Have you ever been shocked by your friend’s handmade clothes-making skills? Or, did you see the most beautiful pair of pants or skirts from the store window, just to find out they don’t make it to fit your size? How sad is that?
No wonder how expensive a store you visit to get your ideal size, there will always be a chance that they won’t be able to fulfill your requirement. What if you can make your own clothes at home? Sounds exciting?
Yes. Learning how to make clothes at home may seem like a dream, but it can become the most beautiful journey if you take it slow and have a real desire for it.
You can start making clothes at home with some step-by-step instructions, budget sewing machines, and some sewing kit essentials. Be it dress, pants, jeans, skirts, corsets, or a stylish bag, you can make anything.
If you are super excited to make some of your wardrobe pieces at home but find it difficult to know where to start. Then, this is the right place.
In this tutorial, you will get a deeper understanding of how to make clothes with tips and techniques to encourage you to take some exciting first steps towards sewing your own clothes.
Table of Contents
7 Sewing Mistakes That Will Make Your Learning of How to Make Your Own Clothes at Home Look Worst
Learning how to make your own clothes at home is a good thing, but the clothes you make should not look “handmade.”
In sewing, the word handmade is associated with poor quality. It might refer in a way that the garment is made from poor quality fabric, or the stitches might be bad.
Even when you do everything best to make high-quality clothes at home, some sewing mistakes will happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them. These mistakes can look minor but turn out to be major ones.
The clothes you make at home should look “made by professionals.” Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert learning how to sew clothes at home, you need to avoid some sewing mistakes.
Here is the list of sewing mistakes you should avoid while making handmade clothes.
Using Unsuitable Fabric
Fabric is one of the essential things for sewing. Without fabric, you can’t make clothes. There are different types of fabric that all have unique purposes and properties.
A kind of fabric may not work for sewing different types of clothes. For example, different types of polyester fabric can be used for making bags, but it is not appropriate for making dresses.
Make sure you pick the right fabric for the right sewing project. Sewing patterns also come with fabric suggestions on the pattern envelope. To avoid your outfit looking like homemade clothes, follow them.
Cutting Fabric Without Making Sure Pattern Pieces Are Straight
This is one major mistake you should avoid. If your pattern is not straight, then you will end up cutting the fabric into pieces that are not straight.
Image Source: Pinterest
When you buy a pattern, the pieces look straight, but as you measure from the grainline to the hem, you will find it not straight.
A pattern piece is straight when the grainline is parallel to the fabric selvage. The result of this can be a garment that feels uncomfortable.
Using the Wrong Interfacing
In the world of sewing, interfacing is used to give structure and body to raw clothes. There are different types of interfacing available that can be used to find out which works best for your sewing project.
The right kind of interfacing should be picked to make your sewing look professional.
For example, when working on wool coats, if you use lightweight interfacing instead of heavy-duty, then your coat will have an unfinished look.
Knowing which types of interfacing will work for your DIY sewing project is essential. Without it, your clothes won’t hold up for a long time.
Using the Wrong Hem Finish
The hem is the last step to give finishing to your clothes. Many sewing beginners use topstitching for finishing, but that’s not the right choice.
Image Source: Seamwork Blog
A wrong hem finish can ruin the overall look of your handmade garments. The secret here is to either sew the hem by hand or just invest in a blind hemmer. This way, you will be encouraged to wear your handmade clothes.
Leaving Seams Unfinished and Unraveling
An unfinished seam is a big NO! It is one of those major mistakes that you must avoid.
A garment should look good inside as it looks outside. If you are sewing some types of shirts for your men, then just think of the moment when he turns the clothes inside? How will it look?
Don’t leave the seams unfinished because it will show that you don’t care about his garment, and it was just a formality.
Another example of an unfinished seam can be Chiffon. You can see through the chiffon. So make sure you use a french seam that includes seam allowances and gives you a uniform, neat appearance. It will also solve the unraveling problem.
Not Pressing as You Go
There is a reason why you should use iron to press the fabric as you sew. Many people don’t like pressing as they go but overlooking this rule can result in handmade-look garments.
