Free Shrug Pattern – Sew A So Simple Shrug

Free sewing pattern for an easy shrug. 1 pattern piece, 3 seams and its done!

The free sewing pattern for January is the Sew A So Simple Shrug – try saying that quickly!  It's a bit of a tongue-twister.  But honestly, that's the most difficult part right there.

The free shrug pattern looks pretty funky when you look at the pattern.  It's just one piece and hard to make out what it's going to become.  But the sewing is really quick and easy and you'll be carrying this one around with you as Winter turns to Spring. (Soon I hope…)

Free sewing pattern for an easy shrug. 1 pattern piece, 3 seams and its done!

You will need:

  • Stretch knit fabric – 1 yard of 58 inch wide.  (The largest 2 sizes will need just a few inches over 1 yard.) More needed for pattern matching.
  • Thread to match
  • Pattern download

Download the free pattern for the Sew A So Simple Shrug

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out - it's free.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

Free sewing pattern for an easy shrug. 1 pattern piece, 3 seams and its done!

To Sew your Free Shrug Pattern

It will take me longer to write about how to sew this pattern than it will to actually sew it.  There are 3 seams, and you're done.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

Firstly, check out your fabric and see which way it stretches.  There is a line on the pattern piece which represents the direction of the greatest stretch.  If the fabric stretches equally on both directions, then it doesn't really matter, but if it stretches one way more than the other, make sure you lay out the pattern piece so that the line on the pattern follows the direction of the greatest stretch.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

Cut out two pieces.  Place them right sides together and match up the center back seam.  Pin and stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now lay out the piece with the right sides up like this.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

Take the top and fold it down to the bottom, so that you line up those side seams, the under arm point and the sleeves.  Pin and then stitch with a 1/4 inch seam, pivoting at the corner under the arm.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

Snip into that corner close to the stitching.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

Repeat for the other side and then try on the top and check for fit.  It's easy to adjust down the center back seam, or make the sleeves a little closer fitting if you like.  The fit all depends on how much stretch you have in your chosen fabric.

At this point, if it fits, you are done.  If you like, you can hem the sleeves and the edges of the jacket, but seeing its a knit fabric, those edges probably won't fray anyway.  If it starts to look not so great after a few washes, you can always choose to hem it then.

Free Simple Shrug Pattern. Just one pattern piece - this is genius!

I left my edges unfinished around the neck and bottom, left my sleeves a little long and added a cute lettuce leaf hem to the bottom.  I'm thinking of doing the same around the neckline, but not sure – what do you think?

Free sewing pattern for an easy shrug. 1 pattern piece, 3 seams and its done!

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63 Responses to Free Shrug Pattern – Sew A So Simple Shrug

  1. Genevieve Rheeder says:

    For some reason I cannot download the free print. Maybe you could email it to me please.

  2. Martha Wheaton says:

    Just a quick note to express gratitude for this simple but elegant shrug.
    I had lost my “sewing joy” because garments were not fitting. However, I saw your weekly free offering and made the shrug for my grand daughter – who is DELIGHTED!

  3. Lynn Wells says:

    Not the lettuce finish…you wouldn’t want the lift and fall that is so graceful at the wrist and upper hand. Perhaps a scalloped stitch from your sewing machines repertoire would look good with the sleeve but still lie flat?

  4. Angela says:

    If you need to enlarge the pattern for a larger bust size, would you simply widen the back seam line of the pattern?

    • Marcia Gold says:

      NO, I don’t think that will work as you expect it to. A larger back seam would just “push” the side seams further to the front and probably distort the fit of the shrug. If you want to accommodate a larger bust, you will need to adjust the front of the shrug, not the back. One way to do this would be to extend the curved portion of the front.
      I’m not sure why you would need to do this as the pattern does not include the bust, only the back and the arms.
      You can see this in the photo of the woman wearing the shrug.
      All the best,

  5. eileen brade says:

    Thanks for this timely shrug pattern. I’m sewing a crepe dress and wanted to add something more on the top without changing the pattern. I’ve downloaded the shrug and reviewed all the pages several times but failed to find the test square needed for establishing if the printer is printing at the required magnification before printing the entire pattern only to find it’s not right. Was this just an oversight? Or, is there now some other way to check the printer settings vs the pattern?

  6. p says:

    Nice! But I wish I could get the pattern for it! I’ll just have to wing it, I guess. Should be easy enough!

    • nzski69 says:

      All you have to do is join bluprint to get it. The pattern is free. I believe that you can do a free trial and any patterns that you download during that period are yours to keep if you don’t stay after your free trial.

  7. Marcia Gold says:

    I think a lettuce leaf hem at all the edges would make the shrug very cute but also quite “dressy”. For a more casual style shrug, I would just hem the sleeves and the also the other edges. It looks like a great pattern and very useful in “not quite summer” weather!

