outique Unique Designs PDF Sewing Patterns


Welcome to our blog


We are hoping to cover a variety of sewing topics on our new blog. Our main focus has been designing PDF Sewing Patterns. We have a varied range and will still be adding to it.


Thank you for stopping by, we hope it has been useful.

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Oct 29 2017 02:11PM

We all love sewing but there is always a cost. If you are sewing for yourself, as a gift, or with a view to selling on, what are you prepared to pay out? Our top selling pattern is The Betty Bag and we have sold many, many copies of this pattern to sewers all over the world. I have costed out my favourite Betty sample as an example.

The Betty Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
The Betty Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Why Handmade goods can sound expensive but be worth it!
Why Handmade goods can sound expensive but be worth it!

As you can see things soon add up and you have to ask yourself if you are planning to sell the bag you are going to have to price it very carefully. So if you are at your local craft fair and are surprised by the prices consider what goes into making one bag.


It doesn't have to cost this much though. As bag designers we have to make our samples to catch the eye and it helps if the fabrics are from current collections.

There are ways to reduce the cost.

Bag furniture in particular can be bought cheaper if you know you are going to be making a few bags, buying singly means paying top price.

Bag linings don't have to be from a named designer plain fabrics can be bought quite cheaply if you shop around.

Polyester wadding is cheaper than cotton and has more spring in it than cotton which is better for bags.

Recycling, never throw anything away without removing any buttons and with old bags remove any hardware.

We have an item on our website about upcycling and generally scavenging for fabrics and reusable trim.

Scavenge and Save - A thrifty mums tips to filling up your stash
Scavenge and Save - A thrifty mums tips to filling up your stash

The Betty Bag Pattern can be found here

View the rest of our pattern range here

Or just keep on scrolling for more hints and tips!

Please feel free to post any business links in the comments on this post if you sell handmade goods or have a maker whos work you love!

Christmas is on the way and we love unique gifts

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Oct 14 2017 06:32PM

Rose Bag with Flap Zip Pocket & More

Rose Shoulder Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Rose Shoulder Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

A pretty medium sized handbag with handy zip pocket on the front flap and two cute bucket pockets underneath.

Big enough to fit your essentials, car keys, purse etc. Secure zip closure to main bag compartment and internal inset zip pocket.

Provides a good opportunity to show off some feature fabric on the front flap panel. Quickly get access to tickets etc in the flap zip pocket.

Flap Zip Pocket PDF Sewing Pattern
Flap Zip Pocket PDF Sewing Pattern

This pattern is suitable for experienced bag makers, it includes full colour step by step photos and instructions. Our pattern pieces are digitally drafted and are provided for all pattern pieces (no measure and cut pieces).


Main Bag Approx 9" High 8" Wide 2" Deep

Baby Bucket Pockets Approx 4" High 4" Wide 1" Deep

Find out more and buy now on our website for £4.75

Or visit our store on Craftsy Here and buy now for $5.99

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Sep 30 2017 06:26PM

What Sewing Pattern Do I Buy?
What Sewing Pattern Do I Buy?

Even when you have been sewing a while, choosing and buying a pattern can either be a bit daunting; or you may randomly buy any pattern that takes your fancy and have a huge collection most of which you have never used but like the look of. When it comes to choosing a pattern to make up there are several questions you should ask yourself.

What skill level have I reached?

Would I consider myself to be a beginner?

Have I developed into a competent sewer?

Am I now an expert sewer who could tackle just about anything?

A lot of published patterns state on them that they are easy or beginner patterns these generally have a lot less pieces, rely on a relaxed fit and quite often don't have a zip. At the other end of the scale you are moving into territory where zips, invisible zips, darts, collars and plackets begin to appear. There is a whole other language to sewing and on a mainstream pattern such as Simplicity, New Look, Burda, Butterick or McCall's you will come across this. To learn what these terms mean you could either go on a course, buy a book of comprehensive sewing terms and techniques or go on YouTube where there is a wealth of free tuition available.

What do I want to wear this for?

What do I see myself making this for?

A smart outfit for work, or maybe something special for an event, or do I just want to have a go at something I can relax in?

Something smart or special doesn't have to be a complicated and elaborate pattern, sometimes the simplest style in a quality fabric can make a bold statement. For leisurewear, you can get some great patterns that have multiple garments in them so look for value for money and lots of choice.