Image Source: Yesterday’s Thimble
Pressing gives a fabric a finished look. Make sure you have a convenient space to place an ironing board or ironing pad close to your garment. This will make pressing seam allowance much easier.
Ignoring Pattern Markings
Some pesky notches or the extra steps of the following marking must not be avoided. Making those small and big circles can slow down your cutting process.
Ignoring the pattern marking because you are in a hurry of sewing can waste plenty of time and frustration in the end. When you realize how much easier those marking makes your life, you will never ignore them.
When you learn to sew clothes on your own, following marking can save you some time while avoiding a handmade look.
11 Pro Techniques for How to Make My Own Clothes
Clothing is not just a piece of fabric wrapped around the body. It is much more than that. While learning how to make clothes from scratch, you need to know a few techniques and methods.
Don’t worry. We have scoured the internet for you and got you the best sewing techniques. There you go.
Prep, Prep, and More Prep
This is the most important technique to make beautiful homemade clothes. As you begin your journey of making clothes at home, you need to prepare and give yourself time to consume that.
There will be a lot of things going on—right from choosing the fabric to measurement and cutting. As you reach the sewing stage, prior preparation is essential, and it varies from project to project.
Know How to Press
Pressing is often confused with ironing, but that’s not the case. When you iron, you glide the iron back and forth on the fabric.
Image Source: Stitch It Clothing Alterations & Dry Cleaning
When you press, leave the iron on the fabric for some time and then remove it. Ironing often distorts fibers, so it is essential to press when sewing. Pressing can help set and blend stitches, giving you crisp, nice seams.
Build Your Confidence
Another best trick and technique is to build your confidence in sewing. To do this, you can start with some simple sewing projects and basic fabric like cotton.
Cotton fabric won’t slip off or stretch, making it ideal for beginners. This will further allow you to build your confidence in sewing skills.
One Way System
Sewing machines are made one way and have a lint catcher. Cut it at the spool, pull the sewing thread via needle, and toss it.
Do not ever pull the last thread back from the machine when you change a sewing thread. Pulling the thread in the opposite direction will remove the lint.
Don’t Let Zips Be Your Nemesis
Image Source: Drape Style
Are zips your enemies? Won’t be now. Buy an adjustable zipper that will become narrower as you go down. You will be able to sew perfect zips without opening them to stitch past the puller.
No topstitching, no teeth peeking out to spoil your clothes.
It is important to change the needle on a regular basis. Some people continue sewing with the same needle for weeks and months.
That’s not good for a smooth finishing on the fabric. Changing needles after completing one project can give you a smooth finish.
Here are the sewing needle sizes for your reference:
Chiffon, Organza, Fine Silk, Lace
|Silk, Spandex, Cotton, Lycra
|Cotton, Velvet, Quilting fabric, linen, muslin, wool, sweatshirt, jersey, fleece
|Canvas, Duck, Denim, Leather
|Heavy Canvas, Heavy Denim, Faux Fur, Upholstery Fabric
|Very, very heavy
Be Accurate With Rulers
Another useful technique for how to make your own clothes for beginners is to use a ruler to cut out different pieces. Your ruler markings will be more accurate, and you will get consistency when sewing.
Clipping Corners and Curves
This is one of the simplest techniques that can make a huge difference. When you have a project that includes curves and corners with bulky seams, it becomes challenging to make it lay flat.
Image Source: Makeit-loveit
When you clip corners at diagonal and close to the seam, you will get a crisp corner when you turn it on the right side. The same things can be applied to the curves.
A seam is the base of almost anything you make. Keeping seam lines straight is the key element of the final outcomes.
Sewing seam finishes in a perfect way helps keep the inside neat. It adds durability and stability to your garment and prevents fraying.
A well-executed hem can give your garment a professional look and finish. Choosing the hem depends on the type of fabric you choose and the style you want.
It is essential to learn different types of hems so that you can determine the best for your sewing project.
The fussy cutting technique is for the patterned fabric. It is one of the best ways to create easy appliques to add to your home décor or dress-making project.
Image Source: Art Gallery Fabrics
To do a fussy cut, start cutting around the motifs you want to isolate and leave some space. Next, you need to trim the motif to size, leaving a small seam allowance.
