If you’re interested in fashion design, you’re going to want to start small. No one makes their own line on the first day, and if you’ve never even tried your hand at sewing, you still have a quite a way to go. Follow this brief tutorial, and you’ll be on your way to starting your own line in no time. Be sure to take a course in marketing once you’ve got your line started so you can start bringing in the profits.
Find out the Tools You Need for Sewing
Whether you’re learning the basics or creating your own line, the tools you need are basically the same. The only difference is the quality of the tools you buy. Whatever fits your budget is great for starting out, but you’re going to want to start investing in some higher-quality stuff as you really get your clothes line started. You can also use these tools to recreate children’s clothes into other items with this online course. Here’s a list of the items you’re going to need to get started:
- an iron and ironing board – You will be using these to iron out patterns, fabric, and to iron the piece as you sew. Ironing as you sew will make certain your seams are working as they should, and you’ll also be pressing hems before you sew them.
- seam ripper – Mistakes in sewing are coming, and a seam ripper makes it easier to rip out those mistakes so that no one will ever know. Using scissors can rip your fabric leaving gaping holes you might not be able to fix. Seam rippers are small and sharp, so handle with care.
- chalk – You can use this to mark up your fabric on where to cut and where to sew. This is great if you don’t want to be glancing at the pattern’s directions every time you need to sew something. Just jot down a couple of notes right on the fabric, and just wipe them off when you’re done.
- scissors – Be sure to designate them only for cutting fabric because they’ll dull quickly if you don’t, and dull scissors will snag your fabric.
- tracing paper – You will use this to draft your own patterns and also to modify created patterns. Buying patterns can be expensive, so it will save you money if you can just modify a pattern you already have.
- rulers – You will use these for drafting and sewing. You can use a ruler like this to measure a piece that’s lying flat on the table still inside-out.
- tape measure – Make certain it’s a flexible one to take measurements and make fit adjustments.
- pins – You will be using these to hold the pattern to the fabric while you cut, and you’ll also be using them to hold the fabric together when sewing. Be sure to use these sparingly because they can snag your fabric and create issues.
- sewing machine – Obviously, you’re going to need this to sew with. Unless you want to try creating a skirt by hand with needle and thread. You can read more about the two different types of sewing machines below.
Types of Sewing Machines
When purchasing your sewing machine, it’s important to know that there are two different kinds of sewing machines. There are the household kind and the industrial kind. When first starting out, your budget will likely only allow for a household machine, which is a great starting machine. It tends to be more portable and more versatile, and they also do a lot of different stitch types. Unfortunately, you’re going to be giving up quite a bit of power and speed, and you’ll have difficulties with heavy fabrics.
An industrial machine, on the other hand, will be far faster and more powerful, but they usually only have the capabilities to do a single stitch. They will do that stitch perfectly, of course, no matter the fabric, but it will be the only stitch that machine will be capable of doing. If you’re short on room too, an industrial machine might not be for you as they tend to take up quite a bit more space.
Learn Your Sewing Machine
Any sewer can tell you that your job will be much easier if you understand your machine. After all, you’re going to need to know where the spool holder is along with the location of the bobbin case. Hopefully, your machine will have the ability to self-wind bobbins using the spool holder because it will come in handy when sewing. You’re likely going to want to take a look at the manual to familiarize yourself with your new tool as it will also have a guide on the different stitches your machine can do. You can take a look at this article on types of stitches as well, just in case your manual doesn’t explain them.
Keep it Simple When You Start
The best thing to do is to follow a basic pattern when you’re first learning to sew. Don’t start creating patterns if you don’t even have a clue how to transform the fabric into those patterns yet. You can easily find patterns at your local craft or fabric store. If you’re really on a budget, try this course on creating a t-shirt quilt. Not only will it use fabric you have at home, but the pattern and design are simple enough for a beginning sewer.
If you don’t want to create a t-shirt quilt, make certain you pick simple patterns when starting out. Aprons, pajamas with elastic bands, or skirts are great starter pieces because they require fewer measurements and modifications. Your pattern will come with instructions on cutting out the pieces and fabric suggestions. Remember that iron and ironing board mentioned in the tools section? You’re going to need to iron out your pattern and your fabric before you cut and sew anything.
Create Your Patterns
Once you’ve got the hang of using other people’s patterns to make clothes, you’re probably going to want to start creating your own. You can take an online course in fashion design to help you create your model designs, and you’ll be using that tracing paper and chalk to start mapping out your patterns. It’s important to keep in mind that creating patterns will require test garments. Just because your design looks amazing in the drawing doesn’t mean you translated it well to a pattern. Following other’s patterns will give you an idea of how to create your own.
Whether following a created pattern or testing out a pattern you designed, you’re going to need to take measurements to ensure proper fit. Knowing someone’s clothing size isn’t enough to ensure that the item you create will fit perfectly. So, get out that tape measure, and get whatever measurements you need. They will vary depending on the garment. You won’t be measuring someone’s arms if you’re creating trousers.
Pin Your Pattern to Your Fabric
You’ll need to pin your pattern to the fabric in order to cut it out properly. This is why it’s important to have both a wrinkle-free pattern and wrinkle-free fabric. Otherwise, they won’t lie properly, and you’ll have issues with your final piece. Once you’re done cutting, you can unpin your pattern and gently fold it and store it away for later use.
Pin Your Fabric Together
Use the directions that came with the pattern to find the proper seam edges to pin together. The common method is to pin right sides together so that your seam is on the inside of your garment. However, some items, like jeans, have decorative seams on the outside. So, you should definitely check with the pattern directions before you get that fabric into the machine
Sew Your Fabric
Finally, what you’ve been waiting for since you bought the sewing machine is going to happen. Take your pinned pieces of fabric, and start sewing them together. Again, it’s a good idea to use the pattern’s directions as a guide on how to sew. If you’re creating a skirt that has gathering, you might want to consider a basting stitch before finishing up the gathering with a straight stitch.
Don’t forget that you’re going to have to hem edges to make your item look the best it can. This is when ironing as you go along is especially helpful because you’re actually going to press the fabric at the hem before hemming it. Once you’re finished sewing, don’t forget to add the finishing touches like buttons, elastic, zippers, or any embroidery or special stitching – like the seams mentioned on jeans that decorate the outside of the clothing.