Hello and welcome to the first page in my ‘Dressmaking for Beginners’ series…it’s nice of you to drop by!
As with any practical skill, reading about the process will only teach you so much; you need to get started with the actual ‘making clothes' bit in order to really learn and understand all of the concepts. Therefore, even though this is a written series, it is designed to explain the basics and give you a broad knowledge of the subject so that you'll gain enough confidence to ‘have a go’ yourself at home.
Photo by Jessica Spengler.
Reasons to Learn Dressmaking
My mum used to make her own clothes when she was a teenager (in the 60s and 70s), but it was mainly for the purposes of saving money. Nowadays, you can buy clothes in a shop for less money than it would cost you to just buy the fabric, so sadly it’s not a way to save the pennies any more.
However, if you’re not a fan of the current ‘fast fashion’ culture, and instead would like clothes that will last for much longer than one fashion season, then creating your own quality clothes allows you to rebel against this consumerism and endless cycle of mass-manufacturing (reason no#1!)
Other reasons to give dressmaking a try include:
- The enjoyment of making products; if you are a maker or crafter by nature, then the process of creating something from scratch is most likely where the appeal lies. There is great satisfaction in wearing what you have made.
- To truly express yourself; it’s unlikely that any clothing bought ‘off-the-rack’ is exactly the fit you want, the fabric you want and the style you want. But when you make your own, everything is up to you and therefore you can really express your own personality and individual tastes through your clothing. There also aren’t restrictions on what you can do, or how much time you can spend on your projects, so if you want to turn a comic book duvet cover into a dress, or you want to make a shirt covered with little embroidered cats, go for it!
- To make something unique; you know that when you buy something in a shop, many other people will also have bought it, making you ‘one of many’. If you make your own clothes you can choose the exact fit, length, style and fabrics yourself, thus creating something that is a total one-off. If you progress to making your own clothes patterns, you can go even further and produce designs that really make you stand out from the crowd.
- To replicate something you’ve seen someone else wearing, or you’ve seen on the catwalk; re-creating designer garments that you can’t afford to buy is a fun challenge because you will only have a photograph (or even just an image in your mind) to work from.
- An outlet for creativity; if you’re a creative person, your mind is probably already whirring with ideas for what you could make for yourself! Dressmaking is a great way to bring craft into the ‘real world’ because other people will see what you are wearing, unlike most crafts which are only displayed in your own home.
- To learn a new skill; I believe people should never stop learning new things, and learning the art of dressmaking is a worthy challenge! It is also a valuable skill and could give you a way of earning money either on-the-side or as a full-time job. It’s a rarer skill these days than it used to be.
- To get a perfect fit; sewing your own clothes allows you to tailor the fit to your exact size and shape, which looks and feels better. This is an especially important advantage if you have unusual proportions and often find that shop-bought clothes just don’t fit very well.
So if dressmaking still sounds like something you would like to try then please follow along with the rest of my lessons and articles….Thank-you :)
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