Now, place the motif on the fabric. Use a spray adhesive to keep the applique in place and start stitching around it.
Step by Step Instructions: How to Make Your Own Clothes
There are so many reasons you might want to make clothes at home. You might want to make your wardrobe unique with different types of bags, jeans, or just skirts. Or, maybe you want to get a particular combination of dresses that strikes your imagination.
Crafting beautiful dresses at home is much easier than you think. Yes, you heard it right!
Hold on tight, and here we get you everything you need to begin your journey of how to make your clothes with a few bucks.
Make flapper dresses, prom dresses, long gowns, t-shirts, or skirts with utmost ease.
Learning the Basics (Supplies)
The first of few things you will need to learn how to make clothes at home is sewing kit essentials for creating patterns and measuring them to see if they fit.
Learn each sewing tool’s name, purpose, and how to use it to make clothes.
At first, you won’t be able to memorize all the tools at once, but it will become easier for you as you practice. Here are some of the essential sewing tools.
- Iron and Ironing Board
- These tools are worth the investment as they will press the fabric and make the seam stay open.
- Marking Chalk
- Chalks can be used for marking on the fabric so that you can know where to cut and where to sew.
- Get a nice pair of sharp scissors which can be used for cutting clothes. If you pick dull scissors, they can fray your fabric or damage it.
- Tracing paper
- It is used to draft your sewing patterns and modify them as you sew.
- Tape measure
- Tape measures are used for taking measurements and adjusting according to the fit.
- Pins are essential that hold the fabric in one place before you start sewing. Be careful while working with pins, as it can distort the fabric.
- Seam ripper
- It is used when you have made the mistake of ripping out the wrong stitches.
- Iron and Ironing Board
Get Sewing Machine
There are two types of sewing machines: Industrial and household/domestic. Both have their own purposes and pros and cons.
If you’re learning how to make your own clothes at home, choose domestic/household sewing machines. They are more portable and versatile. They have a variety of stitches that you will need while upcycling clothes.
Want to know everything about sewing machines? Then check out our guide on Sewing Machine: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.
Find a Simple Pattern
At this stage of making clothes at home, you need to take some time to think about the pattern.
Take a look into your wardrobe and think of different types of jeans, tops, or pants that are easy to sew. Think of what you wear to decide what you would like to sew.
Don’t rush here. It is suggested to choose a simple pattern like a top or t-shirt. Try avoiding a pattern that includes a button or zipper. You can use free sewing patterns to begin your journey.
Choose the Right Fabric
Now that you have a sewing pattern and size, you can move on to the next part: Shop for fabric. It is crucial to choose the right material for the clothes.
There are two broad categories of fabrics: woven and knits. Woven fabric is a beginner-friendly material and has lawn and twill.
Knit fabric comes with a stretchy quality which makes them comfortable to wear. For example, if you want to make a t-shirt, then choose the knit fabric.
Another important variable to consider is the weight and material. Think of the kind of garment you want to make from that fabric.
For example, lightweight fabrics like cotton are semi-transparent, and they can hold a press better. Seersucker is a medium-weight fabric that can be a good choice for dresses and tops.
The next of how to make your own clothes from scratch is taking measurements. Use a soft measuring tape (Tailor’s tape), a notebook, and a pencil.
Start measuring your chest, hips, and waist. Take notes of your measurements and compare them with the sizes given in the sewing pattern.
If you fall in between sizes or your waist is of one size and bust is another, don’t worry. You can take a tracing paper and trace out the pattern. When you trace the pattern, iron it to remove the creased lines. It will help you stick the fabric to the floor.
Make some adjustments like shortening or lengthening. When you have completed it, just cut out the pattern and write all the information (pattern markings) like size, name, fold line, grainline, and how many pieces to cut.
Prep & Cut Fabric
Here are a couple of steps you should follow to cut the pieces in a proper way.
- Wash Your Fabric
- Since so many fabric tends to shrink, it is essential to wash the fabric before beginning how to make cloth.
- Check the care labels of the fabric you have just purchased from the store or upcycling fabric found in your home.
- If your fabric gets wrinkles, then give it a quick press using the iron.
