Tuesday, 29 March 2011

How do I start making my own clothes

I was listening to a conversation the other day between two 20-somethings on the train on my way home. One of them was complaining about how expensive dresses she liked are in the shops and her friend suggested that she make her own and they both agreed that they'd ask their Mum to show them how to sew.

It got me thinking, how do you learn to sew or make clothes if you don't know much about it to start with?

First of all, get your tools together. You'll need a sewing machine, a pair of sharp fabric scissors, some tailors chalk, pins and a tape measure.

1. Go to your nearest fabric shop and ask for an easy sew pattern. My experience is that Simplicity or Burda patterns are easy to start out on.

2. Read the back of the pattern and use the description to establish what you need to buy. 

3. Buy a bit of extra fabric (just in case you have beginner accidents) and don't forget to buy some thread to sew it with!

4. Take it all home and if it's cotton fabric, wash it and dry it before using it! Why? Sometimes it shrinks after the first wash.

5. Cut out your paper pattern pieces (top tip, dont cut them to your size, leave them at the largest size and that way you'll be able to re-use them for someone else). Lay out the pieces on the fabric as described in the instructions.

6. Pin them on and cut them out. Make sure you have some tailors chalk to draw on darts or other markings. 

7. Get sewing.

It's that easy. 7 steps and you can have a new dress, shirt, skirt or something else. Start simple and then move on to something more complicated later on.

Useful links for fabric

  • http://www.myfabrichouse.co.uk/
  • http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/categorylist/dept/fabrics_All-Fabrics?resetFilters=true
  • http://www.johnlewis.com/Home+and+Garden/Fabrics/Category.aspx
I hope that this was a useful introduction for someone asking the question, how do I get started with making my own clothes?

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