaucoup Marion pour tes efforts acharnés, je t’envoie plein d’amour ❤

Houda Bloukid


J’ai acheté et reçu le patron du pantalon. Mais impossible le de trouver la vidéo. Je les vois toutes, veste, cache-coeur, maillot de bain, etc. Mais pas celle du pantalon.
Pouvez-vous m’aider à avoir cette vidéo svp ? Sinon impossible pour moi de réaliser mon pantalon

Merci d’avance

Stéphanie Lavallée

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