- Fold Your Fabric
- Fabric pattern pieces have the same pattern on both sides. So, you can leverage the fold lines while ensuring that both sides of the garment match. Just think of it as folding paper.
- Gather lots of patience and time to fold your sewing fabric in half and remove any wrinkle it has.
- Consider Grainline
- If you have a woven fabric, then this acts as a direction for the warp threads. Based on the weaving pattern, the weft threads go under and over.
- The arrow acts as an indication of how to orient pattern pieces with the grain of the fabric.
- Wash Your Fabric
Pin, Trace, and Cut
You can use either the pinning method or pattern weight to hold the fabric. Just place the pattern on the fabric, pin it, and trace it around it.
Use chalk, pencil, or any tool that doesn’t leave a permanent mark. Once you are done tracing the first part, then check if you have enough fabric for the remaining piece.
If you have a large-print fabric, then check the placement. If everything looks good to you at this stage, then cut out the pieces.
Time to Sew
Once you follow the above steps, you will have pattern pieces ready to sew. At this point, you will need a sewing machine, ruler, thread, needle, small scissors, and iron.
Even though you can sew the garment by hand, use a sewing machine for the best outcomes.
Sewing machines come in different models and thread directions. Setting the thread direction will help you get even and balanced stitches. Make sure the size of the needle is as per the fabric weight.
Bonus Tip: Test sews from a scrap fabric before beginning your project.
This will help you check the fabric’s stitches and thread look.
Now, put the fabric on the flat surface and keep it on the right side. Then, on top of it, place the second piece. Here, the right side refers to the garment’s outside (the site you want to show).
Seams should be hidden inside of the garment. Some fabric comes with both sides the same so that you won’t face this issue. If you have chosen printed fabric, then you need to be careful.
Follow the instructions and place the pins around the edges. Start removing pins as you proceed.
Now comes the seam allowance. Based on what you are trying to sew, the seam allowance can vary. It can be between ¼ inch at the neckline to 7/8 inch for the side seam.
Suppose you learn how to make a corset, then the seam allowance will be different. Getting this in place is essential as sewing with a wide seam allowance can result in a too-small outfit.
Familiarize yourself by measuring the distance from the needle and taking a ruler. Many sewing machines come with seam guides, while others have various measurements lines in the stitch plate.
Edges and Finishing Touches
The fabric edges require special attention. If you keep it as it is, then the fabric may fray with each wash, and after some time, it won’t look good when you wear it. You can prevent the fabric from fraying with the below options:
Image Source: Doina Alexei
- Zigzag Stitch
- This is the basic stitch setting on sewing machines. Using zigzag stitches, you can sew at the edges to hold the thread and keep them from separating.
- Pinking Sears
- Pinking sears are the special scissors that can help you cut small triangular shape notches. This also stops long threads from unraveling.
- A serger is a machine with three to four spools of thread and two needles. It helps in enclosing the edges in a speedy way.
- French Seams
- It is a method where the edges are sewn two times. Once you start working on different DIY sewing projects, you will love to experiment with a polished finish.
- Zigzag Stitch
Apart from it, hems and necklines are the edges that need special attention. The neckline curve comes with a separate challenge.
It demands finishing with a different fabric that is cut into the same shape as the neckline. There are different types of necklines so that you can learn and choose the simplest for a beginner-level project.
Now, take it slow when it comes to sewing. Remember that you are learning a new skill with the DIY cloth-making project. Have some patience! Give yourself some time to understand things and note the progress you make.
This tutorial was all about how to make clothes using a sewing machine. If you follow the above steps, you will be able to make a beautiful garment at home.
Crafting and sewing are an art. With time and experience, you learn to make new things and build confidence.
Making clothes at home is much easier than you think. When you start learning how to make clothes at home, the above information will help you turn raw fabric into beautiful garments.
Be it women’s dresses, men’s shirts, t-shirts, jeans, or home décor items, you can make everything at home. Just have a passion for learning new things and some patience.
Any types of clothes you make at home, don’t forget to showcase your sewing skills on a garment.
Design and create super easy, super customizable, and unique woven labels from Super label Store and let everyone appreciate your talent.