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How do you make your own clothes?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
As the title says. I'd like to have a go. What's the simplist thing? Anyone got a link to a good online guide? or fancy writing their own?? I know at least one siter makes her own clothes, please show us your wears... (like the pun? ok, I know I'm not funny)

Comments

  • JadedJaded Posts: 2,682 Boards Guru
    Its Kaff that you want to be talking to, she's the queen of designing and making clothes.

    I went to a pattern cutting course to learn how to make my own from scratch. You can also go to classes to learn basic sewing skills and how to use a ready made pattern - your local college should run relatively inexpensive classes.

    You have a little girl don't you? Kids clothes are relatively easy to make and not expensive either, (good if you are scared you will mess up) you could look for very easy patterns - it actually says 'very easy' on the front of the pattern...
  • littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    Go to a material shop and pick up a pattern that says "easy" on it, like LadyJade said. The wonderful thing about the patterns is that you place and pin the paper on the material, cut around the template and then sew it together like the instructions say. Make sure you use a sewing machine too as hand sewn isn't as tight.

    I made this dress a couple of years ago, following a pattern and doing what I have described above. The photo isn't very good but the dress was fine and more than wearable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be totally honest, I learned to make the clothes I can make (not many, and not very well) through trial and error. I guess I looked at my mum's old patterns etc (she is a great craftswoman AND a great hoarder... makes for cheap new hobbies since she always already has everything), but the first time I "made" a dress I actually just took apart a shift dress at the seams and then remade it which let me get a good look at the structure and also meant I had a much nicer and more flattering dress at the end of it. I'm really bad at following patterns, so I generally don't in dressmaking and moreso in knitting and crochet. I'm sure there are a lot of very helpful guides online, though I'm not the person to direct you I don't think. Maybe kaffrin will be able to set you right...

    I can't actually make anything other than dresses successfully, which is a bit strange. I once tried to make a pair of trousers and have never come across a more complicated process, I nearly tore all my hair out doing it. So now I've made my latest summer dress I'm content to knit shawls like a granny - much easier ;) These were all relatively easy, though I struggled getting the bust of the halterneck one right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've never actually made anything from scratch but for a while i was a bit obsessed with altering clothes to make them unique.
    For example i had a pair of lambretta jeans that i really liked until they got a little rip just below the knee, so rather than wear them like this or throw them away i decided to take a knife to them and rip even more to make them really fashionable (as they were at the time), then when they fell apart even more i cut up an old pair of cord jeans and patched up the lambretta ones underneath using a contrasted colour thread, looked mint until they fell apart :\
    Also: I used to work as a fashion designer and my first design that got made was this one if that counts? (it was on a hoody)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tee hee. The dresses look a bit ambitious... (I'm the girl who enjoys crocheting, but only in a never ending circle :P ) I think I'll start with a... headband- "very very easy" *I hope* lol

    I quite fancy a pair of those hippy trousers that you wrap from front to back and then tie (explained pretty badly).

    My old b'girl tee shirt, drawing on clothes is easier than makin em':
  • JadedJaded Posts: 2,682 Boards Guru
    Those Thai fisherman's trousers are dead easy, they are all straight seams except the crotch...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote:

    I quite fancy a pair of those hippy trousers that you wrap from front to back and then tie (explained pretty badly).

    Unfortunetly, due to some very mental nights during a school trip to france, I know what you mean by that :) If the picture was on the computer, I'd post it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    delete
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I made a pair of cargo kahkis back in high school .. if you go to one of those rag shop sort of places, they sell patterns and you just pick the cloth and patterns on your own.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ye gods, I live and die for these topics, and you make it in the 7 days in 2 years I'm out of the country? I feel sad ;)

    Anyway. Yes. I agree with the others that patterns can be a good place to start, as with all the step-by-step ness you can get to grips easily with the way patterns fit together to make clothes. Some people just have an eye for these things, and can look at a garment and know what the individual pattern pieces will look like and how they will all come toether. Most people can't. It's no barrier to you becoming an awesome seamstress, but if you are one of the ones that can't, you'll get a lot more benefit from starting on simple commercial patterns.

    Another place to start is simple customisation. Old t-shirts + hacking up. There are loads of resources to help you out with your first steps here. www.craftster.org is chock full of projects and tutorials, and they have 'sewalongs' where everyone makes the same pattern which is a fab idea for a beginner, cause if you get stuck you can ask people who have made the exact same thing to give you some pointers. www.ohmystars.net/craft/ is also a nice place to start for novice types.

    Also, while we are in the mood for pimping our wares:

    (these ones aren't the best, but my computer is being a twat atm, so are the only images I have :( )

    edited to add: if you want to know anything more, I could talk forever about making stuff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aw, thanks for the links...did wonder why you didn't leap in with a 'this is what you do, silly' type post- good hols?

    I am determined to get to primark in brum on monday morning so I might as well make it a fabric mission too...

    Your clothes are amazing- they look really well made and don't have that 'home made' look to them...

    *hmmn, don't feel so pleased with my crochet circles now...*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote:
    Aw, thanks for the links...did wonder why you didn't leap in with a 'this is what you do, silly' type post- good hols?

    Awesome, thanks :)

    On your fabric mission: If you're just starting sewing, you're going to tit it up a bit. I tit things up now and again and I've been doing it more than 12 years, so your best bet is to get a whole bundle of the cheapest fabric you can find, as well as your nice 'goal' fabric so you can have a test run or two before you go near the nice stuff! Old duvet covers (your own or from charity shops) are awesome for this, and come nice and cheap. Or free. Free is better ;)
    Your clothes are amazing- they look really well made and don't have that 'home made' look to them...

