We live in a very image-conscious world, and what suits us – our personality and body shape – isn’t always in fashion, meaning sometimes it can be difficult to find things off the peg that look right. If you have ever considered making your own clothes, the growing renaissance of sewing means there’s never been a better time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Start with a very simple pattern rather than attempting something too complicated before you have the skills and confidence. There are printed patterns available for beginners, so pick one up if you’re completely new to sewing and dressmaking. It’ll have details of everything you’ll need, rather like a cake mix. Then practise. Practise the different stitches, different tensions in your machine and even pinning and cutting.
Choosing Your Fabric
Once you have found a simple pattern, it’s time to choose your fabric. When you are more experienced, you might find yourself doing it the other way round, but while you’re still a ‘newbie’ to dressmaking, find the right pattern first.
The pattern will usually recommend a type of fabric, which will narrow down the choice in the haberdasher for you significantly. Beginner patterns will often suggest cotton or knit fabrics, as they are easiest to work with and don’t tend to fray. You’ll help yourself if you don’t choose a pattern like stripes that will need to be matched on seams. Just because you are starting out, though, it doesn’t mean you can’t choose a designer cotton fabric, and there are some beautiful materials out there from specialists.
Tools for the Job
If you’re serious about giving dressmaking a go, there are some basic tools you’ll need to get you started. Start small, as things can always be replaced and upgraded as you become more proficient. You’ll need some dressmaking shears for cutting material, paper scissors for patterns, and a smaller pair of scissors for cutting thread. Get a retractable tape measure and some dressmaker’s chalk for marking out. Don’t forget pins! Finally, your sewing machine will need quality threads. You will also want to consider how you are going to store these clothing items and may want to look at a Hampshire Fitted Wardrobes company to ensure that you have enough hanging space once you start creating your own fashion pieces.
If you need any more convincing to give making your own clothes a go, read the account online from the Guardian, and then head to your wardrobe!
You might also feel more confident joining a beginner’s sewing class, where you can ask for help.