One yard of fabric! Everyone is talking about the easy, only-sew-what-you-need sewing trend and for good reason. With quick and easy projects like a simple pillowcase, kitchen apron, and pretty tote bag, it’s never been so easy to learn to sew.
For those who have never sewn before, 1 yard cuts of fabric are affordable, easy to find, and just enough to make one project. And best of all, you only need basic sewing skills and tools – a sewing machine, scissors (or rotary cutter and mat), and coordinating thread. Pins or sewing clips will also be helpful.
All Free Sewing Patterns and Tutorials
Here are my 50 favorite one yard wonder sewing ideas. Some of the patterns call for several pieces of fabric that add up to one yard. For example, one yard for the exterior of a bag and one yard for the lining.
If all you have (or all you want to use) is a single one yard piece of fabric, feel free to cut the entire project out with the same fabric. It’s all good! You can use scraps of fabric for the smaller pieces (like a pocket) to add interest.
Easiest projects first!
In order to help you find a sewing project you will love, these patterns and tutorials that only need 1 yard of fabric are first divided into categories. Within the categories, the easiest projects are listed first. This is for all the beginning sewists!
Lightweight cotton fabric (like quilting cotton) is very easy to sew with. So is heavier cotton fabric, such as canvas, duck, and home decor fabrics. Almost all of these projects are designed for cotton. You can use leftover fabrics from a quilt too!
Clothing and Accessories to Sew with One Yard
Straight seams will make you an infinity scarf in pretty cotton fabric. This is the perfect free pattern for a beginner. Sew one for yourself and one to give to a friend.
Remember this style from the 1980’s? This little romper pattern uses only a yard of fabric and it’s soooo easy to make! The free PDF pattern download includes sizes 12 months – 6.
Sew some little skirts (or skorts) with this free downloadable pattern for cotton fabric. You can mix and match lots of different prints or use just one for a simple look.
Leggings are the easist kind of pants to sew. Get started with this free leggings pattern for little girls.
Sometimes our fur babies need a coat to stay warm. If your dog isn’t too big, you can sew a dog coat with under a yard of fabric too! This free pattern includes a video tutorial showing how to measure around the dog’s waist and neck.
Easy Bags to Sew With One Yard or Less
The One Yard Magic Messenger Bag is the perfect sewing project for a beginner. It could be your first DIY bag!
The One Yard Magic Hobo Bag pattern is just as easy. Do you have 1 yard for this in your fabric stash?
This little book bag pattern is perfect for natural canvas fabric and quilting cotton on the straps.
Here’s another unlined bag pattern that works best with heavier upholstery weight fabric (this fabric looked like linen, but it was polyester). The Easy Tote Pattern has a free (optional) bunny applique too.
Learn how to make easy drawstring bags with less than a yard of fabric. You’ll love this tutorial that can be sewn with coordinating fabrics or just one.
My rope handled tote pattern is so quick to sew because you don’t have to make handles or straps. Rope is trendy too!
Sew together handy travel pouch with a cross body strap that’s perfect for travel. There are 3 interior pockets in 3 different sizes – room for just what you need!
Sew up adorable and useful drawstring laundry bags that are shaped like fish! This easy sewing tutorial includes free pattern templates. Get started now with just a yard of fabric. I have used this pattern to make a backpack too!
Sew a beautiful cross body bag pattern that will be your new favorite purse!
Mix and match with this One Yard Magic Bag Pattern: one yard for one bag or 2 yards for 2 bags with a different lining.
Learn how to sew a quilted tote. The quilting stitches are optional, but I hope you don’t skip them!
Intermediate Level Bag Patterns
The Chubby Lunch Tote is a medium skill level bag that’s good for holding a lot more than just lunch.
Sew up a roomy bag that’s perfect for carrying balls of yarn and your knitting or crochet projects too! The Yarn Project Bag would make a great gift.
Sew yourself (or a friend) The Arial Tote Pattern with a unique braided strap and a cell phone pocket on the inside!
This hobo bag style purse pattern is easier to make than you think! I wanted to keep it simple enough that it wouldn’t take more than a day to sew, and yet still have all the features that I want in an every day purse.
Sew a small purse in the cutest shape everyone wants right now – a Baguette Bag! This purse may be small but you can still pack it with everything you need.
I put a little zipper pouch inside this little clutch bag that is perfect for keeping your cash, coins, cards, and keys safe. There is also the perfect spot for your phone.
