7 Awesome Tips for Making Your Own Clothes ...

Do you need some tips for making your own clothes? If you haven't tried sewing since your disastrous attempts at school, maybe it's time that you tackled the sewing machine again. Making your own clothing means that you can have a totally original wardrobe, and tailor your clothes to fit. So try these tips for making your own clothes …

1. Experiment

The first of my tips for making your own clothes is to experiment. Try adapting old clothes to get yourself used to sewing. When you want to create something new, you don't have to use store-bought patterns. It's not all that difficult to draw up your own patterns, and many tutorials include both written and photo instructions to help you. If you're fairly new to dressmaking, start with simpler projects.

2. Dress Form

When you get seriously hooked on making your own clothes, it's a good idea to invest in a dress form. These are mannequins in the form of a torso on a stand. A dress form allows you to see how your work is progressing and make any necessary adjustments (it's so annoying to finish sewing and then realise that your dress doesn't fit you). The best forms are adjustable so you can set it to your precise measurements.

3. Tack

Rushing a sewing job is likely to lead to mistakes. Before sewing your garment, it's best to tack it together. This means sewing temporary stitches that hold the pieces together; you can then try it on to check the fit. Use large stitches so that the tacking is easy to remove. But don't pull the tacking out until you've sewn the permanent stitching, or you'll have to start all over again!

4. Refashion

Refashioning means changing a garment into a new and different piece. It is gaining a following among sewers who love giving a garment a new life. Check out some of the many refashioning blogs to see how they turn ugly thrift store pieces into gorgeous new clothes. The beauty of refashioning is that you can make fabulous new clothes for very little, be really creative, support charities and stop clothes ending up in landfill.

5. Quality Thread

It may be tempting to use a cheap thread for your sewing, but don't try to save money by doing this. Cheap thread is more likely to break, which means your seams will split and you'll have to mend the seam. Pay a little more for some quality thread, and your work will last longer.

6. Never Rush

You might be in a hurry to make something for a particular occasion, but rushing is likely to lead to mistakes. Take your time to get things right when sewing a garment. Don't try to sew when time is short, even for a casual garment. Always start well in advance when making something for a special occasion.

7. Adapt

If a project doesn't work - and even the best seamstress makes mistakes - don't give up and throw it away. You can turn it into something else! So a failed dress can become a skirt. Or you can make it into a child's dress. A shirt can be adapted into a halter-neck top. Nothing is ever wasted.

Sewing your own clothes is not as difficult as you might think. There are thousands of free patterns available to download on the internet. Read the instructions very carefully, and look up anything you don't understand. Once you've successfully made a garment you'll be hooked on the idea of sewing your own clothes! If you're into sewing, what is your favorite garment you've made?

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