  8. Lenora Sokal says:

    It’s very pretty.

  9. Lenora Sokal says:

    I love the shrug pattern.Looks comfortable.Lenora Sokal

  10. Janice M Patterson says:

    Yes, lettuce leaf neck line would look nice. Love the pattern.

  11. Hazel Kirman says:

    I have previously made this shrug and love it was easy to do and wears lovely to cover shoulders when wearing a strappy top

  12. Suzanne says:

    I think it would be very cute if you “lettuced” the neckline!

  13. cindythequilter says:

    I like it. I think either a bound edge or lettuce leaf edge would add a finishing touch .

  14. Karen says:

    I love this pattern! Not for myself — I have no waist and it wouldn’t look good on me. However I have a beautiful daughter-in-law who will thoroughly enjoy this item of clothing. I will do the lettuce leaf sleeve and around the neck. It appears that you hemmed the “fake” shirt — am I correct? You didn’t mention that, unless I missed it in the instructions, however I think I will hem or make a facing for it. Thanks for another great pattern.

    • Karen says:

      Duh! I slapped myself silly after I realized that this is truly a shrug, not a shrug with a “fooler” shirt front!!!!!!!! I am going to make this shrug, using the pattern on the fold so there is no back seam. I will finish it with the lettuce edge — that is so elegant!

  15. Sue says:

    Help Please.. I am trying to download the pattern and I can’t seem to add it to cart. Can anyone help me get it.

  16. mrsben says:

    First of all, thank you for your generosity in the sharing of the pattern. Secondly, did make it with reversible jersey fabric using a ‘french’ seam method and used a rolled seam on the sleeve hemline which turned out grrrrreat … ☺. Last but not least; as a hobby sewer for years just want to encourage the newbies ‘that practice makes perfect’ so don’t be discouraged and ‘remember mistakes are lessons as well’. P.S.: Found your pattern ‘n link on Pinterest.

  17. Chez Anderson says:

    If I want short sleeves can I just remove pattern pieces 7, 8, 12 and 13?

  18. Whitney L. says:

    What stitch would you use on the serger, and stitch length/width? I’m new to sewing and serging, but prefer using the serger over using a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine. I’ve cut the fabric and have it pinned, but I have no idea which stitch would be best on the serger, so am trying to figure it out. I’m using a stretchy knit. Thank you!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Whitney, where and how are you planning to use your serger? How many threads your serger have? the best thing is to try different setting with your machine. Take a picture of your current settings so you can get back to it with no problems and then try on a scrap of fabric until you find the stitch length that you need.

      • Whitney L. says:

        Hi – I am planning on using the serger to sew the seams on the shrug pattern I have cut out. My serger has 4 threads – it’s a Brother 1034d. I’ve been overthinking it all day and will practice on some scraps tonight. It’s my first time serging knit! (I’m a newbie.)

  19. Shawna says:


    I have a quick question. I see that you need to cut 2 pattern pieces to make this shrug & then see them together so the seam is in the center of the back. Can you use the pattern on the fabric’s fold & just make it out of 1 big piece, so there isn’t a center back seam?

  20. rae says:

    HI, I am not able to download this shrug, is it not available any longer? It says it is in my patterns but there is no download button.

  21. merav says:

    Hi, Deby! Firstly, thank you for the pattern and tutorial! I want to try to make the shrug using lace and giving it much shorter sleeves, just to add a bit of coverage to a sleeveless dress. Do you think that could work? Any tips on how to go about it?

    • I’ve made one of these in a stretch lace, although I used the full length sleeves, but there’s no reason you can’t shorten them if you like. If you make them shorter, you might also want to make them a little more fitted perhaps? Sometimes that can look better. But try it first, you can always make them more narrow after you’ve tried it on. Here is my example –

  22. Alexandra says:

    Hi Deby…
    What an excellent pattern! Do you thinkit could be converted to a non-stretch fabric?

    • Yes you could of course. You may need to make the sleeves a little wider,and of course make a mock up in some cheap fabric first to see where it might need to be changed for you. But its not a tight fitting garment anyway so probably not a lot of change would be needed. Let me know how you get on – I’d love to see.

  23. Jevgenia says:

    Thank you ! Nace and simple !

  24. Lynn says:

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve tried about a million (well, quite a few) shrug patterns and this is the best I’ve found.

    • That makes me very happy to hear. If you get a chance, will you share a picture? You can load it to the Show and Tell section of the forum, or send me an email or load it to the facebook page. I’ve not yet seen any other sewn examples so I would love to see how you got on with it. I’m thinking of making myself some more.

  25. Dinah says:

    nice!! I love it!!

  26. Du fil et mon ... says:

    Thank you ! Beautiful and simple ! Love from France !