What style do I want?

So you've decided what you want to make and what it is going to be worn for, but what actual style do you go for?

When I first started sewing the bottom of my wardrobe soon filled up with things that although well made didn't look the same on me as they did on the model on the front of the envelope. I wasn't being realistic with my expectations, the models are immensely tall and skinny and I was a slightly chubby teenager. To find styles that suit you look in your wardrobe, what do you love to wear, what gets complimented whenever you wear it. This is a good starting point. Another great thing to do is to go clothes shopping but instead of buying try loads on. Take a trustworthy friend with you and explain that you are trying to work out what styles suit you the best.

What about fit?

There can be confusion with pattern sizes, before you commit to buying check whether the sizing on the pattern is UK sizing USA sizing or European sizing. Then check that the pattern covers your size some come in multiple sizes but they are split into groups e.g. 8-14 then 16-20 then 22-26 so you need to be sure your size is there. Also look out for petite versions of patterns and plus size versions. Once you have bought the pattern you may need to make adjustments to it for a good fit, this is a whole other area we will cover in a post dedicated to pattern adjustments.

Which fabrics?

Your pattern will have a lot of suggestions on it regarding fabric and notions. Notions are all the bits and bobs that you need in addition to the fabric, such as buttons or a zip, thread, elastic, fasteners and such like. The fabric suggestions are very important because the designer will have designed with the characteristics of the fabric in mind.

A woven fabric is the most stable fabric to use it doesn't stretch or give and the pattern will have allowed for this.

A knit fabric is softer and more relaxed it generally drapes well and is often used for 'easy' patterns.

Stretch fabrics as the description suggests contain lycra or elastine that allow it to stretch. You can have a two way stretch fabric which will stretch either up and down or across the fabric but not both. A four way stretch will stretch up and down and across. For the best results stick to the fabric suggested on the pattern.

Do I really need to buy a sewing pattern?

So do you really need a pattern? Patterns can cost anything up to £12 or £13 if money is tight that might be the fabric money and there are ways around this. You could make your own pattern from an old favourite you loved but has had its day. Cut along all the seams and draw around the pieces, add a seam allowance and hey presto you have a pattern that fits in a style you like. Another way is to venture into the world of indie patterns makers. Indie pattern makers publish their patterns independently of the big pattern companies and sometimes they are free. To find indie patterns the best platforms are Etsy and Craftsy. The patterns are PDF patterns that you download and print off yourself. One word of warning Indie pattern makers are not regulated in any way, anyone can publish a pattern, so quality is not guaranteed so check reviews before you commit to fabric and start sewing.

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By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Sep 6 2017 04:54PM

Be a Have a go Hero!

When it comes to sewing and crafting are you a have a go hero? Do you have an idea, get the kit together and just have a go? A lot of people are put off by the myths about sewing that there is one special unquestionable technique for everything. They feel discouraged before they start if they don't know 'the right way' to do something. A lot of people are put off even starting to sew because they think you have to buy so many specialised items. The cost of setting up before they even look at fabric or a pattern put's them off even having a go.

I belong to many sewing related forums partly because I can often give help and advice based on half a century of sewing both for myself and commercially as a bridal wear designer. I've tackled just about everything and currently am half of Boutique Unique Designs designing bags. The other reason is I just love to see what people are making, basically I'm a bit nosy. But amongst the many forums there are two noticeable threads, There is a sense of friendship and support among contributors and someone will always have an answer to your questions. I applaud all the people who take the time to give guidance to 'newbies' and encourage them, but whilst well intentioned some advice can make things seem too complicated and more difficult than they need to be.

I first started sewing with a needle, thread, an old pillowcase and my mum's kitchen scissors - oh and my Barbie, she was the model. Today if I wanted to start sewing and asked for advice I would have a list as long as my arm and possibly adding up to several hundred pounds. Yes there are some fantastic and clever things you can buy but you don't need them to start off, you may decide in time you don't need them at all.

1. What do I need?

An entry level machine can be bought for between £70 and £80 something like the Brother LS14 (other machines are available in this price range) A basic machine like this will enable you to do all the things you need to do to construct clothing or craft items. You could also get a reconditioned bargain at your local sewing machine shop. The only other items of equipment you need are a good pair of scissors an iron and an ironing board, some pins and needles. You don't need to buy specialist scissors straight away but you may want to in time. Your sewing scissors are for sewing an should not be used for any other purpose so that they stay sharp.

