Making my own clothes?

On January first, I shared with you my crafty goals for 2013. One of my goals is to make myself an item of clothing. Whilst I am getting more confident with my sewing machine (hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish my latest project with you – it needs finishing first!), I don’t have the skills or confidence to  attempt clothing by myself. Another goal I made was to attend a craft course. I have found a way to combine these two goals…

I have enrolled myself into an evening course run by a college half an hour away from here called…

Make Your Own Clothes

The course description says I will learn all the basic techniques to make clothes for you or your family. I will work from a pattern and adjust garments to fit. The course is suitable for all abilities (although some experience of using a sewing machine would be an advantage). It sounds perfect (if a bit expensive).

“Beginners and those with little experience are advised to seek help on pattern and sizing before purchasing material, and to choose a simple style for a first garment.” Now I am a complete beginner, but I have been asking for advice on twitter and have been reading sewing blogs and looking for outfits suitable for beginners that go down well and that I will wear. Initially I was thinking of making a top and narrowed it down to two tops:

Colette Patterns Jasmine


Colette Patterns Violet

I can’t quite decide! I am a larger lady, but with help from twitter I have discovered I should fit into these patterns! Any advice? Which is better for a beginner? Where is a good place to buy Colette patterns in the UK?

Reading around, I found that a lot of bloggers have repeatedly made versions of a skirt by Simplicity.

Simplicity 2451

People seem to view this as a relatively easy pattern and whilst I wouldn’t wear shorter versions, looking at blogs has shown me how the same skirt can look very different depending upon the material you use to make it. I will admit that the only crafty thing I did on Sunday was to order myself a copy of this pattern! Unfortunately I didn’t measure myself first, but I fit in the clothes size range stated, just!

Shall I order a top pattern too? I can see how you could acquire a stash of patterns…

I’m looking forward to the course and it will be my guaranteed midweek crafty time…


12 thoughts on “Making my own clothes?

  1. I did dressmaking at a level and mostly used simplicity patterns – lovely simple patterns easily adjusted to fit your design ideas 🙂 the thing I found hardest was reading patterns, choosing the right weight fabric (at the time we had one local fabric shop and inline fabric shopping was unheard of!) And trousers! A skirt would be very simple, but I would certainly recommend trying a top while you’ve paid for the help as sleeves take a bit of getting used to 🙂 I wish I’d kept it up! Hope it goes well – am looking forward to your next blog about it 🙂

  2. I agree with everything that Heartstitch said. A good idea to make something with sleeves while you have someone to help you out. I made clothes for my family (including husband and sons) throughout the 1950s-1970s, although I also agree with Heartstitch that slacks and trousers are difficult. Good luck – I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you create.

  3. Sounds like as useful course. I’ll be integrated in hearing what kind of tips they give you. I like all the patterns you’ve chosen here. I can see how easy it would be to just collect patterns

  4. once again we tread the same path! I’m just going on a one day course to make a skirt, it was a christmas present from my parents, but I’m really excited!

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  7. My advice would be to pick your fqbric carefully – cotton and fine wool flannel is much easier to sew than satin (very slippery when cutting out) and chiffon (snags easily if you use the wrong needle!) Good luck – I’d love to hear how easy the colette patterns are to do!

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