Learning how to make your own clothes is a pastime that will not only save you some money, it is skill that can evolve into a hobby that you love. With some practice, patience, and some sewing know-how, you’ll be on your way to making your own clothing before you know it. Here are some helpful tips to get you going.
If you have never attempted to make your own clothes before, or if you have little or no sewing skills, finding some good reference materials is a great place to start. Head to your local library, fabric or craft store, or bookstore and look for a how-to book on sewing. A handy reference should have many clear pictures and easy-to-follow instructions in order to be of use to you.
Before you purchase any other materials besides a few reference books or patterns, you may want to start thinking about what kind of clothes you would like to make. That way you can watch for patterns and materials that you find appealing, and you’ll be able to focus on just a few items while you’re first starting out.
Gather Notions, Materials, and Equipment
Before you begin to learn how to sew, you’ll need to accumulate a few sewing necessities. First of all, if you don’t have a sewing machine, you may want to invest in one. Although you can sew clothing by hand, it can be very time consuming and tedious. If you’re on a limited budget and a new sewing machine is out of the question, look for a used one. You might be able to find one at a consignment shop, a sewing machine repair shop, or ask relatives or friends if they have one that you could either buy or borrow. Once you’ve secured a machine, you’ll need to put together a sewing kit. Some things you’ll want to have in your kit are fabric scissors, needles, bobbins, a pincushion, pins, a measuring tape, a seam ripper, and any other items necessary for the projects that you are interested in tackling. You’ll also want to have an iron and ironing board ready and waiting–they are very useful and in most cases essential when making clothing.
Learn How to Sew
If you already have some basic sewing skills or if you’re already a master seamstress, you can skip this part and move on. If you don’t know the first thing about sewing, you’ll need to pick up a few tricks of the trade. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can either teach yourself using how-to instruction books or DVD’s, or you can take a few lessons. Many craft and fabric stores offer Sewing 101 classes–and even if they don’t, there might be someone there who would be willing to sit down and work with you one-on-one for a small fee. If you have a family member or friend that knows how to sew, ask them if they would be willing to teach you. You can enjoy each other’s company and acquire a new skill all at the same time.
Choose a Project
You’ll want to choose a project that is suitable for your skill level when you first begin making clothes. Pick a basic pattern to start with, and tackle the more advanced ones later. If you start out with something that’s too difficult, frustration and wasted materials might be the result. Take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself. Once you get the hang of what you’re doing, you’ll pick up both skill and speed.
Use Recycled Fabrics
Making your own clothes is definitely a great way to save money–and you can take penny-pinching to a whole new level by using recycled materials and fabrics to make clothes. Old or vintage jeans, sweaters, tops, and coats can be taken apart and used to create some unique and funky pieces– and they’re free! Not only can you recycle fabrics that you find around your home, you can also browse secondhand stores, thrift shops, flea markets, yard sales, and more to find old clothing or materials that you can take apart and transform into something new and fun. If you come across some vintage or antique buttons that you can’t pass up, set them aside– you never know when you might be able to use them in one of your handmade clothing items later.
Once you get comfortable making clothes using patterns, why not try coming up with some of your own ideas? It may take a while to get there, but once you get a good understanding of construction and fit, you can draw up your own patterns and make some one-of-a-kind items that you’ll be proud to wear.
There’s nothing better than finding a hobby that actually saves you money rather than costing you. Making your own clothes is a great way to learn a fun new skill, and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment when you’re able to sport your own unique, handcrafted fashions.
So, have you ever tried making your own clothes? What was your experience?
Guest Post Author Bio: This post was written by Adam. Adam shares many coupons, including Sears , through FrugalDad.
You know, this is a difficult one for me. I have no personal interest in it. I don’t think it would be a good use of my time, but I can appreciate where you are coming from. I am also always amazed by some of the unique designs my wife’s friend comes up with.
Talent can definitely come into play that is for sure. Even if sewing isn’t your thing and you still want to buy your clothes, it is a good idea to know the basics like hemming, putting on buttons, or taking in waist bands. Knowing those skills can save you a ton of money alone,.
Buttons and basic hemming I can do, but that’s my limit 🙂
That’s me as well: buttons, hemming and some emergency repairs.
Hey that is nothing to scoff at. Some people can’t even do that. The cool thing is that we don’t have to limit ourselves to just these few things. With just a little bit more effort we can learn the skills needed to make our own clothes.
Like I told 101. That is still great. Hemming can cost a ton at the tailors if you can’t do it yourself. Knowing these few basics can open doors to more skills though. You might want to look into it.
I learned to sew in Home Economics class a few decades ago. I was awful at it. I think this is a skill that needs to be practiced and perfected.
Agreed. It is not something you can be a pro at over night. However, like I mentioned to Roshawn, even just learning the basics can really help. Hemming and taking in can be really handy skills to know.
I’ve been wanting to learn how to sew for a while. My mother is actually a great seamstress and I should probably take advantage of her knowledge. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to learn!
Time is always an issue hey?! I find there are so many skills I want to learn and yet like you say, time is of the essence. Maybe your mom can even just teach you the basics. Those are valuable in themselves.
We do repair clothes, however we’ve not made our own. As a kid my mother would always be making some garment, either sewing or knitting woolen pullovers. I used to love my woolen pullovers.
My favourites are the woolen mitts. They are so warm and they were always bright colours. Plus, they last forever. I have pairs of mitts that are still in good shape that I wore as a teen. It’s great. I need to find some time to learn how to knit so I can make some for my kids.
I learned to sew in high school, and I loved my new hobby. However, the few items of clothing I did make did not save me any money. Of course, I didn’t buy fabric on sale, so maybe that’s where I went wrong?
Supplies can be expensive depending on what you are using that is for sure. However, if you can find deals on supplies then you can make something cheaper than if you bought it. It’s worth a try.
Glad you learned the skills you need. I know a bit but there is definitely some more learning required.
I have never tried to make my own clothes. The closest I will get to being a tailor is sewing on a loose button.
Well that’s a start for sure. Keep it up. Even just trying a few times will teach you so much. Start small, like a t shirt and see how you make out.
In my childhood my mother used to sew family clothes. Not sure how much money you can save and how much fashionable you can look by sewing your own clothes.
I think it really depends on what you make. T shirts, scarfs, mitts and things can look quite fashionable. The more techniques you learn the more fashionable you can be too. Glad to hear your Mom gave it a fair shot.
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