Thinking about making your own clothes? Learn the basics with our quick rundown of the tips and tricks. This is all you need to know to get started with your very own fashion label!
Here is a quick list of the absolute necessities:
- Sewing machine
- Thread (in all the colours you need)
- Muslin cloth – the perfect testing material
- A workspace that you can spread out on
- Pen and pad to jot down your ideas and inspiration on
Before you start cutting the fabric or sewing you need to take measurements. In general, clothing measurements are based on the waist and hip numbers. When you are measuring yourself or a friend, always use a linen or fiberglass tape measure like the one in the picture. This is the most flexible type and will ensure a close and accurate measurement.
However, one thing to be wary of is getting everything too exact. Always always always add a couple of inches to each measurement that you take. This allows a comfortable fit and gives the wearer some movement. It’s also far easier to take something in than rework it to accommodate a bigger than expected figure!
However, not all of us are blessed with a figure that conforms to these standard patterns. Sometimes it’s easier and quicker to put together your own pattern. This is often a case of trial and error and working out what works best for you. Make sure that your measurements are accurate, allow an inch on each measurement to hems and start sketching out a basic pattern.
Rule number one is that the pins should always rest in parallel to the cutting line. This is not a rule for the sake of rules – if your pins rest along the cutting line, it makes cutting easy and allows you to follow the line precisely.
Rule number two relates to the fold. If our pattern has a fold then you must make sure that you pin this line first. Think of your fold as the base and you must start here. If you don’t follow this rule be warned – your piece won’t be as secure and it may not rest correctly on the grain.
One piece of advice – always press on the interior side of the fabric. You don’t want burn marks or water marks on the good side!