2. Do I need a pattern?

No not always. Sewing patterns can cost anything up to £10 but they are regularly on sale for half price if you are patient. You can also get indie patterns on Craftsy and some of them are free. When you are buying your first pattern look for one that says 'easy sew' or 'beginner' and to get value for money more than one item in it. OR Have a go at making your own from an old favourite that's had its day. Just cut along the seams and use it as a pattern remembering to add 1/2" seam allowance and hems where necessary.

3. Do I need to trace my bought pattern?

No you can but you don't have to. There is a modern myth now that you should trace your bought pattern off in the size you want and yes there is a case for this. If you are going to be making multiple sizes or multiple copies if the same garment it will preserve the original pattern. BUT if you are only making for yourself no you don't need to trace your pattern it is time consuming and unnecessary. Either cut the pattern out on the biggest size and fold the edges in to the size you want or if you are confident it will fit and your weight is not going to fluctuate too much cut out the size you need.

4. Do I need to wash my fabric?

Not necessarily. There are two reasons people wash their fabric before cutting out their garment. Firstly to get rid of any chemicals leftover from the production of the fabric. Secondly in case it shrinks. If you have spent hours making something and the first time you wash it, it shrinks and no longer fits you it will be a big letdown. It's personal choice I fall into the don't bother camp especially if you are making craft items that are unlikely to be washed, and luckily I have never had a garment shrink on its first wash.

5. Do I need special machine needles?

No not really. The manufacturer of your machine will have supplied a set of needles with your machine and they will vary in size. The general rule is the thicker the fabric the thicker the needle so a size 12 needle would be good on chiffon or fine silk anything thin, a size 16 for denim or canvas, generally thicker fabrics. I find a size 16 needle is a good one to have for most general sewing. The only other needle you might want for fabric garment making would be a ball point needle. These are designed for knit fabrics such as Jersey and the ball point pushes between the threads as you sew rather than piercing them and weakening the fabric. Some of the fabrics will benefit from using one such as Scuba, Spandex and Lycra. Having said that I have often sewn knitted fabrics with an ordinary needle and not noticed any damage so I would say get a scrap of your fabric and have a go.

6. Are stretch fabrics really hard to sew?

No, they are not and the beauty of stretch fabrics is the drape and an ease of fit because of the stretch in them. There are a lot of myths around sewing stretch fabrics e.g. you need a special needle, you need a walking foot, you need to have a stitch on your machine especially for knits. These things aren't always necessary but all will work and if it works for you, it's the right way for you. Most knits including jersey can be sewn with an ordinary needle and an ordinary foot with a small zigzag stitch of 2 length and 2 width. Get an old T-shirt and have a go. The key thing to remember is the stretch, don't pull or push the fabric through the machine pin it evenly and take the pins out as you sew. Never ever sew over pins you can break a needle and it may fly at your face.

Have a go at things. For a lot of things there are different approaches what matters is what works for you, nobody is right and nobody is wrong if there is a successful outcome. What matters is that you had a go and made something and during that process you learned something. So be a have a go hero and send us a picture of your makes to info@boutiqueuniquedesigns.com

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 20 2017 05:29PM

Whilst not essential to any of our designs zips are included but in some can be omitted and substituted with Velcro or poppers or just left as an open top bag.

Zips can be scary for beginners but with the majority of our patterns the zips are generally put in as one of the first processes when the fabric is flat and easy to handle. Or they are attached to two pieces of fabric designed as a zip carrier and then attached to the main pieces as in the lining of The Betty Bag to the right.

One of the key points to remember when attaching a zip are that each side should be sewn an equal distance from the teeth. In most of our projects the raw ends of the Zips are caught in the subsequent seams as the project is constructed. Some of the projects such as the Betty Bag use a 'zip carrier' and we have tidied the visible end of the zip with a tab made of matching fabric this not only looks nice but has a function in that when you close the bag it gives you something to hang onto and pull against.

Download the Printable to read more on Inset Zips, Top Opening Zips, Zip Carriers and Zip Tabs.

The third addition to our glossary series. Designed as support materialsto run along with our patterns and also to assist people who want to design their own.

This article is available in a printable version download here An Introduction to Zips Printable

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