Getting Started: Making Your Own Clothes

Anybody can sew clothing. We here at Sew Uber truly mean that. Anybody who has the patience and determination to want to make their own clothes can indeed do it. It will take time and you will also probably make a few mistakes or not be satisfied with the first few pieces of clothing you make because they don't look like the fashion items on the rack at your local high fashion boutique.

Yet don't get frustrated. As your skills and confidence grows, you will make the necessary improvements to turn out wonderful clothing designs for yourself and your family.

What Do You Need for Sewing Clothes?

Every sewing project needs basic tools, fabrics, threads, needles and sewing machines. What you need to have exactly will be based on the type of clothing that you will be making such as jeans, blouses, jackets, purses and pajamas. Decide on the types of clothing you want to make and then focus on stocking up with the items you need for it. Also, the types of garments you make will let you decide on the type of sewing machine to purchase.

Sewing Machines for Garments

There are a wide variety of sewing machines on the market from home-use machines to industrial machines. Again, picking out the right machine will be based on what types of garments you plan to make and the types of stitches that the sewing machine can handle. You also want to consider the types of fabric that you will most often use. There are some heavy-duty machines that can sew multiple layers of fabric and heavy fabrics with ease.

So if you plan to make leather jackets, purses and other garments, you will need a machine that can work with this material, has a motor to handle making lots of clothing items, and comes with a leather needle.

Garment Patterns

Patterns can be found almost anywhere nowadays, and many of these patterns are free to use or download right onto your computer. A smart idea is to invest in a garment book that has many basic patterns that can be customized. These books offer a wealth of information and have detailed step-by-step instructions, which makes these books ideal for sewist who are beginners. You can find tons of garment books at your local fabric store along with available patterns you may want to try out.

Start Out with Small Projects

At this stage of your sewing experience, you want to start out small for your projects. You can't expect to create a designer ballroom gown right now when you are still learning about common sewing terms and the parts on your machine. Start out by making aprons and kids' bibs as you move on to making pajamas, night shirts and then finally jeans and dresses. You will be able to make mistakes and learn from them without becoming overly frustrated. Once your build up your skills, then move to more challenging patterns and clothing projects.

It is also ideal that you make a few test garments with spare fabric or cheap fabric such as muslin. In the sewing world, this sewing technique is called a practice muslin. You are making a test garment without ruining the good fabric as you can try it on and adjust the measurements so that it will be a better fit on you. Once you perfect the muslin, you can then make the actual garment with the desired fabric. As for the practice muslin, you don't have to throw it out. Simple put it on when you are doing chores such as gardening, painting or cleaning the house.

Be Patient

You have to be extremely patient when making garments. Very rarely will you make a garment in an hour or less right now. It can even take expert sewists a few days or even weeks to make the garment they want. So take a deep breath, decide on the sewing project that you would love to wear, and then get the sewing machine running. You can create the clothing that looks as good as any retail items found at your local clothing store while saving money in your budget.

About the author

Sandra McConnell

My sewing journey started when I was 7 years old, with my grandmother as my first teacher in her sewing room. I went from a career in teaching to professional seamstress and from stressed out and tired to happy and contented.

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