Your mom made sure you knew the basics of sewing, but it’s been forever since you felt inspired to put your secret skill to work. Don’t throw in the shears just yet--Chicago seamstress Jen Beeman will get your creative juices flowing again.

On Grainline Studio, Beeman’s blog and online store, she offers printable, no-fuss patterns. Your summer wardrobe will be a breeze to make--and wear. 



Novices can start by downloading beginner designs like the Scout woven tee, a basic, easy-to-wear top. (Think: fitted in the shoulders, loose in the waist.) We’d wear it to a summer street fair with a pair of Maritime shorts in a pretty pattern. For a more tailored variation on the outfit, we also have our eye on the Archer button-up shirt, a killer chambray top with an optional ruffle.

To keep you on track, Beeman provides “Sew Alongs” that break down the patterns by half-hour daily steps. (The Archer takes 14 days.) In each entry’s comment section, she answers questions and--just when you’re frustrated enough to throw your pinking shears against a wall--keeps you going with four words of encouragement: “It’s really easy, promise!”

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