Summer is a great season wherever you are in the world (if you like the sun of course) and I know that I am often caught out when it arrives suddenly and unexpectedly. Having a selection of ‘go to’ simple summer sewing patterns helps me to quickly sew up some summer clothing suitable for warmer weather.
In this article we’ll look at the different things you can sew in summer to keep you more comfortable in the heat, from dresses and skirts to tops, shorts and pants!
If you like a minimal design aesthetic, do check out my new guide to the best Scandinavian sewing patterns too!
3 Simple Summer Dress Patterns
Lets start with some simple summer dress patterns!
I’m not the biggest fan of dresses at the moment. I have gained some weight and find that wearing dresses in the hot weather results in sore thighs from the heat and thigh rub. Having suffered with severe psoriasis in my younger years in that very area, I’m keen to avoid the bare legs that come with dresses.
For those of you who do not have the same struggle, here is a selection of my favourite summer dress patterns!
1. York Pinafore Dress – Helen’s Closet
This simple York pinafore dress from Helen’s Closet is perfect for sewing beginners looking to practice more intermediate techniques. Helen created this playful pattern up to size 30 – I sewed one up in fun yellow curtain fabric that is about 25 years old!
The pattern calls for woven fabric, and in two lengths, it’s a great simple summer sewing pattern! Stay tuned for my written post on how I sewed mine up!
2. A Simple Ruffle Dress – The Creative Curator
When my younger brother got marries back in 2019, I flew into the UK from NYC and needed to sew up a suitable dress quite quickly.
It isn’t really a dress pattern, more of a tutorial showing how I made this simple ruffle dress, but it is a simple make for the summer, and is great for sewing beginners!
Here’s how fab the dress is! I made it from a secondhand caftan I bought for £10 at the Oxfam shop on Notting Hill Gate in London! How stunning is the fabric?
Now, I don’t think I ever shared a photo of my family here before. But, as I made the dress, and it was created for my brother’s wedding, I figured I’ll make an exception! From left to right: me, my big brother, my little brother (aka The Groom), m y Ma and my Pa!
If you love this simple summer ruffle dress, you can make one for yourself by following the simple DIY dress tutorial here!
3. The Ebony Dress – Closet Core Patterns
Heather, over at Closet Core Patterns, is another designer that inspires me. I have purchased more sewing patterns from Closet Core than any other indie designer, mostly because the fit is so good.
This is the Ebony dress, slightly more complex than the top above from Wendy, in that it has a raglan sleeve. But it is such an easy sew! Definitely a simple summer make for sewing beginners!
3 Simple Summer Skirt Patterns
If you’re looking for skirt patterns that are perfect for summer, this selection is a great starting point!
1. The Astrid Skirt – Ploen Patterns
I grabbed this simple summer skirt pattern the moment Josefine released it. I was about to crash out for the night during a trip to Denmark when the email came through!
The Astrid skirt is an easy make for sewing beginners, though I suspect some might wince at the thought of button holes down the centre front – buttonholes can make or break a garment but I think making the effort with the Astrid skirt is worth it!
2. Ellis Skirt – Cashmerette Patterns
Cahsmerette have been on my radar since I started gaining weight. I need to hack most sewing patterns due to my height (almost 6 foot tall!) but since growing in girth as well, I’ve also had to make other changes too. This is why I mostly self draft patterns.
Cashmerette patterns are designed for curves, and the Ellis skirt is a great staple to add to your summer wardrobe if you love a denim skirt!
There are different fit options depending on whether you’re an apple or pear shape and the reviews are fab! This is one on my list to buy, download and make ASAP!
3. Panelled Circle Skirt – The Creative Curator
It wouldn’t be right to leave out my free panelled circle skirt pattern template would it?
Created during early summer 2021, the template is free to download, and will help you create a simple panelled circle skirt pattern.
Make it up in lightweight sheer fabric types for flirty summer skirts – my next version will be made from a cotton lawn, another fabric perfect for summer!
3 Simple Summer Top Patterns
If you’re like me, separates are the way to go in the summer months, and the simple summer top patterns will pair up nicely with the summer skirt patterns above or the shorts and pants highlighted below.
1. Walkley Top Pattern – Wendy Ward
One of my most favourite simple summer sewing patterns comes from Wendy Ward over at MIY Collection. I have great respect for Wendy who is a big advocate of not ‘mass manufacturing’ either as a home sewer or in the fashion industry.
Her Walkley Pattern is both a vest top and dress pattern, so perfect for the summer months. It is available in a three size range, and designed to be sewn in jersey fabrics, making it one of the most worn sewing patterns that I have purchased and sewn up!
The design itself is simple, but with some creativity this is a simple top pattern that can be spliced up and made in various ways for a variety of new summer tops and dresses!
2. Krissa Top – Amy Nicole Studio
I kept seeing photos of the Krissa Top on Amy’s Instagram stories but could not find the pattern in her shop. Alas, it is a free pattern available to her subscribers only!
To grab it, I scrolled down Amy’s home page and joined her mailing list – not a bad thing as I love keeping an eye on Amy’s pattern releases! – and was then able to find and download the Krissa top pattern!
I made this simple summer sewing pattern up from a semi-sheer upholstery fabric, and added a wonderful trim too, but haven’t yet taken photos. Stay tuned for those.
It was an easy to make pattern, so definitely recommended for sewing beginners.
3. Alderley Top – Sew Over it
I’m a big fan of Sew Over It sewing patterns too, and the Alderley Top is great for simple summer tops!
It’s great for advanced sewing beginners who want to experiment with more techniques – you’ll cut this summer top sewing pattern on the bias and the seams are sewn with beautiful French seams!
Simple Summer Sewing Patterns
I love all the patterns I’ve highlighted here. I think it’s a fab selection of summer patterns that are simple enough in design that they can be sewn again and again over the years to update your summer wardrobe!
The only two patterns I have yet to buy are the Ellis skirt and the Ebony dress. I’m not a fan of jersey dress though, so I’ll probably grab the Ellis this weekend and crack on with making that up ASAP!
If you have some suggestions for simple summer sewing patterns that others may be interested in checking out, do let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my guide to the best plus sized sewing patterns, 7 sewing books with patterns and my latest post covering the best Scandinavian sewing patterns!
Eve Tokens (aka The Creative Curator) is a fashion designer, creative pattern cutter and sewing pattern designer.
Eve graduated with a 2:1 in Fashion Design from the University of The Creative Arts in the UK, has a BTEC diploma in Creative Pattern Cutting, a Foundation Degree in Art & Design from Wimbledon College of Art and gained extensive experience in the fashion industry by interning and freelancing for London based fashion brands – Hardy Amies, Roland Mouret, Peter Pilotto and others.
As well as running her own small sustainable fashion brand, Eve has more than 25 years experience sewing and making clothes for herself and family members.