Making your own clothes is a valuable skill and creative outlet that allows you to express your individuality. Learn how to make your own clothes with this handy guide.
In this article:
- Basic Tools
- How to Make Your Own Clothes: Resources
- Sewing Patterns
- Choosing Fabric
- How to Make Your Own Clothes From Old Garments
Before you start your first sewing project, you’ll need some essential tools.
Firstly, you want to get a sewing machine. While you can start by hand stitching your clothes, it isn’t as durable. Your sewing machine doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Look online for a secondhand machine or ask friends and family if they have a sewing machine you can use.
Other essential tools are:
- Iron and ironing board. You’ll need the iron to press the items as you are sewing, so the seams stay open.
- Fabric chalk or markers, so you know where to cut and where to sew.
- Seam ripper to rip out the wrong stitches if you make a mistake.
- Scissors for cutting fabric. You don’t want to use fabric scissors for cutting paper because they will dull quicker and damage or fray the cloth.
- Tape measure
- Pins to keep the fabric in place before you start sewing.
How to Make Your Own Clothes: Resources
If you’ve never sewn clothes before, it could help take sewing classes, especially if you learn better with a teacher. Visit your local library or community center to find sewing classes near you.
You can also watch tutorials online. YouTube is one of the best resources for beginners.
The Colette Sewing Handbook is another great option for new dressmakers because it has all the fundamentals in one place plus helpful guides. It also has five easy to follow patterns that become harder as your skills increase.
If you prefer something online, check out Tilly and the Buttons blog. It has everything you need to start you off on your sewing journey, from choosing a sewing machine to step-by-step sewing guides and more.
A sewing pattern gives you all the information you need to make a garment. A sewing pattern comes with information about:
- Difficulty or skill level
- Descriptions and illustrations
- Body measurements
- Fabric suggestions and requirements
- Sewing instructions
For your first project, choose something that doesn’t require a lot of skill. Trying to make a garment that’s too difficult to sew may discourage you from sewing again. Also, look for a pattern that uses easy-to-use fabric, for instance, cotton or linen.
Pajama bottoms are an ideal first project. Firstly, it’s a quick and easy project, and you don’t have to worry about it being perfect. It’s also a good learning experience because it allows you to practice straight seams. Lastly, you can choose a fabric that’s not too expensive.
An A-line skirt is another excellent starter project because it doesn’t require too much fitting, it’s fun, and it’s straightforward to assemble.
Fabric is one of the most fun things about sewing because it enables you to express your individuality. Your pattern usually indicates what material is the most suitable and considers the way the fabric drapes and the quality before buying.
However, to start with, choose a material that’s easy to work with and doesn’t cost too much. Also, look for small patterns or plain colors, then you don’t have to worry about matching patterns on seams.
Woven fabrics tend to be the best for beginners because they don’t slip or stretch much while sewing. It’s not easy to work with silk, rayon, or knitted fabrics, so try to avoid these until you’ve improved your sewing skills.
Lastly, choose light or medium-weight fabrics as these are easier to manipulate than heavy-weight fabrics like denim. Try to steer clear of bumpy materials like corduroy for your first project, as well.
How to Make Your Own Clothes From Old Garments
If you’re not ready to sew clothes from scratch just yet, you can always upcycle old clothes. Not only will you have something new to wear, but you’ll also reduce your impact on the environment.
Dig through your closet or visit a thrift store and get creative. Turn old trousers into pillowcases or repurpose a men’s button-down shirt into a dress. Best of all, you don’t have to throw out old printed tees and hoodies you love. You can turn them into a comforter.
Sewing clothes can be daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few essential tools and the desire to learn, you can start sewing the garments of your dreams before you know it. This how to make your own clothes guide is merely the first step on your sewing journey.
Have you tried sewing clothes? Share your experiences in the comment section. We would love to hear your story!