  27. Victoria says:

    It’s a keeper! The lettuce edges on the sleeves are great. Has anyone done that one, yet?

    As for the serger discussion, I cannot figure my serger out and haven’t really found a need for it. ZigZag does just about everything I need.

  28. Lior says:

    Lovely!!! Thank you for these amazing tutorials!!

  29. Shanda says:

    Thanks for another wonderful project that I just can’t wait to try! I am a newbie to the sewing world and am curious as to what is the best fabric to use for this project?

    • For the shrug pattern, my blue/green fabric is called an active-wear knit. It stretches both ways which is nice and the edges don’t roll so I could leave them unfinished. If you use a cotton jersey, the edges could roll so you might have to use a small turnover for the hem, or use the lettuce hem finish.
      It would also work in a stretch lace, and several others but I also think a ponte knit would be perfect for it too. A little thicker and more stable. I wouldn’t use an ITY on this, as it tends to be too thin.

  30. Misha C says:

    This is going on my to-do list for my holiday sewing.

  31. onlynbaja says:

    Deby, Love the shrug! I too thought you had used your new serger!
    Watch your videos that came with your serger before you even TRY to use it . Then play with it on scraps of fabric. THEN take the craftsy course. It will be a lot less intimidating. Good luck.

  32. Lorna says:

    Very cute Debbie, I like finished edges so will probably do either the lettuce or a small rolled edge for neck and body- using my serger, get yours out of its box and play with it, don’t show us the play and soon you will be using it like a pro. Love to use my serger on knits

  33. Cindy says:

    It is a very cute pattern. I thought when I first saw it that you used your serger for making it. I was thinking that it was a pretty great beginner serging project. I was surprised that you did it all on the sewing machine. I think a rolled hem would look great around the neck and the rest of if. You are correct that we will all learn from any mistakes you make on your videos that you tell us about. That is a wonderful thing, actually. We aren’t laughing at them; we are learning along with you. I do admit that I was in tears (laughing) watching you open the serger. Mostly, that was because I could so relate to all of it. I am pretty sure that particular video made lots of sewers who received sergers for Christmas feel a lot better about how little they really know about the machine. After you play with your new serger a while, maybe you want to make one of these cute shrugs using it and show us how it’s done. : )

  34. Danita Courtney says:

    Hi Deby,
    Wow! You just continue to amaze me with your discoveries and adventures in sewing! Thanks for sharing this. I would love to make this one for my daughter AND daughter-in-law who are so fashion forward. They love stretchy things! Thanks again!

  35. kweenbee612 says:

    Yes, another WINNER Deby!!! I love this & the sleeve ends! I am a sucker for the lettuce edge. I would like to make one w/ a bit of a wider sleeve end, sort of like a bell bottom, do you think it would be as easy as widening the pattern at that spot? You ROCK Chica, think I am going up to the sewing cave in a bit & knock this one out! I will send you a pic. Thanks for this pattern & tute!!

    • It should be easy to make that sort of sleeve. Take a look at how the sleeve piece tapers and then instead of carrying on making it narrower, straighten out the line and then increase it slightly. Just take note of the difference between the original and the redrawn line to see how much you are adding at the wrist. It only probably needs to start widening out a few inches above the wrist to give the effect you are looking for.
      Looking forward to seeing it Chelle.

  36. suzy says:

    So I guess that means I can do a lettuce edge on my sewing machine? I didn’t know that! I would have guessed you’d done the lettuce edge on your serger, before sewing it up, since it’s much easier to serge on a straight edge than a little sewed up sleeve..

  37. Jane says:

    Another winner of a pattern! Thank you Deby. If you put a lettuce leaf edge around the entire edge, I think it will look dressier. I like this version with your jeans.

    Don’t be afraid of your serger. There are many good video instructions online if you get stuck. Begin by just using it to finish the edges of fabric. When I buy woven fabric, I always serge the edge before washing to keep it from fraying. I usually use my regular machine for construction and the seger for finishing the seam allowances. Once I decided to make a simple skirt all with my serger. I wore it to a funeral. When I got home I found the entire back seam had opened up! Good think I lined the skirt. Since then I’ve been hesitant to use the serger for construction.

    I’m looking forward to reading your comments when you begin to use it. Why don’t you set a goal to get the machine set up by a particular time. Let go of perfectionism which is probably causing you to put it off.

    • You are so right. I think because I feel like people are watching how I do, I’m nervous to make a complete fool of myself! But beginners never get things right the first time so I should just try and even if things don’t work out perfectly, those are valuable things to share too.

  38. Kate says:

    Thank for the pattern, Deby.

  39. Karen says:

    Thanks for the pattern. Hope you did the edge on your new overlocker!! K xXx

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