Sew a the Triple Zipper Bag Pattern with 3 zippered compartments! This is an intermediate level pattern. If you are new to sewing zipper bags, I suggest trying my free Designer Zipper Bag video course first.
Sew a clamshell bag pattern just the way you like it! Without anything fancy, this zipper bag is just right for holding supplies, cosmetics, or small things when you travel. But if you add exterior pockets and handles it makes a darling handbag.
Home Decor Projects with 1 Yard of Fabric
Learn how to sew a pillowcase with exactly one yard of fabric and no waste!
A yard of fabric will give you 4 coordinating cloth napkins. This easy tutorial shows 2 different ways to sew the hems. These cloth napkins will elevate your table.
You can never have too much fabric – or soup bowl cozies. A fat quarter will make 1 and a yard will make 4!
This full apron pattern is particularly perfect to me… it’s simple, functional, and beautiful.
Sew a pretty table runner with just one yard of fabric and 5 minutes of your time.
Sew a matching hostess apron and tote bag with a single yard. Don’t miss this magic tutorial.
If you are using non-directional fabric, you can make this beautiful pillow with 1 yard of fabric or purchase 1/2 yard for the front and 1/2 yard for the back.
Sew a beautiful fall table runner with applique leaves! This free Autumn Leaves Table Runner Pattern includes all the applique files and instructions you need to sew a beautiful handmade table runner for your Thanksgiving table.
This easy to make oven mitt pattern uses cotton fabric and insulated batting to make oven mitts that that are as beautiful as they are functional.
Sewing Projects to Make You More Organized
Sew up a cute square basket that’s perfect for keeping, giving away, organizing your home, and showing off to all your friends!
With just a half-yard of fabric, you can make 1 easy shoe storage bag, and with 1 yard you can make a set of 2. These are perfect for keeping shoes protected from everything else in your bag – or maybe keeping everything else protected from your shoes, lol!
Get everything organized with this darling rectangular fabric basket that is so sturdy it can stand up by itself!
Sewing chair pockets (or seat sacks) for an elementary school classroom turned out to be really fun and I only needed one yard for each pocket.
Be ready to walk out the door by sewing up this smart organizer that has pockets and hanging loops for anything you need.
Learn how to sew this easy couch caddy keep all of your essential items handy and organized.
Keep all your bags organized with my free purse organizer sewing pattern! This handy organizer has pockets all over and is perfect for holding all those little things in your purse that get jumbled together.
This easy to make hang-up family organizer has 5 pockets to help you keep all your things right where you need them and easy to find.
Sew up a double sided pouch to help you organize your cosmetics, sewing and craft items, art supplies, travel necessities, and more! This is an intermediate level sewing pattern.
Sew Something for Your Car!
My Car Diddy Bag holds my phone (and the cords, lol), a couple pens, and anything else I want to toss in there quick while I’m driving. What will you put in it?
This easy to sew car trash bin has an adjustable strap so it can be placed near the center console of your car, around a headrest, or you can even loop it through a door handle. Plastic snaps hold a removable bag in place so you can keep everything clean and taking out the trash is easy!
More Patterns to Sew For Kids
This pattern is for a cute messenger bag that fits on the front of a bike – it’s perfect for kids or kids-at-heart!
Handmade gifts are the best, aren’t they? Here’s a cute diaper clutch you can whip up quickly when a friend is having a baby. Just toss in a few diapers and wipes and you’ve got the most thoughtful gift at the baby shower!
More accessories you will want to make with just a yard…
Did you know that animal shelters often use small quilts or blankets (called cage comforters) in the animals’ cages to provide a soft bed and a sense of security? Sew one to donate today!
Learn how to sew owls! This easy owl sewing pattern can be made in 3 sizes, or more by altering the pattern template. The largest one takes a yard of fabric. I love the button eyes.
Travel handmade with this beautiful jewelry organizer that you can sew with just 3 fat quarters! Or you can use one 3/4 yard of fabric for all the pieces.
My Pretty Quilted iPad case pattern is everything you need to protect a new iPad or table. Sew it using a yard of your favorite fabric, a zipper, and some flexible foam stabilizer.
Use your favorite fabrics to make the perfect wallet. This free diy wallet sewing pattern is beautiful and functional too. I love the quilted exterior that reminds me of designer wallets from Vera Bradley, Coach, or Chanel!
Whether you are sewing with coordinating fat quarters or yardage cut off a bolt, I hope you found the sewing pattern you were looking for. If the width of fabric is less than 40”, you may need more than a yard for some of these sewing projects.
Which of these one yard wonders is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
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