12 of the Best Summer Sewing Patterns

We've rounded up our pick of the best summer sewing patterns for you, from culottes to caftans. Reach for the lightweight fabrics and get cracking with these beach-ready me-mades.

Charlie Caftan Sewing Pattern

Some of these patterns are new out this year, and others are among our team favourites… let us know what your favourite summer sewing patterns are from past or present! #simplysewingmag.

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1

Tilly and the Buttons: Stevie Tunic

Stevie is an easy-fitting modern tunic that’s a breeze to sew and wear this summer. Sew it as a top or above-the-knee dress using light to medium weight fabrics, such as gorgeous linens. With no darts, zips or set-in sleeves, it’s a great summer sewing project for sewing newbies, or a satisfying speedy sew for more experienced stitchers.

This brand new pattern is available in paper and PDF formats, in sizes ranging from a UK 6-20, from shop.tillyandthebuttons.com

Stevie Tunic Dress Sewing Pattern
The Stevie Tunic Sewing Pattern © Tilly and the Buttons 
2

Style Arc: Ariana Dress

Style Arc’s sun dress with a fitted shaped bodice and full skirt has a laid-back ’90s vibe.

The Ariana Dress sewing pattern was released earlier this year, and is the perfect 90s-inspired strappy sun dress. It features a button through front, fitted bodice with a shirred back panel (which makes fitting easier), and a full skirt that will skim over your hips. If you don’t fancy having elastic in the back and you’re a confident sewist, you could re-draft this to have a plain back. Add the optional patch pockets and you have the perfect dress for summer picnics, trips to the beach or evening drinks. We’d recommend trying this pattern in cotton lawn or viscose as you’ll want some drape to the skirt.

We’ve spied some great versions of this dress popping up on Instagram, and we’ve fallen in love with @seammachine’s version using Anna Maria Horner’s ‘Helios’ print fabric, which is covered with flying Pegasus. This dress need to be in your summer sewing projects collection.

Available as PDF or printed pattern, sizes 4-30 (AUS) / 8-34 (UK). Shop the pattern at: www.stylearc.com

Ariana Summer Dress Sewing Pattern
The Arianna Dress Sewing Pattern © Style Arc 
3

The Rosa Dress: Simply Sewing

This summer frock is vintage-inspired, oh-so-swishable and a breeze to make and wear, with a button fastening, lining, strap tabs (to create that pretty sweetheart neckline) and a gathered skirt – plus an optional hemline ruffle for added flounce! Make it in lightweight fabrics such as cotton, cotton lawn, crepe or rayon to keep you cool. There’s plenty of fabrics covered in summer patterns so you can truly wear the season.

The Rosa Dress sewing pattern was first published in issue 57 of Simply Sewing magazine and  comes in UK sizes 6-20 (US 4-18/EUR 34-38).

Grab a copy of Simply Sewing issue 58 by downloading the Simply Sewing app for Apple Newstand or Google Play.

Rosa Vintage Dress Sewing pattern
The Rosa Dress Sewing Pattern
4

Closet Case Patterns: Charlie Caftan

This on-trend kaftan sewing pattern is both elegant and relaxed all at the same time. Imagine wearing this by the poolside, cocktail in hand as the sun sets, or slipping into it after work for a drink in the garden!

The dramatic kimono sleeves make a real statement and will flatter most body shapes. We think this would look spectacular made up in a bold-print, bright viscose or even a cotton for a more structured look, which would benefit the pleats in the front.

This is a PDF pattern, sizes 0-20 (see sizing guide here). Shop the pattern at: closetcasepatterns.com

Charlie Caftan Sewing Pattern

5

Coats Crafts: Kimono beach cover-up

It isn’t a holiday without a kimono and Coats Crafts’ free summer sewing pattern is so easy to follow – no pattern required! Make yours from a lightweight material featuring summer patterns and prints then take it on your next getaway.

Click here for Coats Crafts free tutorial.

