How To Start Making Your Own Clothes
How To Start Making Your Own Clothes – I recently shared this snap on my Instagram feed and it got an amazing response. The reason is that I made this dreamy pink gingham dress myself. Hand crafted with love and care and it came out exactly as I hoped. I’m still incredibly happy about it.
I have been trying to make clothes by hand since I was a teenager and wanted to share my best tips and ideas to start creating your own clothes and how to do it if you are new to the world of sewing and textiles and really want to try but know not where to start. I hope this guide gives you the confidence and knowledge you need to get started. I’m sure I’ll be back with a few more posts on this, but I’ll cover the basics for now.
How To Start Making Your Own Clothes
Although I love to shop (and if you follow me on Instagram you know I do), there is nothing more rewarding than sewing your own clothes and creating something unique at home. Hand that will be appreciated AND that no one else will be wear!
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First you need a sewing machine. It is possible to make clothes by hand but who has time for that. John Lewis has some brilliant models and this very pretty pastel pink machine is under £100 and a very good basic starter machine. If you have ever been to their haberdashery department, you will also know that they are always on hand with friendly, knowledgeable staff to advise you. This is where I bought my machine about 20 years ago (OH GAWD) and it still works great.
Now, if you’ve never used a sewing machine before, don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than you think. Often all you need is someone to show you how or a sink tutorial.
If you are in London there are some great introductory courses from brilliant independent tailoring brands to name a few;
How To Start Sewing Your Own Clothes
There are of course thousands of them on Youtube, you just need a cup of tea and Google and a little patience.
You will also need a good pair of fabric scissors, some pins and a tape measure. (I’ve linked some of my recommendations at the end of this article).
I suggest you start with a super easy sewing pattern. I would recommend using some of the newer brands of more modern patterns (I’ve linked a few below) over a vintage pattern or something that was only found because of the amazing sewing blog and step-by-step tutorials that you are able to Access to accompany them. It really helps if you’ve never read a pattern before and have no idea what overflow is, for example. (It’s a way to finish zigzag stitch seams) and all these pattern markers come with a glossary, so don’t worry.
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Most of the patterns are downloadable in PDF format, all you have to do is print them out at home and put them together. It may take a long time, but I break away and do mine before Netflix. That means you can’t break it because you can push it again and again.
The online #sewist community is also amazing and you can always find a friendly person to answer all your questions.
4. Husband and wife team Fabric and StillDanish who have the most dreamy fabrics and also amazing patterns.
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5. Tilly & The Buttons Super stylish and really wearable patterns, you’ll want to make each about twenty times over the entire rainbow.
The Foldline is an amazing sewing pattern resource and a great place to join the sewing community.
Buying fabrics has become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me lately and you will soon be hooked.
Is Making Your Own Clothes Cheaper?
I’ve listed my current favorites here, but there really are lots of brilliant sources on Ebay and your local charity shop can be an inexpensive start to your first sewing project. I even made clothes out of old bed sheets and I have an old Cath Kidston on her turn.
If you are based in London, these are my favorite stores to buy fabric (they also have online stores);
Fabrics Lots of Stitches at The New Craft House Liberty John Lewis Macculloch and Wallis Ray Stitch The Cloth House Goldhawk Road (Classic Textiles, A-One Fabrics and more) is another budget fabric shopper’s paradise and you’re guaranteed to never find the same fabric twice , but if it’s for a one-off and you’re on a budget, go for it. When I studied textiles at Chelsea School of Art, our studios were a stone’s throw away and we would go there every day to try and grab the latest bargain or fabric from a previous designer.
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I would say you are even more spoiled for choice online and here is a list of some of my current favourites;
Geek with those magazines and books. I like to swing between magazines and books. I recommend Stretch by Tilly Walness and the new book Named Clothing.
I really hope this article inspired you to try on your own clothes and comment below if you have any questions or want me to add something in a new post.
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Above all, remember that sewing is not something you can do quickly, enjoy it and you are doing it for the first time and you are only human. The first dress I ever made was a total D I S A S T E R, but I learned from it, fixed it and gave it to my cousin.
PS. This post contains affiliate links, it means I can earn a very small % of every sale through the link, it costs you nothing, it just helps me run my blog 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Labels: DIY, Sewing, Handmade, How To, How-To-Make-Your-Own-Clothes, Sew-Your-Own-Clothes, Sewing, Sewing-Blogger, Nothing. as a gift. Growing up in Prairie Village, Kansas, she came from a smart family, but her mother didn’t sew. So she taught herself with the help of a babysitter who showed her how to read patterns.
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Since then, Porter, now 36 and a textile designer in Brooklyn, would occasionally return to the craft — altering a vintage skirt here, taking something there. But a few years ago she moved in with her boyfriend, who suggested she leave the machine in a special room so she could sew more.
In 2018, she pledged to make “12 wearables”. The portable qualifier was “Stick to it.” It couldn’t be a weird art project. It had to be a garment that I could put into the world,” she said. She ended up exceeding her goal and sewing nearly 40 garments, including jeans, dresses, ruffled tops and colorful winter coats with jeweled collars.
In 2019, she made another 52 garments. Porter is not alone: She is part of a growing trend of “seamstresses” – people who sew their own clothes – often sharing their projects on Instagram with the hashtag #Sewist or #MeMade.
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Check out this post on Instagram Me & the clothes I sewed myself in 2019! 💝. • It’s a lot!! That’s most of my clothes! (But I also wear ready-to-wear.) Some people asked how many pieces, and I counted 52. That’s an average of one piece per week. But really, it is in traces, and does not include the clothes I sewed for my mother or my friend. 💕. • Sewing all my clothes for an entire year was one of the most satisfying creative activities of my life. I’ve said it before, but it changed my view on consumption, style, self-expression, craft… many things. Even though I’ve been sewing since childhood, I’ve never felt “better” than I did last year. I’m working on a blog post describing the highs and lows of this process – what worked and what I can leave behind. If you have any questions, leave a comment! 💓. • The leopard dress is @mccallpatterncompany #m7925 in viscose crepe from John Lewis. • #isewmyownclothes #sewing #originalmarthamoore #futuredreamwardrobe A post shared by Martha Moore Porter | she/she (@burieddiamond) Jan 6, 2020 at 11:51 am PST
Fabric stores have closed across the United States, so this latest resurgence of do-it-yourself clothing is somewhat surprising. But the rise of social media, a backlash against fast fashion, a growing concern for sustainability and a preference for experiences over things have boosted the popularity of tailoring for yourself, especially among millennials.
Check out this post on Instagram First layer of the season! 💓 Ugh but it rained all day. ☔️. • I like to sew this. It is quick to make and is a good introduction to making coats/jackets as there is no lining, collar or closure. The pattern is @lieslandco for @mccallpatterncompany #B6244 in a warm, drapey brushed wool that I
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