Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

My Top 5: Indie pattern companies

So today I’m on my way to the Sewing Weekender hosted by The Fold Line ladies and Charlotte from English Girl at Home. Which means there’s no new make for you guys today because I’ve been frantically prepping and packing for this little weekend away! (I’m so excited!!!)

Instead what I’ve got is a round up of some of my favourite indie pattern designers (with reasons why) and the first of my ‘Top 5’ lists. I’m planning to do a whole bunch which should give you guys a bit of insight into my sewing world if you’re interested!

Here we go!

1. DP Studio

This one wins on sheer pattern cutting ingenuity. DP make really fashion forward garments which are very, very far from the norm you get from the Big 4. I find them exciting and innovative though I can imagine a lot of people being put off by how out of the box some of their styles are! That’s what I love about them though!

I’ve made their 601 blouse and I’ve got the 600 blouse to make as well!

2. Tilly and the Buttons

This is the perfect place for beginners to start. Simple patterns with easy to follow, clear instructions make this pattern company a dream for newbies. You can start with easy patterns like the Cleo dress and move on to more advanced ones like the Orla blouse. The style is a little bit retro if you like that kind of thing! I’m not always a fan of that but it’s easy to work around it with different fabric choices and of course, plenty of pattern hacking. I’ve made nearly all of the paper patterns (a bonus of interning for Tilly a couple of years back!) so I can honestly say that they are all pretty good. I even bought her book for my little sister who was learning to sew and she loves it!

Check out some of my TATB makes here, here and here!

3. Named Clothing

Can a brand be too cool? If there is one, it’s Named. They bring out new collections of patterns twice a year and they have such a good eye for style and design. My favourite of their patterns in the Kielo dress but I’ve also got the Harriet lumber jacket and a Reeta midi dress in my future sewing plans! I tend to find I’ll love everything from one collection and very little from another. I think it all depends of the look/ theme for each one! I’m loving their latest collection playgrounds though!

4. By Hand London

This is the brand for you if you like beautiful girly designs. I’ve only made 2 BHL patterns – the Flora and the Sabrina dresses – and I’ve loved them both. The Sabrina dress has been my go to pattern of the summer. I’ve already made it 3 times!

5. Closet Case 

I can’t say enough good things about a company who’ve enabled me to make the best fitting jeans I’ve ever owned! I’ve made a lot of Closet Case patterns – Nettie, Carolyn, Morgan and Ginger – and often more than once. These are patterns that I’ve turned to time after time and will continue to do so. Seriously. I’ve got denim ready for about 5 more pairs of jeans… I’ve also got the Kelly anorak (and recently got fabric for it!) to be made up soon!
Honourable mentions…

Ralph Pink

Beautiful elegant style, terrible instructions. That’s the best way to describe my love/hate relationship with this brand. It’s definitely not for newbies as the instructions often have a lot of errors but the patterns themselves are excellent and there’s no better style wise! They’re so chic!

Grainline Studio

Is it bad that this is on here because I like the fact they make their knit patterns to be sewn straight on a overlocker? I know it’s a tiny thing to just trim down a seam allowance but it makes my life so my easier this way! My favourite of theirs is the Linden sweater which I’ve already made many multiples of. They do great basic patterns that would be perfect for filling out a casual day-to-day wardrobe.
What are your go-to indie patterns companies? If any for that matter? There still a lot of sewists who prefer to sew the Big 4 (and more power to you if you do!). 

I love the diversity and creativity that comes with indie patterns. But mostly I love the pretty packaging…

About Me

Related Posts


  1. You’ve included a few of my favourites too – Grainline and Tilly 🙂 I have a couple of others to add to the list which are both in the UK by the way 🙂 (I’m in Canada) One is Trend – beautiful fresh designs and the other is ’til the Sun Goes Down – gorgeous vintage inspired patterns. Their Amelie Blouse turned out gorgeous. Great instructions as well.

  2. I started looking at indie patterns after I joined the #sewmystyle challenge. Where I live in Northern Canada we don’t even have a fabric store, so I order all of my sewing things online. I love the Sew House Seven Toaster sweater and their Bridgetown dress. I also really like the Megan Neilsen patterns. And I agree that the Tilly and the Buttons patterns and book are great for beginners, very easy to follow directions.

  3. I love DP Studio…such adventurous designs! I’m very tempted to try the two-piece dress with pleated sleeves or the rather weird belted bow dress.

  4. Oh, I didn’t know about DP Studio. I found a dress I’d love to make! I do like the Big 4 and have been using them more and more. I will never stop loving Jalie patterns for knits though! Their instructions are concise but complete and their size range is phenomenal (from a children’s size 2 all the way through women’s plus sizes). I have used their basic T-shirt pattern over and over as a starting point for whatever my kids wanted. I’ve also been using Hot Patterns lately.

  5. I did a pattern inventory last year, and no surprise, I found that I had more Vogue patterns than any other make. However, Style Arc came a very, very close second. The next three by number of patterns were ‘big 4’ but then came Truly Victorian, which is an amazing source if you are into historical/steampunk stuff.
    I’ve made odd ones from other indies, but overall, I’m underwhelmed as I think they mostly market to people much younger than me, and to beginners.
    Horses for courses, Vogue for me! [But check out Style Arc, always up to date, interesting looks]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.