How to sew a kimono beach cover-up

6

Simply Sewing: The Lola Dress

We couldn’t resist including one or two of our own here! We just love this easy-to-sew maxi dress sewing pattern from issue 44 of Simply Sewing magazine. Make yours with simple spaghetti straps or elegant off-the-shoulder sleeves, pick a drapey cotton, viscose or crepe for maximum swish-factor and  a colourful summer pattern so you can spread sunshine where ever you swish!

This pattern comes in UK sizes 6 to 20 and is available as a digital PDF sewing pattern for £8.99 in Simply Sewing’s Etsy store. Head over to our online store to download it instantly and start sewing today.

The Lola Dress Sewing Pattern
The Lola Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern © Simply Sewing
7

Sew Over It: Lucia top

This quick and easy jersey top pattern has a delightful flirty frill along the top. It’s perfect to make ahead of a holiday, or for a weekend date night.

We recommend using a soft viscose jersey that will not only feel amazing, but will make the ruffles extra drapey. Sewing with this sort of slippery jersey can be a little fiddly as it likes to move about a lot, but go slowly, don’t let it stretch by hanging off the machine as you sew with it and you will be fine. Remember to always use a stretch needle, and practice on some scraps before jumping in!

The version Lisa Comfort is wearing here looks classy in navy polka dot fabric, but this top could look equally gorgeous in a tropical jungle print or a bright solid colour. You could even sew the ruffle in a contrast fabric.

Available as a PDF for £7.50. Shop the pattern at: sewoverit.co.uk

Lucia Top Sewing Pattern
The Lucia Top Sewing Pattern © Sew Over It 
8

Helen’s Closet: Winslow Culottes

Make these swishy culottes as full length palazzo pants, as shorts or anywhere in between for an effortless, summer look. Your fabric choice can create a real impact with these versatile culottes: we think making the full length version in plain black viscose will create a sleek and elegant look, whereas using a light denim or cotton twill on the shorter lengths will make a more relaxed but structured look.

Available as a PDF download for US $14 at helenscloset.ca

Not sure if culottes are your thing? Take a look at 500+ and counting versions of this pattern on Instagram #winslowculottes and you’ll see how adaptable and wearable these are on all sorts of body shapes and in all kinds of style. Pair your Winslow Culottes with a simple, but classic True/Bias Ogden Cami, or the Sew Over It’s Silk Cami Top.

The Winslow Culottes © Helen's Closet
The Winslow Culottes © Helen’s Closet
9

Victory Patterns: Simone Top and Dress

The Simone is a summer sewing pattern that has that extra wow factor – add a contrasting placket and tab detail with pleats to create fullness. We love the fitted neckline, opening at the front and secured with a hook and eye. The back features a contrasting racer-cut yoke. Make it as a dress with asymmetrical hemline or try it as a tank top.

Buy the paper pattern from Victory Patterns for $16.00 at victorypatterns.com

Simone dress sewing pattern

The Simone Top and Dress Pattern © Victory Patterns

10

Jennie Jones: Bento bag

This simple pattern Bento bag can be made up into a myriad of different looks by just switching up the fabric. Choose navy and cream or red for a classic nautical vibe, or colourful, summer patterns for your new go-to beach bag. The tutorial by Jennie Jones is up for free on Gathered.

Free! Make your own Bento bag here. 

Free bag sewing pattern

11

Simply Sewing: patternless Beach Cover-up

Save a spot in your suitcase for Portia Lawrie’s self-drafted cover-up for boho beach style, as featured in Simply Sewing issue 58. This project is great for beginners looking for a laid-back summer make – we’ve included all the instructions you need to draft your own pattern to fit your body in the magazine. Opt for a lightweight fabric (we’ve used drapey rayon) or make it from jersey for a casual look.

Grab a copy of Simply Sewing issue 58 from the Simply Sewing app for Apple Newstand or Google Play.

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How to make a beach cover-up
No sewing pattern needed with this draft-your-own Beach Cover-Up project © Simply Sewing

Share your summer makes with us

What’s on your sewing table this summer? Have we missed out your favourite summer pattern in this post? Tell us about it! There’s nothing we love more than a sneaky peek at your me-mades, so make our day and tag us with your photos on social media #simplysewingmag.