    Thank you :blush:

    If I were as much of a perfectionist about everything as I am about the stuff I make I would rule the world by now. Or something ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just been browsing the links-AWESOME! just what I wanted.

    Cheap fabric, wish I hadn't got rid of my old clothes now... boooooo

    Also, Kaffrin oh clothesguru, I need a basic CHEAP sewing machine, any recomendations?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote:
    Also, Kaffrin oh clothesguru, I need a basic CHEAP sewing machine, any recomendations?

    Try charity shops. There is not a great deal on good quality sewing machines that can go wrong, and if they do, it's generally something really easy and simple to fix, so old machines are your friends initially. My boss got a 70s singer in the local RSPCA shop for a fiver, which is a total bargain, and after fitting a new plug, it's in perfect working order.

    Another idea is to ask around the people you know. A lot of people have machines they either bought and never use, or that they inherited from family members, and will probably be happy to set you up for a decent price.

    Try ebay too - you might have to go collect, but there are some decent older machines on there now and again for bargain prices. If you see the names Singer, Janome, Brother, Toyota, Pfaff or Elna, you're probably onto a winner.

    Machines tend to last ages, which is why the decent new ones aren't cheap. Avoid those £20 mini ones (JML style) like the plague. They're cheap shit, and will mash up your fabric and screw with your tension so much that you'll assume it's because you're shit, and be put off sewing for life. Anything with 'handy' or 'portable' in it is a bad idea too. You might get away with the Janome M100 (Argos, £49.99), but that's the cheapest new one I could recommend.

    If you don't mind spending a bit more, you can get a fab basic machine from any of the major brands (I'm loyal to my Janomes, but to be honest all the quality makes are much of a muchness) for £70 - £100 that will last for decades. If you have a little local sewing machine shop, they often have new and used machines, and will set you up with a decent starter machine. Don't let them oversell to you though. You don't need all the bells and whistles. Adjustable straight and zig zag stitches and possibly a buttonhole feature are all your really need.

    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff I LOVE the crochet top!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Rachael wrote:
    Kaff I LOVE the crochet top!!

    I can't take the credit for designing that one, it was from a pattern. Buy this book and you can make your own! It was dead simple - way moreso than it looks :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    just seen on tv that you can get a JML easy stich for £19.99 at wilco's and puund stretcher.

    I know sod all bout sowing machines so i didnt really get what it was saying but something about a double stitch locking action and it had a foot peddle
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    melanie wrote:
    just seen on tv that you can get a JML easy stich for £19.99 at wilco's and puund stretcher.

    I know sod all bout sowing machines so i didnt really get what it was saying but something about a double stitch locking action and it had a foot peddle

    They're not worth the money. The "double stitch locking action" is just your bog standard straight stitch, but the tension is all to bollocks, so just about the only thing you can sew well with it is paper. It would be good for cardmaking or scrapbooking, but I wouldn't go near any fabric with it.

    It's worth either finding the extra money to buy a decent machine, or finding the time to search for a good second hand machine.
  • JadedJaded Posts: 2,682 Boards Guru
    While we are on the subject Kaff, do you know anywhere you can buy patterns online?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    LadyJade wrote:
    While we are on the subject Kaff, do you know anywhere you can buy patterns online?

    I've never bought a pattern online (I've only ever used a few - I prefer the 'winging it' approach, or drafting my own), but the ones I have heard people talk about are:

    http://www.habithat.co.uk

    http://www.jaycotts.co.uk

    And good old ebay (find here first, and then search by company name and pattern number)

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tesco sell sewing machines now..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tesco sell sewing machines now..

    They do indeed. Tesco sell everything now. The one's I've seen aren't established brands, but they look sturdy enough. Although they still aren't cheap (about £70-£80?) and for that price I'd be tempted to get a branded one.

    I was in Tesco yesterday, and they had horse rugs :eek2:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :lol: horse rugs, i laugh now but that would have been so usefull when i had my two.

    You all inspired me yesterday with your talk of making your own clothes. I am having my leaving doo tonight and have spent weeks looking for something to ware and havnt been able to find anything so i coustomised my own.

    I didnt do much actually just put strings from the shoulders dangling down to my elbow on a black vests but im quite proud of my little self :D and now i have something to ware :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    melanie wrote:
    :lol: horse rugs, i laugh now but that would have been so usefull when i had my two.

    You all inspired me yesterday with your talk of making your own clothes. I am having my leaving doo tonight and have spent weeks looking for something to ware and havnt been able to find anything so i coustomised my own.

    I didnt do much actually just put strings from the shoulders dangling down to my elbow on a black vests but im quite proud of my little self :D and now i have something to ware :)

    Picture please :D

    My update: Didn't make it to brum, primark, fabric shop... boo. Did pick up a velvet jacket and quirky dress for 20p each at a carboot sale on sunday though :) The dress makes me look like I've got big-man-swimmer's shoulders (which I do) so it have to go in a bag for scrap fabric...

    Can't stretch to buying a new sewing machine at the moment but, there's one I can have that was my grandma's but not sure if it works. Otherwise I'm just going to keep up the asking around tactic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow, Olive, I love your designs and thanks for your recommendations on sewing machines!

    I'm a complete beginner but want to start sewing. Have you got any tips on books/resources for complete beginners?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    KittyNicks wrote: »
    I'm a complete beginner but want to start sewing. Have you got any tips on books/resources for complete beginners?

    I'd check out the links I posted for Katralla on the first page. Craftster is a mine of information, and will take you from total beginner to damn-near expert :)

    Obviously you need to start simple, so I'd go with either altering clothes you have, or sewing from scratch, but going with stuff like pillowcases and tote bags and simple skirts. Straight lines + few seams = easy as pie!
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